14 Apr The Secrets of Real Beauty – Seven Ways to Become Truly Gorgeous!
BY KARLA PONDER, M.S., LPC
“Ideal” beauty varies with time and culture. Marilyn Monroe was hailed as one of the most beautiful women of her time; but today, she would be considered twenty pounds overweight! The 17th Century beauties painted by the Baroque master Peter Paul Rubins carried at least fifty extra pounds of unexercised girth! And today’s “beauties” are often artificial—digitally edited to suit the mood of the day. But real beauty is timeless, radiating from within. So… how can you become the beautiful person everyone wants to be around?
- SMILE! You look more attractive when you look like you’re having fun! Smiling has the added benefit of sending signals from your facial muscles to your brain. This begins the release of seratonin and dopamine and other feel good chemicals. Just as with Mona Lisa, people will be intrigued and you will look beautiful!
- HONOR YOURSELF! We all have a personal history, so honor your journey. Be proud of who you are! Hold your shoulders back and chest up to exude confidence. Your straight spine announces you are “self-possessed”. The Victorians called this positive body language “deportment”, and considered it so important that ladies attended classes to get it right. Confidence is attractive!
- LOOK YOUR BEST! No, don’t strive for the artificial beauty epitomized by the media. Be your best self! Develop and own your personal style. Do you like hats? Wear them! Are boots your passion? Stomp on! If you put it together, it’s a designer outfit, and the designer is you! It says, “I’m here and I’m in charge!” If you feel like you look good, you will be beautiful.
- STAY INSIDE YOUR OWN HEAD. Do you fear speaking in public? Most do. While you’re communicating bits of information to those watching eyes, you tend to leave your own head and try to enter theirs. Is my lipstick on straight? Do I look fat in this? I sound stupid. Suddenly, you’re not communicating, you’re mind-reading. Stay in your own head, where you control your thoughts and communicate better. You will be seen as confident and self-assured. Lovely!
- BE INTERESTING! External beauty is nice to look at… briefly. But when nothing is behind the beauty, the sparkle (and the conversation) dims quickly. Interesting is attractive. When you are passionate about life and can communicate this to others, they will be drawn to you. So… read any good books lately? No? Why not? Use your mind!
- BE INTERESTED! Nothing is more attractive than your undivided attention. Use body language to show others that they matter to you. Lean forward slightly, arms uncrossed, to convey you are listening. Maintain eye contact because their words are important to you. Kindness is captivating!
- BE GRACIOUS. Accept kind words for the gifts they are. When he complimented your outfit, did you respond, “This old thing?” Negative comebacks convey low self-esteem, and make both giver and receiver uncomfortable. A simple “thank you!” sends a much better message of self-confidence and warmth. Accepting criticism may be more difficult, but grace under pressure is beautiful.
True beauty is internal and timeless. Anyone can become beautiful by developing a positive outlook and acting with confidence. Interesting, gracious, kind people attract the attention and respect of others. And isn’t that what real beauty is all about?