It doesn’t matter what she looks like. 
Nor her plumes 
Not her shape, nor even her size. 
Her age irrelevant her skin unrealised
When she looks eye to eye and speaks her beauty blooms!
For once her petals open it is discovered 
Woman blossoms when she feels beloved.

– Manly, Australia.

I wrote this poem about an American woman I met on a dive off a beach near Manly. She was there with her elderly father, who accompanied her on a holiday she was clearly excited about.

The popular standard of beauty is pervasive and grips us all. I am not free of it, even though I actively reject it. Even though I know beauty is subjective, and what counts as beautiful had shifted many times across time and space.

So I noticed with my first impression that – by the standards of our time – she would not do well.

But then, she smiled. And she spoke. And almost immediately, not a single one of those measures mattered any more. She felt so beautiful.

Of course all of us who resist being shallow people know this is a truth. When you can see with your feelings, what the eyes see is adjusted by the brain. But personally, that was the quickest, clearest pivot the cultural beauty programming had ever made in my mind. So it was memorable.

Observing her, and her father, I realised why she commanded beauty. Deep down from my own experience as a woman, I knew my epiphany to be true.

She is a woman who is loved – and she believes it.

A woman becomes beautiful when she is loved | 'Her Beauty Blooms!' travel poetry on Teja on the Horizon

6 Responses

  1. Iza Abao says:

    This poem is perfect. I used to seek the acceptance of others but after a while, I did not care anymore. There is so much beauty in all of us and we just need to embrace it.

    • Teja says:

      I hit that stage sometime in recent years. Just didn’t care anymore, what people want to think. It feels much better doesn’t it? Even better – I somehow also then look younger, and got fitter and healthier, than my age group. I’m sure your body responds to what you believe about yourself.

  2. Linda says:

    I love this poem! you are very talented! I’ll keep this in mind.

  3. Gina says:

    This poem really stuck out to me. My mom always said beauty is skin deep and some people may be super ugly, but when they have all the confidence in the world, they become super attractive. The fact she was there with her elderly father shows how much she loves him and that beauty totally shines.

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