Friday, December 4, 2015

Things I Find Beautiful

I almost didn't watch this video my friend Stephanie shared today, but I'm still (STILL! Arg.) sick on the couch and kinda miserable and in need of distraction, so I did.

I expected it to just be a few moments of feel-good-fluff, but in the end it was more bittersweet than that - and now my eyes are all leaky, dangit.

Here, take a look:


This reminds me of how it feels to be a cosplay photographer, although since these students didn't set out to have their photos taken, it's really a more extreme - and more illuminating - look at how we take compliments.

For the most part it IS wonderful and sweet, but as the vid shows, far too often a spontaneous compliment will be met with suspicion, disbelief, and even out-right anger. (I actually started to fear for Shea at 1:40.)



I suppose we could talk about our society's impossible beauty standards, and how it's the inside that counts, anyway. We could say that our self-worth shouldn't be based on others' opinions, and that the "selfie epidemic" only reinforces a self-destructive form of narcissism. We can analyze and diagnose and point fingers - but really, who is that helping?

Maybe we should just remind each other we're beautiful.

In fact, while I'm at it, I want to say something. If it's weird just blame the cold meds:

You have certain abilities and passions and fabulous little quirks that no one else has. You have a wholly original perspective on the world. You can do and see and say things in ways that no one else on this planet ever can, and that makes you frickin' incredible. So please don't rob the world of you. Don't hide those things that make you different. Show the people around you how to be beautiful. Show them it's ok. 

And then show them Stargate:Atlantis, 'cuz that is some seriously underrated sci-fi goodness, right there.


Now I'm off to go cuddle with my Vicks vaporizer. Y'all be good to yourselves.

51 comments:

  1. You rock Jen! Thanks for the share & the encouragement you beautiful soul you. Big hugs & hope you feel better soon

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  2. Thanks so much for the encouragement. :-) I've been finding it very hard over the last few years, with no dating life and almost no one wanting to hire me - on top of my already insecure feelings about my appearance - let's just say it keeps me humble, haha.
    But seriously, thank you so much. Through reading your blog over the past few years, in addition to being able to connect with cosplayers in my area, I've been able to see that being a nerd is more than just okay and I don't have to be afraid to let my nerd flag fly.
    I hope you feel better soon!

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    1. Torigurl - I work in recruiting. I'd be happy to take a look at your resume/job seeking strategy to see if I can help with the employment? 1 Jessica stone at Gmail (all together. Trying to avoid spambots)

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  3. Lately I've been thinking a lot about people and my faith in humanity started to drop big time but that brought it up. It reminded me that for every person out there who hurts others there is a hundred others who help and that for all the people who feel as though they are ugly there is at least one person who is there to tell them that they are beautiful. So to everyone who feels as though life sucks remember You Are Beautiful. Ms. Anonymous said so :-)

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  4. Bah I was gonna make it till you went all feel good on me. After following you for a while now, I dunno, I believe you would be able to find the good and the beautiful in all of us : ) Thanks for being you, too!

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  5. Thank you. I've been having a hard day, missing a person very dear to my heart who no longer wishes to be in my life. I've been feeling like a bad person, like someone unworthy. Thank you for this. We are all beautiful.

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  6. You are beautiful Jenn. Thank you.

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  7. that was lovely. Thank you for writing it. Feel better soon!

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  8. Aww this is one of the many reasons I love your blog (and you, your husband, and cats)! I hope you feel better soon!

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  9. Thank you, Jen. Back atcha, gorgeous! <3, a huge fan of yours.

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  10. This was amazing and I can barely see to type. Thank you for sharing.

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  11. I only started crying when I read your encouragements, Jen. And even though I feel like I know you, it's amazing how powerful a heart-felt validation can be from a complete stranger. Thank you for reminding me, and all of us readers, that we matter. You rock!

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  12. A couple years ago I was picking my daughter from day care and greeted her with, "Hey beautiful" and one of the ladies that worked there said, "I wish someone would greet me that way". It struck me as sad. Everyone should be told they're beautiful now and then.

    Hope you feel better soon.

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    1. "I wish someone would greet me that way"

      That reminds me of a story I heard from a bus driver. She said that she often greats people with "Good morning, beautiful" and there was one lady she saw pretty much everyday. One day the lady slipped her a card that thanked her. She said that she was in a not so great relationship and just being greeted that was gave her a lot of encouragement. You never know how something simple like that can really touch people.

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  13. Thanks Jen, just what I needed. Thank you for being beautiful, and funny. Ack now my face is leaking.

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  14. I love this so much! The joy and disbelief on most people's faces is priceless. I make it a point to tell all the women close to me how beautiful they are all the time!

    You and John are beautiful human beings!

    P.s. Stargate: Atlantis is a hidden gem indeed!

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  15. Thank you for that. It's often hard to feel beautiful most days as a new mom, when I spend them getting spit up on and wiping an adorable drooly face and regular showers/sleep aren't happening anymore. It's good to have that reminder sometimes, and you're beautiful for saying it.

