We asked our fantastic house model, Kristine Servais: What is beauty to you?
If you had asked me the same question 10 or even 15 years ago, I would probably have given you a much more straight forward answer. Writing this journal post I’ve had to do a lot of reflecting. What is beauty?
Growing up in the ‘90s and ‘00s my perception of beauty was tightly connected with ideals portrayed by fashion magazines. I saw beauty as an ideal represented by outer looks.
In my teenage years I chased the feeling of beauty to escape my own insecurities. I believed that if I could just achieve the goal of outer beauty, it would make me feel good and make me fit in.
Back then I thought that the feeling of beauty could be obtained by losing weight, wearing the right makeup and the right clothes. But do you know what? The new pair of jeans and the good-looking makeup rarely made me feel beautiful.
Today my perception of beauty has changed. I no longer believe that beauty is something that comes out of a tube. That doesn’t mean that I don’t enjoy putting on nice clothes or having the luxury to take my time getting ready in the morning. I very much enjoy aesthetics. But I’ve realized that I often feel beauty at times when I’m not dressed up for it.
The feeling of beauty comes when I stop focusing on the glass as being half empty. I feel beauty after meeting with friends, on a bike home, after a good talk, reading a book, seeing art, being in nature or even after exercising or doing yoga. It’s a feeling that’s not with me all the time but it isn’t based on me wearing a dress or joggers. To me beauty is the sense of inspiration, meaning and of something bigger.
Sometimes the feeling comes more naturally than others. In modern life it can be difficult to pause, breathe in and take the time to appreciate the small things in life. It can take practice and that’s okay.
Though the two are not each other’s opposites, beauty is an inner feeling rather than an outer appearance.
To a happy new year and take care,
Anne Kristine Servais Iversen
M.D., Ph.D student, Model