Team Gratitude and Grit crossing the finish line at Relay for Life 2015

Beauty can be alluring, enticing and, oftentimes, elusive. Yet most of us strive for society’s definition of beauty nevertheless. Who wouldn’t want to be considered attractive, desirable and beautiful?

But what if our concept of beauty is all wrong?

As women, we often fail to notice the beauty that all the people who love us can see so clearly. And if we’re mothers, we often have kids who don’t see our muffin tops, laugh lines or the gray hairs that we’re so concerned about. When they look at us, they see beauty expressed in all the loving ways we care for them.

So instead of allowing Vogue, Facebook or Instagram to dictate what we deem beautiful, I propose that we redefine beauty for ourselves and for the next generation.

All the wonderful, strong and talented women in my life remind me that:

Confidence is beautiful.

Intelligence is beautiful.

Compassion is beautiful.

Imperfection is beautiful.

Selflessness is beautiful.

Integrity is beautiful.

Humility is beautiful.

Gratitude is beautiful.

For anyone who’s ever felt left out, less than or simply not enough, just remember that we are our own beholders of beauty. We have to recognize it in ourselves so we can point it out in others.

Let’s build each other up and choose to see the many moments of beauty in our everyday lives:

A young girl reaching out to a new student standing by herself.

A woman struggling to put the pieces of her life together after heartache.

A woman who’s proud of her heritage and celebrates other cultures as well.

Friends lifting each other’s hands in the air in times of joy, hardship or victory.

A daughter caring for her parents, doing for them what they used to do for her.

I believe that God created each and every one of us with overwhelming beauty. If we evaluate ourselves based on the purity of our hearts and the condition of our souls, rather than what we see in the mirror, then we’re free to love ourselves and others extravagantly and unabashedly.

True beauty comes from within. If you are kind, humble and loving, please remember:

You are amazing.

You are enough.

You are beautiful. 

Opinions expressed in this column are those of Nina Ha.

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