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As a strong advocate for celebrating beauty, what I’m about to say may come as a bit of a surprise.

I recently read the amazing story about an extremely brave and successful female anti-ISIS fighter, Rehana.  As you all may know by now, she is rumored to have killed 100 militants and alluded capture.  Wow.

But here’s what pisses me off.  The article’s headline had  to reference her beauty! See below:

What happened to Rehana? Kurds, ISIS militants tell different accounts of beauty’s fate after gruesome photo surfaces

Come on.  This bad-ass young woman took her fate, and that of others, into her own hands.  She used her sharp shooting skills to combat ISIS militants in Kobani.  That alone is tremendously courageous. I would hope I would have an ounce of that kind of courage if I were faced with her situation.

And yet, her looks had to enter to conversation.  Why?

I’m all for embracing our beauty but, in this case, I see no need for it.  Not just that, it’s degrading.

I can’t help but feel that somehow Rehana’s beauty makes her seem even more of an unsuspecting hero.  If she were ugly would it be any less dramatic a story?  Is it that her beauty should make her more vulnerable or more “female?”

It’s little examples like this headline that remind me how our culture has some deep-seated perceptions of beauty and beautiful women.  No one will admit this but there’s still a perception out there that women who look pretty and cute are less likely to be tough, strong and brave.

That’s just a big bunch of bullshit.

Thank goodness my beautiful daughter plays basketball as well as her boyfriends, can fence the butt off of 14 year olds and stands for her rights (sometime a bit too much) when she feels slighted by her two older brothers.

Beauty should not equate to weakness or vulnerability.  Just the opposite!  Courage is one of the greatest forms of beauty out there!

 

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