What is the true beauty of a woman? This is a question I had to personally answer for myself. I was diagnosed with cancer around 25 and 26 years old. I went through intensive chemo and radiation. My diagnoses changed both my health and physical appearance. Prior to my diagnoses, I was in great shape, my skin was flawless, my hair was thick with a cute cut, and my style was on point. All my physical attributes were important to me because my love for fashion was who I was, and my physical appearance had exemplified that. But cancer changed it all. Once treatments started my physical appearance started to change. I gained a lot of weight due to the medicines and chemo. My skin became discolored by radiation and I lost my hair. I cried when I looked in the mirror, because I did not know who I was, never looking beyond my physical appearance. Cancer did not only alter my life, but it altered the only image I knew.
Months later my cancer went into remission, but I did not look the same. There was nothing left from my old appearance that I loved. I went into depression; I did not know what to do with a bald head, discolored skin and weight gain. I did not want to shop for clothing, wear a wig, or take care of myself. I fought and prayed to get back to my old appearance and style. During my time of healing, I read Woman Thou Art Loose by T.D. Jakes. This book started to change how I saw my beauty as a woman. I realized that my self-esteem was based on my physical appearance and I did not see or understand my beauty from within. This is when I started to learn the internal beauty of Bernadette. More importantly, once I knew my true beauty, that beauty started to manifest itself from the inside out.
The moral of the story is that many young ladies and women only see their beauty from a physical standpoint. Sometimes they never find their true beauty, and I believe this struggle never allows them to live their true purpose. Now I can answer the question, what is the true beauty of a woman? My answer is based off my personal and unique beauty. Now I ask you the hard question. Do you know your true beauty as a woman?
“Beauty begins the moment you decide to be yourself”. Coco Chanel