    And I miss SGA. Such a good show.

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    1. Speaking from experience being a Mom requires so much strength and dedication and that is incredibly beautiful. As for feeling beautiful you'll get your grove back soon.

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    2. Your baby thinks you're beautiful, all the time. =-)

      And I promise you, he or she WILL, eventually, sleep through the night! They all eventually do.

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  16. Thank you for the compliment! I needed that tonight, I needed to be reminded that my quirks are what make me who I am. Thank you for finding the beauty in all of us, I sincerely hope you know how beautiful and wonderful you truly are; and how much you mean to all of us. Get well very soon!

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  17. Speak it, girl, come on with it. Let your freak flag FLY! Don't hide your light under a bushel just because some people can't deal with how fabulous you are, that's my motto. That and "People who are shocked easily should be shocked more often." ;)

    Jam out witcha clam out!

    Storm the Klingon

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  18. My eyes don't go leaky all that easily, but now they did... Thanks for this post, Jen! Hope the cold gets better quick :)

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  19. As I was watching the video, I kept realizing that those people ARE beautiful. People are beautiful, and we need to be reminded of that occasionally.

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  20. Who's cutting onions??? ::: sniffle :::

    We love you, Jen. :-)

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  21. Jen, you are inspiring, amazing and beautiful! You deserve all the love and hugs you can stand! Keep being you! And thank you for the compliments! *hugs*

    Erin

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  22. As long as there are beautiful people and Vicks Vaporub, life can't be all bad.

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  23. Blogs need a "Like" button, like on fb... Feel better soon! Neat trick for stuffy noses... use your tongue to push on the ridge behind your front top teeth then push the spot directly between your eyebrows. Alternate doing that for about 20 seconds. It sometimes helps.

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  24. So, I hopped on my computer to record a video for a language challenge I'm doing and thought "I'll just check my feedly quickly before I start." So, now I have to wait for these big puffy eyes to go down before I can begin recording the video... thanks? But it really was lovely, thank you.

    And SGA is totally underrated. Now that I'm almost done Jessica Jones, I think it's time to queue it up for a rewatch.

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  25. I watched it at work with the sound off, but you could tell the exact moment they were told they were beautiful. Most cases, their faces lit up. The guys more often were unsure what to do with that compliment. I guess guys aren't used to being beautiful. I felt bad for the girl who thought Shea was goofing on her. She IS beautiful. You posted some lovely comments. You, Jen, with your glistening, red nose, glazed eyes, and messy (but probably still gorgeous) hair, you are beautiful, too. I am now off to add Stargate Atlantis to my Amazon wish list (I'm always jealous when you say you are watching it - and jealousy isnot beautiful, my friend (see what I did there?)). Feel better soon. Laughter is the best medicine, so maybe you should find something funny on Youtube. Unless you have a cough, then laughing is the best way to cause a coughing fit, make your throat feel like it's on fire, pee yourself, and crack a rib (allegedly).

    -Just Andrea

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  26. Whenever I feel down I come here and read (or re-read old) posts. They always cheer me up and never fail to male me either feel better about myself or better about life in general (or give me more art to buy - or crafty ideas).
    So this is my thanks for keeping things going. Even when you don't feel like posting. Cos you're making a huge impact in so many lives and it's awesome that you enable us to give back to you as well.

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    1. And that should be *make* not male. My autocorrect on my phone needs to diaf lol

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  27. Thank you for sharing this. :) I must say I'm blessed with a husband who tells me I'm beautiful and sweet even when I don't believe him. And best of all: he tells complete strangers they have a beautiful smile, cute earrings, a wonderful voice or whatever positive he finds that person to have. Almost everyone respond with surprise and a smile, a few looks at him like he lost a few marbles or something. But I love that about him and I tell him so. He has taught me to start loving myself more, or at least to try. I call him my own gentleman and we need more of his kind in this world. :) You are on the same page in that respect in my book - a gentlewoman if I may call you so. Keep up your good work, keep smiling and get well soon.

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  28. What a lovely video, even if it made my eyes leak too much. We all struggle with something and need to be reminded that we are beautiful in our own unique way. Thank you for sharing this. Hope you feel better soon!

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  29. My pastor has a saying, I've heard it so many times I sometimes dream it: God put you on earth to do a certain number of things and YOU are just the right person to do them. He said he told his children that every night when they were young and at first they'd be like, "yeah, yeah dad," then when they were teenagers they'd ask him to remind them.

    Sometimes, I think we all need to be reminded. Dr. Seuss said, "There is no one you-er than YOU!" :)

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  30. I come to this little corner of the internets because I know you will share a little bit of happy and positivity. Thanks for being such a positive blogger. You are beautiful!

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  31. So this came up on my facebook feed from another friend and I tabbed it to read later and then just skimmed it and then I got your post and thought well damn this is the universe telling me to watch it already.

