Just read a post in the Huffington Post by Louise Krug that started out brilliantly. She writes: “If I hear that beauty is only skin-deep one more time, especially from an attractive person, I might lose it.” Well, I totally agree! Being attractive on the outside isn’t a bad thing and the pursuit of external beauty is perfectly honorable. Moreover, I don’t believe in this inside vs outside dichotomy. I think the two affect each other — positively or negatively.
But Krug has an even better reason than I to be fed up. You see, Krug was a pretty girl. And she admitted banking on her beauty. But then all that changed when a blood vessel burst in her head and deformed her. When you hear a story like this, you think it’s going to end up with the heroine (in this case Krug) realizing that her outer appearance doesn’t really matter and shouldn’t affect her sense of self worth.
Not so here. It’s not that Krug didn’t find happiness with her new self. It’s that she realized despite her changed looks, she still wanted to be beautiful and would still finds ways to beautify. Why? As she says: “The feeling of beauty has nothing to with perfection. It is about self-respect. It is about caring for oneself. I try to be a little less careless now. Being careless never felt right.”
I can only echo these fine words. Beautifying is about self-care, not just vanity. And self-care makes you feel better, which then enables you to behave better towards yourself and others. So please, throw away these “inner beauty” vs “outer beauty” sayings. They’re a bunch of hogwash.