Lately, I’ve seen a lot of “the difference between” articles. The difference between the people you date and the person you marry, the difference between someone who is beautiful and someone who is hot — the list never ends. I’ve read a lot of these articles and, while I’ve understood many of the points they make, I’ve often felt that I qualify as both ends of the argument.
There are qualities I possess that make me every parent’s dream daughter-in-law — I’m motivated, educated and determined to make something of myself -- but I’ve also danced atop many bars upon finishing finals.
A problem with these articles is that they force us to put ourselves in a box. They force us to ask ourselves which of two polar ideas we are without realizing we possess the ability to be both.
I actually loved the recent post about the difference between being beautiful and being hot. I loved that it supported women being loved and accepted in their own skin and that it exposed problems with a lot of current beauty trends.
We live in a world where we strive to meet unattainable image standards, surrounded by Photoshopped models and a constant internal struggle to fit in a cookie-cutter mold on which no woman should ever waste her energy.
I loved the points about men viewing women as beautiful rather than hot, but I couldn’t help but wonder if it’s so bad to want to feel hot every now and again. Not for the approval of someone else or to keep up with the latest trends, but simply because sometimes, it feels good to feel hot.
This got me thinking about whether or not I have to choose one or the other. Just like all of the other “difference between” articles, I feel as though it forces you to put yourself in one category or another. Decide not to shove yourself into a box and realize that you can have it all.
The truth is, you are both beautiful and hot. You can be hot anytime you want to be. We use celebrities, models and the popular girl in our Spanish class to define “hot” at the moment. Hot is a night out on the town with your ladies, wearing heels as tall as your hair is long and a dress that fits perfectly. Hot is knowing your best angle for a picture, using a filter because it makes you look tan and holding eye contact extra long with the cute guy across the bar.
As much as those things don’t define you or create anything more than an image, we all do them and I don’t consider it a negative thing. Sometimes a night of dancing makes you feel alive, and sometimes the perfect picture is the confidence boost you needed to get your groove back.
We all have moments when we want to feel hot: after a breakup, on a girl’s weekend in Vegas, or maybe even after watching the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show. Hot is an image and it usually fades or changes with the season or ends up being something you look back on and say, “What was I thinking?”
“Beautiful” is a state over which you have no control. It’s something that happens when you least expect it. It is the look in your eyes when you find something about which you are passionate, or tell someone you love him or her, or hear a song that gives you goosebumps.
Beautiful is your face in the morning without makeup or lipstick or hair extensions. Beautiful is being there for your friends when they need you most, chasing dreams that scare the hell out of you and taking chances even though you might fail.
Hot is trying to cover up your flaws, while beautiful is loving yourself unconditionally, no matter how flawed you may be. In fact, your flaws probably contribute to your beauty.
Hot is adding more; beauty is peeling back the layers.
Hot is on the outside; beauty stems from within.
Anyone can purchase hot; beauty is priceless.
Hot is however you define it; beauty is what you already are.
There’s nothing wrong with having moments in your life when you want to be hot. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to feel confident in your own skin, or working hard to achieve a physical goal or feeling sexy while wearing red lipstick.
However, promise yourself that you won’t focus so much on being hot that you fail to see how beautiful you already are. The secret to figuring out whether you are hot or beautiful is realizing that you are already both.
Photo via We Heart It