We have all seen her.
She is the woman who waltzes into the room, completely at ease with herself. She is dressed comfortably. She does not have stitch of makeup on her face, or even an expensive haircut.
And yet, she looks absolutely stunning—because she feels stunning.
How did she get that way? What did she tap into in herself to feel so beautiful and radiate it outward like that?
For all of us, the journey to feeling beautiful in our own skin is personal and unique. We all have different ways to get there.
In my own journey to feeling beautiful in my own skin, I have learned a few lessons that have become major milestones for me. All these milestones helped me spend more moments feeling beautiful.
Here’s just a bit of what I learned…
Develop your own beauty standard—for yourself.
From the time we can speak, we’re inundated with messages about what a “beautiful woman” looks like.
Magazines, advertising, media—even sometimes our own family and friends—fill us with messages that reinforce a standardized, unrealistic image of what a “beautiful woman” should be.
It takes practice and perspective to break free of those messages—to recognize that they’re not the truth. They’re just ideas invented by advertisers who are trying to make us feel lacking so they can sell us products.
That “unlearning” is important.
For me, I’ve found it easier to let go of all those false standards when I have something to replace them with, that I created myself. I developed my own image of what I consider “beautiful” for me. It’s a healthy, nourishing, and realistic view of what my own beauty standard is.
For example, I feel beautiful when I’m dancing or exercising regularly, because it makes me feel strong and energetic, and it makes my skin glow. I feel beautiful when my skin feels nourished and supple, and I take the time to use a really good moisturizer. I feel beautiful when I’ve been drinking enough water (I can see the difference in my skin!) and eating lots of fruits and veggies.
I don’t beat myself up if I’m not doing those things, of course, and I’m not perfectionistic about my standards. But knowing what my own standard is—and defining it healthily, in relation to who I am—helps me feel beautiful more often than not.
Look for things to appreciate.
We all have features that aren’t our favorite.
Maybe you have a mole you don’t love, or a cowlick, or you haven’t fallen in love with your dark circles. But even if you have aspects of yourself that you don’t care for (yet), chances are you also have features you appreciate.
Maybe you love your smile or the shape of your lips. Maybe you appreciate your curves, or your collarbones. Maybe it’s your eyes.
For me, the simple act of looking in the mirror and choosing to pay attention to what I appreciate totally transforms the way I feel.
See what happens if you experiment with taking an extra minute at the mirror to pick out something you like about your appearance and give it a little appreciation and attention.
Don’t forget to accentuate.
Just because we’re trying to embrace our natural beauty doesn’t mean we can’t adorn and decorate!
Maybe it’s a favorite pair of earrings, or a sumptuous silk scarf. My girlfriend has a gorgeous necklace that she puts on every time she wants to feel a little “extra.” I have a favorite pair of jeans that always make me feel great.
Sometimes, just taking the time to give yourself that little bit of extra, that little bit of care, is enough to put us back in touch with our own beauty.
What do you do to feel more beautiful in your own skin? Let us know in the comments below!