While flipping through a magazine not too long ago, a quote caught my eye. I cut it out and taped it to the piano in my family room. “Pretty isn’t a look, it’s a feeling.” As a member of the well-populated boomer generation, aging and beauty is a big conversation in my world these days. Sometimes a gentle visible reminder like this goes a long way.
Billions of dollars ($13.5 billion in the U.S. alone in 2015), are being spent yearly on cosmetic procedures in the name of staving off the inevitable and natural process human beings are meant to experience. It’s become a dreaded word. “Aging.” These procedures aren’t reserved for older women, as younger women are doing “touch-ups,” to avoid the inherent beauty we gain through aging. These numbers don’t even include the cosmetic product market that continues to promise “age defying” results.
The question for me is WHY? What motivates women to spend so much money in an attempt to retain their youthful beauty, when too often the results have them looking like an “unreal” version of their former self? (That’s being kind.) Do women really believe beauty comes from the outside-in? My articles on redefining beauty and aging gracefully explore this topic, as do my personal experiences shared in my book Confessions of a Middle-Aged Hippie.
Women Have the Power
If we consider that women account for $7 trillion in consumer and business spending in the United States, and over the next decade, they will control two thirds of consumer wealth, we see how powerful we women truly are. And women make or influence 85 per cent of all purchasing decisions, and purchase over 50 per cent of traditional male products, including automobiles, home improvement products and consumer electronics.
Because of my curiosity around this topic, perhaps it isn’t surprising that two men from widely diverse backgrounds, recently appeared in my life. Men who are taking a stand for women to live their authentic beauty — from the Inside-Out. Who would ever imagine that a former New York city entertainment lawyer, now a creative [re]director and life-long feminist and a former Frenchman who spent years as an executive at Visa and Microsoft with a book, Magnifique Inside & Out, would be the ones doing for women, something I’ve been questioning for a long time: why aren’t women doing this for themselves?
Beauty Shines From Within
The cultural conversations of today revolve around beauty shining from the Inside-Out. We hear it all the time. Be your authentic self. Stand in your own power. Although this appears to be what real beauty is, for women, the impact of what they’ve seen from a young age still has them striving to reach an unrealistic standard the media has force-fed them and defined as beautiful.
The corporate world, traditionally powered by men, continues to hit women at the core of their insecurities, where they feel something is missing, or they aren’t enough. In fact, 91 per cent of women say that advertisers don’t understand them at all. Hmm. A recent Bloomberg News piece on selling technology wearables to women by first “making women feel bad,” shows me we still have a long way to go to shift to a model that plays to women’s strengths, rather than demeaning them.
What’s Really Important to Women?
Meet Jonathan Pillot, our feminist creative, who as a writer, filmmaker, storyteller and provocateur, is offering women the opportunity to talk about what is most important to them. Through projects he is incubating, like Project Curly/the Curly Monologues, senShoeality and Smart + Dirty, he is committed to bringing women together in community around topics that are near and dear to their hearts. Women + hair or + shoes. Women + smart. Especially women + sensuality/sexuality. No topic is off limits and his experience is that women are craving a safe place to have these conversations and to truly be heard. Our conversations confirm that there are men who “get” women exactly as we are. Men who are “women nurturers”, embracing women as equals, encouraging them to see their own unique beauty and recognize that beauty comes in all shapes and sizes.
Corporate Expert is Magnifique
While waiting for the phone to connect on my call to Bruno Gralpois, I smiled as La Vie En Rose by Louis Armstrong played. Bruno has had a wonderful career as a branding expert in corporate America and several years ago was invited to be a judge for the state pageant qualifier for Miss USA for Idaho and Washington state, where he currently lives. Like many of us, Bruno had perhaps an outdated idea of what he’d find judging a beauty pageant: contestants who are young and beautiful to the eye, with maybe not too much more than that. His surprise was something he says French people have long embraced — women who are beautiful to both the eye and to the heart.
This experience sparked an interest in researching more about women and beauty. He embarked on a journey to interview experts in the fields of health, nutrition, beauty and fitness, to uncover what contributes to a woman’s overall beauty. He was determined to explore what truly defines beauty and share his findings with others in a book. After all, the French word “magnifique” means “wonderful, splendid, glorious, excellent”. All things women could, yet don’t always, own about themselves.
Why Don’t Women Find Themselves Attractive?
As we spoke about his rather eye-opening discoveries he asked in his charming French accent, “If you walked into a room today filled with 25 women, how many of them do you think find themselves attractive? One. That’s right, only one.” Although I wasn’t surprised, I commented that this was quite sad for me to hear. He agreed and continued, “This is not fiction or an isolated phenomenon either. The large majority of women fail to find themselves beautiful — and we have grown accustomed to this sad reality.” Then he mentioned that in the Dove Campaign for Real Beauty global study, results show that only 4 per cent of women find themselves beautiful and that anxiety about looks begins at an early age. So, women and men, what can we all do to shift this?
What Men Find Beautiful
Bruno’s research of women and men from a wide range of ages, ethnicities and backgrounds, revealed some interesting findings which he shares in the book. For both women and men, the number one thing that made someone beautiful was a positive attitude. Hearing this I thought, “times really are changing.” It surprised me, as I never would have imagined men would put a positive attitude before a woman’s looks.
The next two things for men were, a woman with a pretty face and a woman who is smart. The idea that a man likes a smart woman is interesting and much different than my experience when I was young. We joked, “Maybe this is why someone like George Clooney married a beautiful and smart woman.” Maybe. Reminded me of Jonathan saying “For me, smart always comes first!” Women are you listening?
