A Larger Opinion on Beauty

This morning – unlike many other mornings – I saw myself as beautiful. Yes, you heard me. I looked at my tall and curvy body with its many imperfections and saw myself as beautiful. I stood in front of the mirror and saw different parts of my body that I actually liked. This got me thinking: who decided what size or weight determined a woman’s beauty?


The media has brainwashed us; has brainwashed me that I’m too big to be beautiful. They have convinced me that I am too much of this, or don’t have enough of that. But there I was, standing in front of the mirror and seeing myself with new eyes. I saw the muscles on my back, my calves that have pedalled many kilometres, and my shoulders drizzled with tiny freckles because of many fun walks in the park. I couldn’t help but wonder: why am I letting cellulite, or not-so-toned parts of my body, tell me that I’m not beautiful?


Thanks to the media, we have unrealistic standards that we want to live up to. For many years, I have linked my self-worth to the size of my pants or dress. With this obsession with my weight, I have missed out on parts of my life. And I’m not saying that life is short, so eat what you want. I’m saying that we need to learn what is actually important in life.

pretoria girl writes _ ilka steyn

The reality is: I have too many flaws to be perfect. But I also have overcome too many obstacles that have taught me that I’m a beautiful and strong woman. Even though I have a few jiggly bits that will make you want to call me “Puddin’ pie,” I also have a few muscles that my husband envies. So why shouldn’t I love my body? I was never the active type, but now I am fit and healthy. I have completed many cycling races; something I never knew I could do.


It has taken me 28 years to finally realise that the size of my shirt, doesn’t add or take away from who I truly am. Being happy and healthy are some of the most important aspects of our lives. We shouldn’t let our weight, or society’s standards determine our beauty. And it’s not easy! Even though I know all of this, I still have those “fat” days. But at the end, it’s something you have to teach yourself every day.  Everyone is beautiful in their own way.


It’s time we realise that it’s okay to have a larger opinion on what we see as beautiful and start believing in ourselves. Beauty is not about having a pretty face and body. Beauty is about having an open mind, happy soul and loving heart.

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