“I am more than what I look like, I am more than what I do.”

Before heading to work, I was able to sit down and enjoy the last of my Sunday afternoon watching a mini marathon of “Oprah’s Lifeclass.” For some of you who might not be familiar with the segment, Oprah sits and reflects on some of her best and most enlightening moments from her talk show.

Thankfully, I was able to catch her episode on the lesson of aging beautifully.

As a young girl, it became clear to Oprah that she did not fit into society’s idea of “pretty.” She was never called pretty by any of her peers until about the age of nine. She said that hearing it for the first time caused her to breakdown. She grew up defining herself in other ways, as smart, intelligent, a good speaker, etc.

Throughout her numerous interviews with beautiful TV personalities and models, Oprah felt she never received a truthful response when she asked her guests what the benefits were of being defined as a “pretty girl” by society. Long story short, Oprah received the answer she wanted in 2010 while interviewing Cybill Shepherd. And that answer was that being defined as “pretty” by society opened many doors and automatically came with privileges. Privileges that held “pretty girls” to a higher standard than other womyn. Cybill Shepherd, a former beauty queen and “it” girl of the 70s, knew that being defined as “pretty” by society contributed to many of her accomplishments. Many womyn try to uphold what society defines as “beautiful”or “pretty” but once natural processes, such as aging, take over, your definition of yourself becomes blurry.

Even though Oprah stated she understands the fear womyn face, she is blessed to never have felt the need to hold onto society’s definition of beautiful because she was never defined as such. She believes womyn need to cultivate a spiritual, meaningful life that brings you beyond the definition of “pretty.” She said it is “confusing” and “aggravating” to hear womyn lie about their age because they are blatantly denying the years that they have earned, the wisdom they have gained.

As Oprah stated, and as I also believe, there is absolutely NOTHING wrong with taking care of yourself: exercising, eating healthy, wearing makeup, dressing stylish. But, once you find yourself living to the expectations of what others, or society, chooses to define as “pretty,” it becomes as issue.

“The understanding of who you are is necessary as you get older because as you begin to lose the external attraction, it is your true responsibility to cultivate an inner attraction.” (Oprah)

**Catch Oprah’s Lifeclass weeknights at 8/7c & live on Fridays at 9/8c**

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