I have always been fascinated with beauty. I am attracted to beautiful people, I like to surround myself with beauty at home. I like to read, learn and talk about beauty. I admire beautiful women… (my friends happen to be gorgeous, by the way). To put it in simple terms: beauty is what I require in my life. But until relatively recently, I did not allow myself to be beautiful, I mean truly unapologetically beautiful.
It is the first time I share my views on beauty publicly. I have often felt that this is somewhat of a taboo subject, surrounded by many judgements and opinions. I myself had many judgements and fears around beauty. On many occasions, I witnessed how beauty was being mistaken it for vanity, lack of internal depth, arrogance, emptiness, unattainable standard gifted to a privileged few, especially when it comes to female beauty, and I allowed these opinions to influence me to treat beauty with caution. Who wants to be any of those things?
I tried to adjust to different society’s views on beauty as I changed countries. The more opinions I heard, the more confusing it got.
One thing I learned is that it makes little difference what people think about me, what I feel inside was so much more important. There were periods in my life when people considered me pretty and attractive, and surely that felt good for my ego, but I didn’t feel beautiful, so none of it mattered.
When I began to allow myself to be who I really am, regardless of the external opinion (good or bad), I began to feel more beautiful. And then came the guilt. Beautiful women are often said to be lucky, life is just so much easier for them. Who was I to allow myself to be lucky and allow things to be easy for me when other people have to work hard? But the biggest block of all was the fear of being seen as arrogant if I allowed myself to be and to feel beautiful, especially around other women.
I am sharing this because I know there are many women out there who experience at least some sort of struggle with beauty too. I learned that many of the beautiful women out there “dim their light” because they feel guilty that they haven’t done anything to deserve being “lucky” or “special” and because they don’t want to not be liked by others. I learned that a small percentage of women feel truly beautiful, regardless of what others see in them. I now truly believe that every woman can be beautiful if she only allows herself to be beautiful and truly loves herself.
I decided to find out why something so amazing causes us so much pain. I decided to let go of all my pre-conceived notions and learn afresh about beauty. I went to art galleries, fashion talks, talked to a famous fashion illustrator, talked to women and men in my life, did research. I don’t yet know everything there is to know about beauty. What I do know is that true beauty is magnetic, deep, open, authentic, vulnerable, strong. True beauty is never only external. Beauty is an essential part of our existence, it is part of nature. The beauty I am talking about here is not some manufactured standards or a perfect fairy tale ending. It does not fade, it changes form. It does not stop existing when society and media adopt a new set of standards. Female beauty standards change every 10-20 years. Who would want to keep up?
Beauty does not equal perfection. True beauty is real, unique, a magnetic external expression of the internal.
Patrick Morgan, a renowned fashion illustrator who has worked with top fashion designer houses, such as Tom Ford and Chanel, told me at his solo show in March that he is much more interested in the real face of fashion – what happens backstage, behind the scenes, who the iconic designers and models are as real people. Being real is what makes them beautiful and attractive, not “the clinical end result”. What Patrick said really resonated with me
“Beauty is in reality, fairy tale ending is boring”
More recently, I heard the king of glamour, iconic designer Valentino Garavani, sharing at the Vogue Festival in London that an elegant beautiful woman is “down to earth” (I hear “real”). As a designer of some of the world’s most gorgeous dresses, he believes that “a woman has to lead, not her dress…”
Could we as women allow ourselves to release all judgements and fears and feel beautiful?
I have recently made a choice for myself to allow myself to be beautiful (understanding that saying this publicly may invite all kinds of judgement). My life already has more joy, pleasure and beauty in it, as a result. I encourage you too to consider allowing yourself to be beautiful and allowing yourself to be seen in your beauty, despite all fears and judgements.
1. Make a choice to be beautiful today, now.
Whether or not to be beautiful is a decision only you can make. Only you can choose how you feel inside. When we accept our (inner and outer) beauty, we can stop seeking external approval and begin to feel good.
2. Spend some time looking at your own reflection in the mirror and notice lovingly every curve, every feature. Tell them you they are beautiful and that you love them.
3. Connect with your inner beauty by looking yourself in the eyes in the mirror.
You will be amazed how powerful this is. Have you noticed that when we look someone in the eyes, we don’t see anything else but their beauty. Why not gift the same experience with yourself to yourself?
4. Do something that brings you pleasure.
I like to buy myself flowers, dance to my favourite music or go for a walk in the park. What brings you pleasure? When was the last time you did it?
5. Allow yourself to be visible.
Wear a dress that makes you feel beautiful, put on a bright scarf, wear new make up if it calls you or, if you want to really embrace visibility, consider booking a photoshoot, as I did recently in San Francisco. However you choose to be visible, remember visibility and beauty is a state of mind before anything else. You are leading, not your outfit to rephrase Valentino.
6. Tell someone they are beautiful, do it openly and sincerely.
Last week in California I told one very beautiful woman how gorgeous she was. It was an amazing experience that made me realise the more I can appreciate beauty in others, the more I am able to appreciate it in me.
Ready to allow yourself to own your real beauty and step into a new level of confidence and visibility? Join me on a free discovery session here.