Behind the Scenes

Story by Leanne Power        Illustrations by Jared MacPherson

You Are Sooooo Beautiful poured from my heart faster than I could type. It’s based on a true story: the story of my own recognition of what true beauty means.

I’m an achiever. I’m intelligent. I grew up an honour student. I’m athletic. I’m intense. I’m competitive. I’ve won countless athletic awards, competitions and medals. I’m a leader. I’m successful. I’m an entrepreneur and now a “mompreneur.” I set goals. I’m never idle. I have confidence. I believe in myself and always have.

But for almost my whole life, I never felt beautiful—even though I was repeatedly told I was.

You see, high self-esteem does not always go hand in hand with the feeling and perception of beauty. Too much of our understanding of what is beautiful is tied to a definition of physical beauty set by the media. Achievements, confidence, popularity, independence, success and goal setting are all part of high self-esteem. But there are millions of people walking around with high self-esteem who still do not feel beautiful, because their body image doesn’t correspond to media images of physical beauty.

My own lifelong struggle with body image came to a halt in an intense moment when I finally scraped away layer upon layer of social conditioning and connected with my inner child, the most beautiful, pure and true form of me. And in that moment, I asked the joyful, free little girl inside me for forgiveness—forgiveness for not allowing her to be. For not allowing myself to be.

From that moment on, I vowed to honour, embrace and be true to my own beauty and the gifts that I bring to the world. And the very act of recognizing my beauty makes it shine. When I feel beautiful, the feeling radiates from me physically.

We need a clear and healthy definition of true beauty to link our awareness of our own unique qualities, both internal and external, and our sense of how beautiful those qualities make us.

Since my own awakening, I have not gone a day without teaching the children in my life about the beauty that radiates from them because of who they are. I am dedicated to and passionate about encouraging children and adults alike to embrace who they are in their hearts, setting their true beauty free. It is fascinating and amazing to see the results.

Let’s join together in spreading the message of true beauty, one child at a time, one inner child at a time.