Celebrating Beautiful: The Beauty of Diversity

Major thanks to Courtney Westlake for offering up some real estate on her blog for a guest post today!

{Celebrating Beautiful} The Beauty of Diversity: a guest post by Megan Nilsen

In blogging for the last 2.5 years, I’ve written about many different topics, but one theme that has remained constant has been my focus of sharing about how our family is discovering the beauty in difference and choosing to celebrate the incredible beauty all around us, and how we want to encourage others to do the same. After connecting with and reading about so many amazing people and families doing so many amazing things, I’ve decided to start a guest blog series called Celebrating Beautiful, as it relates to beauty however it can be interpreted: motherhood, faith, your kids, an experience, home, and so much more.

I met Megan through our mutual friend Courtney at the She Speaks conference, and since Courtney was one of the conference presenters and tied up with other things, Megan and I decided to grab dinner on the night we arrived in North Carolina within 15 minutes of meeting. Over Mexican, we dove deep into each other’s lives and completely connected, and were practically inseparable the rest of the conference 🙂 She has an amazing story to share, and I’m so glad to know her.
Here is Megan Nilsen on Celebrating Beautiful…

“Though we travel the world over to find the beautiful, we must carry it with us or we find it not.”
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

I may be just the teensiest bit biased, but I believe Ethiopian people are some of the most physically beautiful people on the entire planet.

Wouldn’t you know, two of those people just happen to be living under my roof?!

Our two youngest kids are Ethiopian-born cuties who boast silky chocolate-brown skin, liquid-black eyes and 1000-watt smiles that melt even the most stoic of hearts.

And yet, they don’t necessarily think of themselves as “beautiful.” Ugh.

Mostly because (oh how this breaks my heart to say it!) we live in a predominantly white community and my kids feel different. And somehow, the unwritten code woven into the fabric of human society for centuries is that “different” is not always “desirable.”

That somehow different does not mean beautiful.

This counterfeit notion is never more present than in the strict, socially-ordered confines of adolescence. Somewhere after the age of five and before the age of, say… thirty-five, many of us fall into the trap of comparing ourselves to others. We want to walk like they walk, talk like they talk, dress like they dress. Because, if “everyone is doing it” then it must be right.

The key is to blend in – not to stand out. Same is good. Different is weird – intriguing, but much too risky.

Granted, there are some kids who unapologetically march to the beat of their own drum straight out of the womb. But for most of us (me being one) this is not the case.

Read the rest here…

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