What Makes You Feel Beautiful?

This is a question I decided to ask a few of my female friends to see what would come of it. It ended up bringing up more questions than answers. The differences between sexy, pretty and beautiful? Feeling beautiful on the inside or on the outside?

Admittedly I sort of anticipated it but wanted to ask it in that fashion anyways to allow room for creativity.

I recently watched an old episode of the ABC show Ugly Betty that ended a few years ago. It was Episode 11 from Season 1 called “Swag.” The closet clean out at the fashion magazine Betty works for had the “It” bag she was given by her seamstress friend Christina who is in charge of the closet there. It had reminded Betty of the bag her late mother used to have when Betty was a little girl that she was permitted to carry around crayons in. She said her mother gave it to her because she knew how it would make her feel – she felt beautiful carrying it around.

To other people working at the fashion magazine, the purse had a superficial value of status but to Betty, there was a sentimental value associated with the purse. You could argue the same about anything else that might seem superficial but may mean much more than that to someone whether it’s your favorite shade of go-to-lipstick that brings you out of your rut after you’ve been dumped by the love of your life or the pair of heels that give you a sense of confidence like being on the runway before you have to head in for the interview that make your palms sweat.

A lot of ladies I asked named activities such as dancing or exercising. It certainly helps to keep oneself in physical shape to exercise but I completely agree about how it also makes me feel to exert myself physically and get the endorphins going. I feel the same way about going in and getting my monthly facials – it helps to keep my pores clean and all but simply letting myself enjoy the sensation of relaxing and enjoy being pampered, knowing that I am making time for myself is a reminder that I am a worthy woman.

I don’t wear makeup on a day-to-day basis to cover up my facials-worthy skin. And likewise, I relish wearing luxurious panties made in the allover stretch fashion of Cosabella or Hanky Panky underwear underneath whatever other clothing I am wearing that day. As Steve Jobs believed in making everything look good including the parts you cannot see, I believe that being/feeling beautiful comes in intricate layers from underneath the skin –> skin –> over the skin but underneath the clothes –> clothes –> accessories, etc. etc.

So anything superficial in relation to the skin might seem “superficial” in that it might seem less important but I believe that whatever lies underneath the layer is a reflection of the other layers and vise versa.

I would say that if do not want to feel judged for your looks that I highly recommend not to ever pursuing modeling as a career. However, as a model or not — the reality for myself and everyone else out there is that people will make judgements about you no matter what you look like.

I recently watched an interview of actress Bryce Dallas Howard with Marie Forleo and she said that her grandmother had told her that the statistics for an average working actor landing an acting gig is 1 out of every 64 auditions.Whether it’s that modeling gig that you didn’t get or being dumped by that guy you’ve been in love with forever, rejection hurts and it might even make you feel less beautiful or desirable in that moment. But the truth is you were just as beautiful before you got that rejection and getting that rejection didn’t magically make your nose bigger or your breasts smaller.

Like any other emotions we experience, there are days when we might feel extra beautiful or less beautiful than other days. And even though we tell ourselves not to compare ourselves to others, we all do it inevitably at times. Rather than trying to punish ourselves more than the misery we already feel in that moment by telling ourselves we’re not allowed to feel that way, I say accept how you feel in that moment. But do something to feel just even a little more beautiful. Take a shower and wash off the sweat and tears. Go and enjoy a manicure/pedicure.

And you don’t have to wait for someone else to tell you that you’re beautiful. Why not be the person who tells someone else that they’re beautiful? And just because someone else compliments you on how you look, you don’t have to feel obligated to return the compliment right then. Do that dance to rejoice if you want to. Or blush and add a beautiful color to those cheeks of yours. Smile, express your gratitude for the compliment and take a moment to appreciate the beauty that is you.

-M

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