Appearance: Does my inside match my outside?
Many of us spend hours and much of our hard earned money on creating our appearance the way we want others to see us. Clothes, make-up, hairstyling; it is all part of a picture we choose to present to the world. But really, what you wear and look like today is not going to matter in a year and in ten years even less so. Unless it is a major event that is going to get captured on film you will probably never even remember how you looked and the time it took to create that image.
Am I beautiful on the inside?
So why do we spend so much time on making ourselves beautiful?
The first and most obvious answer is confidence. Knowing you look good and are presenting an image to the world that is accepted by others will give you that confidence to shine – even when you are full of self-doubt or low esteem.
This links to the second reason, which is our basic need to be accepted by others and to conform and fit into a measurement of how people should look and behave.
For some, it is a part of an overall expectation for the role they undertake in life. Many who work in the hospitality industry are expected to have impeccable presentation that conforms to a company standard, in some cases, this even dictating the shade of makeup and the style of your hair.
Appearance changes over time
So why then is it that some people then can throw on whatever clothes they grab haphazardly, look like they forgot to brush their hair and still look amazing? These are the people that are truly comfortable in their own skin. The people that often you can see the beauty shine from deep within them no matter what the outside packaging looks like. These are the people that draw others in, the ones you want to befriend or sit next to on the train, just to see if you can absorb some of that light they shine out to the world.
The trends and times change and what was beautiful and what everyone aspired to in the 50’s or 60’s is not what we would classify as the same beauty today. Look at the Barbie doll for example, no longer is the Barbie and Ken figures what we would think of as a portrait of something we would wish to re-create for ourselves.
Most of us would like to be thought of by others as kind, caring, successful or intelligent. When you are seeking a life partner a good sense of humour, being trustworthy or reliable may be the traits we think of. Reflect though on how important good looks and image is part of both of these things for you. Would you want an ugly partner even if they had all the other personality traits you desire? You probably would not have even gone on the first date with this person if you did not think of them as somewhat attractive. Research has shown that attractiveness is more important to most people than other character traits when making assertions about them. “I would be much happier if someone described me as pretty and having a great sense of style than someone describing me as intelligent but ugly or plain looking.”
Beauty shines from within
The trick then for all of us is to then work out a balance of what we want to present to the world. The things we do because it is acceptable to others and conforms vs. the style we desire to set for ourselves to let our inner self shine through with beauty.
Being truly confident and comfortable with who you are may take some serious self-work. I think it is easier as we get older as the judgements of others seem to matter less as we travel through the years. How you look at 15 when you are just finding yourself and your place in the world when being judged by your peers who are also on their learning journey is often very different to how you feel about your presentation to others when you are 50. Who doesn’t love looking back at old photos of trends from their childhood and teen years, or the family album of their parents or grandparents and the styles of the time? It is fun to look at photos of flared pants and fluoro t-shirts. The photos look even better though when the person has a radiant smile and their happiness is captured in the photo. Soon this is what you will focus in on, not the crazy clothes or strange hairstyle.
Embrace what you feel is right for you and know that you can be the most amazing looking person on the outside, but if you have not worked on what is on the inside then no amount of camouflage is going to make you truly beautiful. I think of the song Ugly Heart and it is very true, you can be amazing on the outside, but when people get to know you they see the ugly inside then you are just a shell of that beautiful person you present to the world.
When you get ready for your day take a moment to reflect upon your image, smile at the mirror and know that no matter what you present to the world with your clothes and styling, that a true smile and being your beautiful inside self is just as important as what is on the outside.
If you would like to build your confidence and self esteem and have your inner beauty match your outer beauty, our life coaching services can help you.