    The weird thing is this is something I am struggling with right now. I look in the mirror and I actually don't dislike what I see but I look at a picture of me and I HATE it. I don't know what happens between the mirror and the camera but boy are they different views for me. So I am working hard to take and have taken pics I like of me and to post each and every one I like in the hopes that one day ALL my pics will make me happy.

    I, like you, find that cosplay is the one and only area where I don't care about having my pic taken. For Halloween my husband and I dressed up, I was in one of my steampunk outfits and we went down town to a huge street party. We were absolutely mobbed we could not walk more then five steps before someone else wanted our pic. It was way more intense then any con we have ever gone to and I loved every second of it.

    The only time I felt bad was for our two out of town guests who were not really dressed up, they could not even get close to us, one of them said it was like watching two rock stars walk down the street. Next year we will be all dressed in steampunk outfits and heading out so they can have a little slice of the heaven we soaked up that night. I am still riding high just thinking about how much fun it can be and not once did I worry about how the pictures might look I was to busy having fun to care.

    So the long of this post is to say thank you for being an inspiration to all of us with anxieties whatever they may be because together we can change the way we see ourselves and hopefully the way the world sees us as well.

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  32. My dear these words are inspiringly beautiful. I recently started down a new road. I have been feeling these words repeating in my head for some time. So thank you for reiterating what so many of us are feeling as well and so many still needs to hear, have a great day and feel better. Prayers being sent your way.

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  33. Thanks for this video, took me a few minutes to stop crying enough to type this but it has made my day brighter and somehow lifted me a little.

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  34. Wow, that was so nice. I'm sure some of those people have rarely been called 'beautiful.' But they all were! And the compliment transformed them too, their smiles made them even more beautiful. :) that made my day also.

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  35. My favorite video ever! <3 Thank you for sharing!!!

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  36. Thanks Jen, you truely touched my heart! And did you see that video over on youtube, where Aiesha Elliott, a fourteen year old girl with severe medical issues, holds a speech in front of her class mates calling for a "new normal"??? If not, really do so!!! That girl is really the bravest, I have EVER seen!!! But be sure to get a whole box of tissues!
    Andrea

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  37. Very interesting blog, looking forward to more wonderful! Swarovski jewelry

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  38. Hear, hear!! I know we all go through the awkward teenager stage, and many of us still hold so much of that crap later in life, but I too wish everyone knew how truly beautiful, amazing, and unique they are - and how important that is to the world. How cool that is. How much cooler than a bunch of likes on social media. Thanks, Jen. You are a beautiful beacon in this world. Snot be damned... = ) ~ Jamie

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  39. I agree. I think we all need to call someone beautiful, even if it is ourselves.

    As someone who has always struggled with confidence, I try my hardest to tell my friends, family, and many times, random passersby that they are beautiful, or I like something about them. I know what it's like to feel ugly and ashamed for who I am. It's something I work on daily. There is so much hate and ugliness in the world, we, as humans, conform to this need be hateful and ugly and it's not fair. We need to stop being so ugly to each other. As you said, Jen, we are all unique, and that's what frightens us. Instead of embracing our differences, we run from them. We poke fun at those who are different from us, when we have no idea how their story began.

    Life is already hard enough. Small acts of kindness, patience, understanding, and soft tongues can get us further than war ever will.

    --Piper P from Washington State

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  40. Thank you, Jen. I'm a menopausal Mom and am struggling with things sagging, big belly, eye bags, you name it. I'm also realizing that these 30 extra pounds might never go away.

    I need to hear that I'm beautiful because of my big smile, my loving heart and my joyful attitude. Plus my hair. I've got great hair. I teach first grade, and their honesty ("I like your squishy tummy!" "You give me the best hugs even though you're SO old!") makes me laugh every. single. day!

    Bless you, Jen.

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  41. Thank you for sharing! The woman in the ChiArts T-shirt is one of my friends from high school. So fun to see someone I know. And so nice to see all the different forms of beautiful.

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  42. Thank you, this was lovely :-) You are beautiful and your lovely blog always makes me happy! Happy Holidays to you and John xx

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  43. So I had a bad day. Nothing special, just my boss is insufferable. My man's out for the evening so I settled down to catch up on puppy cuddles and my favourite blog and this post made everything... shrink. You took my bad day, our financial woes, my recurring health issues, my brother's illness, my sister's struggles, my mum's illness, my dad's work worries leading to health issues... and you made it all shrink away so it's so small, so manageable that all that's left is a family who loves me, a wonderful man who works hard so we can make a life for ourselves, and a job that I actually enjoy. You took all the little unimportant things and put them in their place and I can only thank you for that reminder. I may never meet you, but I'll share this and maybe it will do the same for a stranger.
    Thank you.

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  44. This is nice and all, but... I can't help thinking about some poor insecure kid at her school who hears about this and just thinks, "Oh... well, I guess I didn't make the cut."

    I mean, yeah, there's a great many reasons why she didn't ask them. Maybe she didn't run into them that day. Maybe she got distracted. But I know that, having been an insecure kid (and being a rather insecure adult) that's what I would've thought in their place.

    SGA's good, though, no question about that.

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