The Problem With ‘Inner Beauty’

Mother’s Day 2017 – Paris (text below)

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“She is beautiful inside and out.” A phrase with good intentions, but one I have grown to despise. I understand the sentiment but I find it degrading.

Beauty, by definition, is an aesthetic sensation. Forgive me for being pedantic but if you cut someone in half I wouldn’t find it aesthetically appealing.

Perhaps your experience differs but I have never known a man to be described as ‘Handsome inside and out.’ I think the description of what’s inside as ‘beautiful’ is lazy and it emphasises the idea that above all else a woman’s main concern should be to be perceived as beautiful.

I’m very lucky to know many women who would be described as such but I would like to extend a notion to put an end to this description and put forth some alternatives I find much more fitting.

On the outside my mother, my auntie, my sister, my cousin, they are all beautiful. On the inside, they are much more. They are in equal measures; witty, infectious, charismatic, intelligent, strong willed, empathetic, generous, kind-hearted, diligent, warm, powerful. To reduce what’s inside to something as superficial as ‘beautiful’ is insulting.

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