What is beautiful?

In many cultures a beautiful face is often one that is symmetrical. The eyes line up perfectly, nose centered and mouth under the nose. I am sure at some point you've seen the diagram of some famous beauty with lines drawn through their face proclaiming their symmetrical face is why we find them attractive.

Image Credit - this site has some good info and interesting studies
I'd always thought I was pretty...until one day sophomore year in college. I never felt like I was---head turning gorgeous model type but I knew I was pretty, I definitely never felt ugly growing up.
I worked as a make up artist for Estee Lauder. I loved that job at the time but even more so now that I look back on what it taught me. It was at a training that I heard the rhetorical question that would change the way I looked at myself.
We were learning how to apply eye liner (it seemed really important at the time) for each eye shape. We paired off into groups of two and the instructor made her way around the room. This instructor was the kind of woman who took beauty, make-up and perfume v e r y seriously. She was impeccably dressed, think Devil Who Wears Prada but way more mascara and big fake breasts with of course the trademark extra button undone so as to see a bit of lace on her bra. She walked the line between showy and tasteful better than any best in show pooch.
As she approached our group it was my partners turn to apply eye liner to my eyes. She leans over the table, I of course look at her breasts first and then her eyes. She paused as if to allow a moment for me to experience their greatness and then abruptly begins to speak, 'OK- YES' she says as she looks me over and then it happens... "so you know your eyes aren't even right?" And then she launches into how my partner should deal with this kind of imperfection, ways to trouble shoot my Picasso face with the magic of eye liner. I WAS TOTALLY GUTTED. I came home and relayed the story to my roommate and then went in the bathroom and for God knows how long I stared at my crooked, unevenly placed eyes on my formerly beautiful face and I cried, for days off and on I cried.
For years I thought about it every time I looked in the mirror until one day I just stopped seeing it. Time passed, life rushed in and it no longer mattered. It was ridiculous to let one silly woman define my beauty but I was young and impressionable and raised to respect my elders (I have a feeling calling her my elder would send her to tears, she was in a race against time that one). Did you hear me out there girls!? You get to define your beauty! And you are beautiful! In the grand scheme of things we are all unique and if that means one eye is slightly lower then the other that's perfectly fine with me.
So here's to my uneven eyes and crooked smile!
I wouldn't change them even if I could.
Celebrate your beauty today
and if you'd like please share a bit about embracing your beauty!
p.s. speaking of beautiful my boudoir shots are up at tobeadored! They are sprinkled around several of the portfolios.