audrey-hepburn quote

Yes…I think “beauty can come from within”, however, it also bodes the question, is it only coming from within? Is it the intrinsic beauty that relies on personality or the extrinsic beauty that is dependent on someone’s physical appearance, such as hair, face, body type, etc.? The real question is, how do we determine the true essence of ourselves or someone else? Despite being told that it’s wrong to judge someone by their looks, I think the answer depends on both aspects of beauty. “Don’t judge a book by its cover” is a myopic point of view. The entire book should be examined to determine it’s worth.

I watched a video from a company that claims to be founded on the principles of inspiring people to live their best life, which I completely support and is the insight that I hope my writings provide. However, I found it interesting that the message was coming from a gal who was discussing and rating skin care products, and therefore, the value of outer beauty. She was without a stitch of makeup (which is very brave) but still sending a message that we NEED to look good on the outside by promoting products that create younger looking skin. It’s simply a matter of fact, that despite how “natural” one wants to be, there is value to our appearances.

Will the need for skin care and makeup tutorials ever end? Will the fallacious message that beauty only comes from the inside ever be completely true? I doubt it… I LOVE makeup and skin care products that can enhance my physical looks. Does that make me shallow or not beautiful on the inside?

What I’ve observed, is that someone’s perceived outer beauty will be affected as soon as they reveal their inner-self. Ultimately, their true selves show up and their outer beauty will either brighten or diminish.

For those of you who wholeheartedly believe that we should rely solely on inner beauty, ask yourself how you feel when you have a good hair day or receive a compliment about how you look. Could caring about appearances possibly give you a little extra pep in your step? It’s a bit more motivating to go to the Gym when I love my workout outfit and apply a little mascara. Does it matter that I am aiding my intrinsic beauty by wrapping myself up in a prettier package? What I know for sure, is that feeling shame for a bit of vanity is not warranted.

This also reminded me of a discussion I had with my adorable husband. We debated about plastic surgery and whether going under the knife was beneficial to someone’s self-esteem. What is the standard for “growing old gracefully?” Is it acceptance of your face getting wrinkled? I quickly pointed out that there is a double standard for men getting older. A man looks “distinguished” with gray hair while women look “old”. A man looks masculine and mature with wrinkles and a woman looks “exhausted”. How can our inner beauty fight the reality of how women are perceived by others and themselves? Sadly, the standards of how women should look are exponentially higher with photo shop, filters, social media and trying to keep up with the 0% of the population that was born with perfect genes.

I believe that this reality can be used as an excuse not to maintain our outer beauty. I’ve heard that it’s too damn hard to try and look good or keep up with society’s standards of beauty. As with most everything in life, “hard” should not be an excuse. I try and find a balance of both, and truthfully, it typically comes down to who am I trying to impress? Our intentions of what we choose to wear or how we speak also plays an important role in determining our true over-all beauty.

Despite, my quips about a good hair day or fabulous shoes, I believe that inner beauty is created by a strong self-esteem, developed from ongoing personal accomplishments, and surrounding ourselves with loving and positive people.

There are many times when a great hair style or outfit doesn’t solve the inner struggles. This typically happens when I feel intimidated. Sometimes meeting new people or not knowing anyone at a party creates this self doubt. I’ve learned that when I dip into my back pocket of accomplishments, my insecure feelings seem to lessen. Maybe the combination of caring about my appearance, and trusting what I have to offer on the inside, makes a complete beauty?

Here’s the love

There needs to be a balance of inner and outer beauty, so they can work harmoniously to create the best possible version of ourselves.

 

Jules With Love small