The truth about your relationship with beauty
The truth about your relationship with beauty
How to use your thoughts to transform your skin
Confucius once said that everything has beauty, but not everyone sees it. In that case, it could easily be argued that everyone has beauty too. The definition of what is beautiful has been shaped and – dare we say – warped over centuries. Every culture has its own standard of what the epitome of beauty looks like, and beyond that, each person has their own ideals based on historical, cultural, and societal influence. By the time we’re teenagers, we know what beautiful ‘should be’, and we struggle to find ourselves within that definition.
Enter make-up, fashion, haircare, and skincare. The endless hunt for beauty begins, and we start covering up the parts of ourselves we considered flawed, and piling products on top of the parts we’ve deemed acceptable to accentuate.
Just when it seems we’re getting close to reaching that definition of beautiful, our skin breaks out, or we notice a few new wrinkles, or someone says something to us that we interpret as a hit to our physical appearance, and we’re back at square one. We chastise ourselves for failing, and the hunt continues.
But, where does it end?
It’s easy to take a step back and blame consumerism, marketing, and media for your never-ending search for beauty, because yes, they do play into those unrealistic societal standards, but the truth is the worst of it comes from a source much closer to home. Your own abusive thoughts and negative self-talk play the biggest role in this toxic relationship with your own beauty.
When you wake up in the morning and look at yourself in the mirror and think, “yuck! Nope, you won’t do”, you are actively playing into the madness and hurting yourself worse than any advertisement or marketing campaign could.
The truth is, you end up being your own worst enemy when it comes to beauty. Believe it or not, your mental wellness plays the biggest role in your relationship with your physical beauty.
Stress, anxiety, fatigue, poor sleep, burnout, unhappiness – you name it – affects your physical appearance. From inflammation, to collagen depletion, to breakouts, internal factors take a toll on your skin. This then affects how you feel about your appearance, which causes more stress and dissatisfaction. This vicious cycle is perpetuated solely by your thoughts.
That’s the bad news, but the good news is that you have full control over those thoughts. Our minds are incredibly powerful and have the ability to build us up or tear us down at a moments notice. Though it’s not an easy feat, when you harness and wield that power to your advantage, you can quite literally transform your life, including your relationship with your physical appearance.
So, where do you begin?
Here are three insanely simple tools you can use to transform your definition of beautiful to include yourself.
Affirmations can simply be described as an empowering sentence or ‘I am’ statement that you repeat on a regular basis and that can be incorporated into your morning routine. Using an affirmation such as ‘I am beautiful’ will make a dramatic affect on how you see yourself, overtime. As with most tools, consistency is key. You can’t state that you are beautiful once (especially if you don’t believe it) and expect things to change. You need to work through the uncomfortable parts and the humiliation, the fear, and the imposter syndrome until that face looking back at you in the mirror starts to look a little different.
2) Cat Walk
The idea is to imagine yourself on a catwalk every time you leave the house. Now, this doesn’t mean walking like a caricature of a supermodel. It means holding your head high, pushing your shoulders back, and walking like the world is watching (and loving) you. It will feel funny at first, and some people may ask why you’re walking differently, but stay committed and before you know it that powerful walk will be your norm. Much like with power poses, how you carry yourself has powerful psychological effects. When you roll your shoulders back, stick out your chest, and hold your head high, your body and mind acknowledge that power, interpret it as reality, and flood you with a feeling of confidence.
3) Three weeks of recognition
Whether you are able to see and embrace your innate beauty or not, you should be able to find three things about your physical appearance that you love and believe are beautiful. Commit to focusing on one attribute per week for three weeks. Choose things that mean something to you, like your eyes or hair or nose – the bolder the better. When you wake up, look at that week’s selected attribute and say out loud ‘I have a beautiful ____’, and repeat it again before you go to bed. You can choose more than three things, but commit to three things to start and give each one a full week of attention before you move on to the next thing.
Transforming your own definition of beautiful to include yourself is not an easy process. When you’re deep in the work, it is natural to face a lot of backlash, not only from your ego, but from others around you. Those setbacks are part of the process, and help you develop the mental strength and resilience necessary for transformation to occur. Stay committed, make your self-care a priority, upgrade your nutrition to keep your energy up and your mind clear, and lean on the people in your life who build you up!
Finally, if you take anything away from this article let it be this: beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and guess what? You are that beholder, so behold your own exquisite beauty!