Dear friends: We are beautiful

Sweet Surrender by Karla GudeonThis is based on a letter I wrote last year last year to some of my friends. I thought maybe some of you could use it, too.

Dear, wonderful friends,

You are all so beautiful. When I look at you I see your bright smiles, your curly or straight hair, in all its blonde, brown, red, or grey glory. I see your emerald, sapphire, amber, or chocolate eyes, your slender or round bodies, your stylish or quirky or casual clothes, your made up or  natural face. I admire all of you, and I light up when I’m with you. You are all beautiful, I know this and don’t have to try to know it — it’s self-evident.

I’m beautiful, too. But this — this is much harder to know.  And a great deal of the time I don’t know it. So much of my attention and energy is sucked up wishing I looked differently than I do. I have lost hours and hours of my life to trying to loose weight, to figure out how to do my hair and make up, to stressing out about my features and my flaws. All that time and effort.

And the funny thing is that you — you, my amazingly gorgeous friends — you have, too. We women have been hating our bodies like it is our job. And we work so hard at that job, till we’re too tired to do much else. Who gave us this job? Why do we keep it? I’ve quit jobs that were much more productive with much better benefits. Why do I agree to keep working at this one?

What if we all agreed to QUIT?

What if we all believed that we were beautiful just the way we are?(tweet this) Not if we could lose ten pounds, or afford more stylish clothes, or get our hair to behave, or get rid of that cellulite or those wrinkles, or that acne, or scars, or puffy eyes, or, or, or? What if we were confident in who are NOW? Can you imagine the energy that would be released into the world: 3 1/2 billion women who stopped feeling flawed, stopped feeling less than, stopped comparing, stopped hiding themselves and went out there and LIVED?

What if I could see myself through your eyes, and you could see yourself through mine? Not just beautiful but, as Maya Angelou says, phenomenal? You are all truly phenomenal. When you walk into a room — BAM. All eyes are on you, sister. The fire in your eyes, the flash of your teeth, the swing of your waist, the joy in your feet.

I know it’s complicated. I know there are cultural norms and pressures, and hurt in our past, and maybe even some critical people in our present. And almost all of us have voices in our heads saying some truly awful things to us, things we would never in a million years say or even think about each other. Some of us may actually have a chemical imbalance and need medication. It’s not an easy thing, to quit this job. It’s going to take some doing.

But let’s do it anyway. Let’s stage a walk-out on this God-awful job. Let’s look at ourselves in the mirror with the same awe and admiration that we look at each other. That hair! Those lips! Those deep, soulful eyes! Those curves, those lines! How did I get so lucky to have friends such as you, and a body such as mine?

Love you, my lovelies.

Your beautiful friend,


P.S. If you want to be part of the walk-out, write in the comments below: I QUIT! and tell me the feature you most love about yourself. Let’s start a movement!