Being Vulnerable is Actually Beautiful
By: Ashley Johnson
The most beautiful people aren’t those who always come across as confident, successful and put together. True beauty can be found in the moments when a long day finally gets the best of you and you allow yourself to have a full-on breakdown. True beauty is admitting you made a mistake and accepting the fallout. True beauty lies in the moments when you embrace your faults and accept the fact that you’ll never fully live up to other’s standards. Because letting yourself be vulnerable is just as hard as achieving the perfect winged eyeliner or molding your body to fit into a size two.
Being strong is a trait many cultures find to be invaluable, teaching people from a young age that being ambitious, smart and untouchable will bring you the most success in life. I can’t even begin to list out the number of times I was told by teachers, managers or even my parents that being “weak” is unacceptable and that sometimes you just have to “suck it up.” But how can you ever know the true meaning of strength if you’ve never known what it’s like to be completely broken? Perfection has never been, and will never be a societal norm, so why are we always trying our hardest to make others believe that we are indeed, perfect? Because sometimes, or most times, it’s terrifying to embrace our weaknesses.
Before you can truly find your strength, it’s important to understand the meaning of vulnerability. Webster’s Dictionary describes vulnerability as "the quality or state of being exposed to the possibility of being attacked or harmed, either physically or emotionally." What the English dictionary can’t tell you, is the ways in which embracing that vulnerability will improve your life.
Beautiful relationships and powerful love are rooted in people’s ability to let their walls down. You’ll never make a lasting connection with anyone if you’re unwilling to open up about your fears and the things that keep you up at night — small talk and binging the latest buzzworthy Netflix series can only go so far when it comes to finding the people you want to spend your life with. Love and pain go hand-in-hand and finding a love worthy of your time and energy is only possible when you let someone in on your faults and all the things that make you truly beautiful.
Going after what you’re truly passionate about comes with a lot of self-doubts and the potential for failure. Ever wonder why people don’t go after their dreams and feel complacent with their lives? Sure, being a bank teller may give you the steady income you’ve always hoped for but are you excited about the day when you wake up? It’s not easy to chase a dream and finding success in the things you love doing means facing failure — but if you can say you love what you do at the end of the day, isn’t it worth it? Allowing yourself to be vulnerable in the face of adversity will give you the strength to achieve the things you’ve always wanted. Take it from me, I’m pursuing a successful career as a writer — my list of failures is already a mile long at 23.
Whether you choose to show your vulnerable side to those around you or keep it to yourself, you’ll find allowing vulnerability in your life will only make you a better and stronger person. Life isn’t easy, and it comes with a lot of struggle but when you allow yourself to truly examine the things that make you feel your weakest, you’ll find that the solutions to your problems become a lot clearer. To me, true beauty can be found in life’s most turbulent moments, the moments that make you want to give it all up. The most beautiful people know when to ask for help. They know it’s OK to admit to your mistakes and most of all, they know vulnerability is a part of life worth embracing.
Ashley Johnson is the managing editor of She Reads by day and an aspiring novelist by night. Blogging her way through college, Ashley graduated Northern Arizona University with a degree in English in 2017. When she’s not catching up on the best new reads from her favorite publishers, she can be found taking naps with her four loyal chihuahuas and claiming her rightful title of “VIB Rouge” at Sephora.