By Elma B.
You often hear about beauty, what it means and what you are supposed to look like to be beautiful. Let me clarify, what beauty means in the Western part of the world differs immensely form let's say Asia and Africa. (To find out about beauty standards across the world, click here.) Beauty standards are created by the fashion and the cosmetics industries because as you have seen what was once considered the epitome of a bombshell, e.g., Marilyn Monroe, is now considered chubby (and dare I say even "fat").
What do you do when you are constantly bombarded by commercials of extra fit women (by the way, they do this for a living, i.e., their livelihood depends on how toned they are) and women with skin smoother than a baby's bottom (by the way, there is countless of layering in photoshop to achieve this effect)? I recommend not absorbing fashion or beauty product commercials like a sponge and making a list of what it means to be beautiful to YOU.
Why let others set standards of what you are supposed to look like to be beautiful? Create your own standard of beauty and to decide what being beautiful means to you. After all what is on the outside is very often a reflection of what is in the inside. Here are 3 questions you should ask yourself...
How To Feel Beautiful in Your Own Skin:
1. If beauty is kindness, then be kind. Go to a local animal shelter or a homeless shelter and see the difference your helping hand can make. Consider beauty icons like Audrey Hepburn and Angelina Jolie, part of what made/makes them beautiful is their heart of gold.
2. If being beautiful is being fit, then go to the gym. I have a great metabolism but I am still working my behind off almost everyday of the week. I wakeup around 7am, and as soon as my feet hit the ground, my running shoes are on and I either go for a jog or sweat it out in the gym. We are creatures of habit, so whatever you do consistently turns into a simple routine.
3. If being beautiful is being happy, then go after what makes you smile. Whatever gives you a glow (positive people, work, or a new hairstyle), go out and do it more often, after all, we only have one life to live.
The point is your everyday decisions shape your life, it's only up to you to make the right ones. Make choices that you think are right for you, and keep moving. Einstein said: "Life is like riding a bike. To keep your balance, you must keep moving." Until next time stay mindful and beautiful. (More how to develop your inner beauty, here.) Xoxo.
(p.s. For the fashionistas, my outfit dissected: sunglasses by Prada, shirt and shorts from Zara; sandals by Fendi; and lip stick by 100% vegan and cruelty-free Lip Tarr.)