Nothing makes a woman more beautiful than the belief that she is beautiful.
– Sophia Loren
The best way to “be” beautiful is to feel beautiful. It doesn’t come from owning the Tiffany heart necklace, wearing foundation, having a boyfriend, or being born with symmetrical facial features. It comes from confidence, self worth, and happiness. It comes from within and radiates out!
And that takes work.
I used to joke that I would run on the treadmill with a picture of Gisele in front of me as motivation. The picture self deprecation. And delusion. There is NO WAY I could ever look like Gisele. I’m not saying that as a knock against myself. I could workout for a living (oh wait, I do) and it would never happen. She’s literally like a foot taller than me and we have completely different body types. What is natural for her is not natural for me. It took many years for me to realize that being thin and a model does not a beautiful woman make.
When I was a freshman in college, I got the flu. My first day back at classes I walked by a mirrored window and loved how thin I looked. But then I went to field hockey practice that night and couldn’t run for shit. I recognized that my body naturally gets muscled when I’m running and am active. I realized I’d much rather be fit than thin, to be able to play field hockey and go running than fit into a size smaller pants. It was a big realization for me!
Beauty is being the best possible version of yourself on the inside and out.
Comparison can breed unhappiness and insecurity. My psychology 101 professor drove this point home for me. He pointed out that there will always be someone thinner, richer, with shinier hair. The thing is to be the happiest, healthiest version of yourself possible!
I don’t workout to try and look like Gisele anymore. I don’t workout to try and attract a guy. I don’t workout to get a six pack. I workout because I like having goals for myself that I aim to meet. Because I enjoy it. Because it keeps me healthy. Because it makes me feel good.
Confidence breeds beauty. – Estee Lauder
When I feel fit, I feel confident. I’ve not only made my peace with my muscled curves, but come to love them. My quads are from skiing powder and running hills (“mountain booty” is a thing!). My butt is from all those chair poses Jamie makes us hold in yoga. My shoulders are from handstanding as much as physcially possible. My body is strong and capable, and that makes me feel beautiful.
Our moms (and dads!) told us when we were girls that it doesn’t matter what other people think as long as we’re happy with ourselves, that confidence is sexy.
As I’ve gotten older, I’m starting to see the validity of their words.
It’s really been in the last year or two I’d say I’ve gotten comfortable with who I am, and owning that. I’ve moved to places where I didn’t really know anyone. I’ve traveled alone and been in situations that are outside of my comfort zone. I’ve had my heart broken. I’ve initiated break ups because I knew something was missing. I’ve learned through being single for a long time what makes me happy and what I really want and need out of life and a partner. More importantly, I’ve learned how to make myself happy. I have a healthier relationship with food, which is totally helped by being really active and having foodie friends that are also so active. I’ve developed a complete lifestyle around being active.
It’s a daily process and hard work, not a miracle. I am lonely, but won’t settle in a relationship. I battle guilt from eating french fries, even after running a half marathon. I lecture myself about resting during injury or illness when insecurities pressure me to workout. I don’t wash my hair for a week (Literally, me last week. I just kept forgetting.). Confidence isn’t easy and isn’t a surefire thing. It takes work.
It’s taken years and still changes every day, but I’ve learned that when I feel healthy and comfortable with who I am, that’s when I feel the most beautiful.
Beauty is about enhancing what you have. Let yourself shine through!
– Janelle Monae
Taking care of yourself is the best way to feel amazing, to feel beautiful. Making sure I’m eating healthy most of the time while still treating myself. (Going a day without chocolate is absurd.) Drinking plenty of water. Working out.
You can embrace who you are wholeheartedly and still work toward something better. “Better” isn’t Gisele, it’s the best version of myself that I can be.
I’m a big believer in treating yourself. I think it’s really important. I’ve lived in the woods for a month and been the happiest I’ve ever been, so I know you don’t really need anything to be happy. I know the difference between necessities and luxuries. But treating yourself is a little borderline in my mind.
Massages, waxes, wearing jewelry, drinking nice wine. I genuinely enjoy all of those things. They make me feel good. Well, I don’t enjoy the process of the wax, but I like the by product, so I deal with it. (Though I do love my salon I go to!) That’s actually a great example. I don’t get bikini waxes because someone told me I had to to be considered beautiful. It makes me feel good (and I don’t have to deal with shaving!), so I do it.
Pedicures aren’t required to get a date, though I’m sure my yoga classes appreciate it since they end up looking at my feet a lot, and having my hair cut isn’t a pre-requisite to posting on Instagram (good thing, since I haven’t had mine cut since March). I don’t do the “grooming” thing for social norm reasons or to look beautiful, but rather I do it to feel amazing!
Feel amazing every day!
So we’ve established how important I think it is to feel amazing in order to feel beautiful. So what now? How to feel amazing?
- Sweat. Who doesn’t feel amazing after a good sweat session? There’s a reason I don’t mind going on dates after a run or a yoga class. Seriously I do that. And a big part of it is that a guy who is going to like me or date me is going to have to be ok with being around me when I’m sweaty. But I also like how I look after a sweat: pink cheeks, messy top knot, glistening skin.
- Eating healthy on a regular basis is SO important. Keep the belly and innards happy!
- But don’t forget to treat yo self! French fries and ice cream are pure happiness. What fun is it to eat healthy all the time if you can’t indulge every now and then…
- Drink healthy! Health doesn’t stop with food. Drinking plenty of water and limiting caffeine and alcohol intake are good guidelines to follow.
- Drink beauty! Add in Amazing Grass’s Beauty Elixir to your next smoothie or glass of water.This elixir is an herb blend containing chaga, hibiscus flower, Indian gooseberry (amla fruit), aloe vera, maqui, yumberry, camu camu, lucuma and blueberry juice with 100 percent DV plant-based biotin to support radiant skin, nails and hair! Get your glow on! Get 40% off Amazing Grass products with the code sweatpink2017!
- Sleep! It’s called beauty sleep for a reason…
- Take care of your skin. Wear sunscreen, hats, and sunglasses, Wash your face before bed every night and put on moisturizer. And exfoliate.
- Treat yo self! Get that massage, get your nails did, take yoga. Don’t hesitate to pamper yourself a little. Mud bath, anyone?…
- Laugh every day. Nothing’s more beautiful that a big, unfiltered laugh.
- Be you, be authentic, and absolutely own it!
- Inner beauty is great, but a little mascara never hurt. I will admit, I rarely leave my house without mascara. It’s the only bit of makeup I use on a daily basis. But again, I do it because I like how I feel when I wear it. I wear it for me.
The happier you are, the more beautiful you become. – Lorna Jane
A few years ago there was a challenge to select 5 photos of yourself that you think are beautiful. Some of them are from professional yoga photoshoots, one is a candid of a gregarious laugh at my friend’s wedding. One is classic beach life: covered in sand, salt, and sunscreen, no makeup, and big ole smile. In all of them you can tell how happy I am, how good I feel, and I think that’s what makes it beautiful.
What do you do to feel beautiful? When do you feel the most beautiful?
In partnership with Amazing Grass. Thanks to all the brands that help us feel healthy, amazing, and beautiful!