For women, things were slightly different. Number two for women was confidence, with number three, a healthy body. Wow, times really have changed! For me who grew up in the era when the Women’s Liberation or Feminist Movement was birthed, this is encouraging.
Bruno discovered that women are perfectionists by nature. No surprise there. And that over 90 per cent of both women and men are overly critical of themselves thanks to perceived external peer pressure and an emphasis on outer beauty. Both Jonathan and Bruno agree that our culture is still obsessed with external beauty, both praising Dove for its successful trailblazing campaign which opened up the conversation about re-empowering women to, in my words, “own themselves” for who they are.
Being fathers of daughters, Jonathan (of a 23-year-old) and Bruno (of an 18-year-old), as well as of sons, both are committed to being at the forefront of the movement that shifts society’s perceptions so women recognize and rediscover their beauty. Inside-Out. Each man doing this in his own way, feeling an obligation to contribute to making a different world for women and men. Thanks to them both for standing and supporting women as we recognize and fully express the beauty that lives within us all.
Positive + Smart as a New Model of Beauty
So if a positive attitude + being smart is a new model for beauty, (beauty from the Inside-Out), my question is what motivates women to continue spending billions of dollars on looking beautiful from the outside-in? I’d love to hear your thoughts. Please join me, Jonathan and Bruno, in standing for beauty — Inside-Out.
Beauty really does begin within and beauty is very married to self-care. What we do to nourish and care for ourselves on all levels of our being. As part of Team Northrup, Dr. Christiane Northrup’s health and wellness team, our intention is to support others to live their most healthy and vital selves. It begins with a Complimentary Wellness Consultation that starts with the True Health Assessment. May your beauty and vitality shine out into the world.
So many good comments already Beverley. While men have their standards of what’s beautiful, so do women about men. Somehow we accept that the appearance of a partner reflects on our own quality of how we are perceived by others. We waste time on appearances and miss the opportunity to have a meaningful relationship with a person that matches our personality.
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This is quite a rich topic for conversation and comments, Joyce. Yes, we all have our own definition and standards for beauty. Appearance is just an external and the real beauty and richness, for me anyways, emanates from within. I agree with you that when we can look past the external and “see” the essence of the person, we are opening ourselves to much more meaningful and fulfilling relationships.
I am a baby boomer as well and am astonished how many women of our generation are so concerned with their looks as they age. How refreshing that what men found most beautiful about women is a positive attitude. We should all learn from that! Excellent article with many insightful facts and thoughts.
Julie Gorges recently posted…Focusing on Myself
I agree with you Julie! It seems the baby boomer generation has become obsessed with staying forever young. Although younger girls and women seem to be equally preoccupied with how they look, instead of who they are. Glad you also found it refreshing to hear that men found a positive attitude and intelligence as beauty in women. I do too. Appreciate your reading and sharing your thoughts on this very big topic in today’s cultural conversations.
I just shared your article. It is so important to get this out so that people understand that beauty is from the inside out. You can be the most gorgeous person and inside you are a horrible human being. Looks do not make you, it is who you are inside and how you feel about yourself. xo
Thanks so much for adding your voice to this big conversation, Tricia. Yes, beauty always comes from the inside and yet we are constantly bombarded with images from the outside world of what beauty is “supposed” to look like. Who you are and how you treat other people is what makes a person beautiful.
Hi Beverley, I woke up blue –to call it somehow– today and your words were what I needed to hear to change colors. Thank you for talking to me and to all of us!
Thank you so much Shulamit! I am so happy to hear that something I wrote actually inspired and turned things around for you today! This is always my intention, so I appreciate hearing my writing made a difference.
Wonderful Beverley, How often we forget that the magic of us comes from within. My passion has always been to start from an early age to get both women and men to really love themselves and know they are enough without all the outward trappings. Maybe it comes from my previous life as a preschool/ kindergarten teacher where I saw how easily that confidence can be taken away. I feel so blessed that i met my soulmate Des who sees everyone for the beauty that shines from within Love your thinking xxoo
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Thanks so much Suzie! How wonderful that you did have the opportunity to see how as children, we can have our own self-worth taken away so easily and how you have taken that to now empower people to accept themselves just for who they are. Des sounds so wonderful and really a blessing for you in your life, and for everyone who has the great privilege of knowing him. A lovely and soulful way to be in the world, considering how so many, judge or tear others down. Thank you for sharing that! xo
It’s true that “anxiety about looks begins at an early age.” Maybe because of the media, Barbie and the beautiful princesses in the Disney movies, young girls learn that beauty is most important. Having participated in online dating over a 12-year period while I was single, I often heard men say just what you wrote. They were more attracted to smart, positive, confident and happy women than anyone else. It didn’t matter if they met a drop-dead gorgeous woman. If she didn’t have some of those traits, they weren’t attracted to her for the long haul. Great to hear!
It is great to hear that men want the women who have brains, confidence and are happy. Some men I’ve told this to say that men just say that because it is what they believe they are supposed to say. I like to believe that is not true. I know that even the most beautiful person loses their attractiveness when there is no substance to them. Being only beautiful is boring indeed. I agree with you that the images girls see from a young age do inform their idea of beauty and how they fit into that definition. Disney heroines are always beautiful and lately, also smart, which is a step forward. Thanks for adding to the conversation Tae! It is a big topic and seems to have a voice now in the larger cultural conversation.
Love the article! There’s still much need for a reminder to look within and find that beauty within, instead of externalising it.
You summarized that so beautifully Katarina! Yes, there is still a lot of need for females of all ages to realize that our beauty is an inside job. Too often the world “out there” seems to dictate what beauty is supposed to be.
Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! for continuing to explore this topic. Our culture is a bit scary on this topic, and it comes as no surprise that advertising plays to and even creates our insecurities in order to create cash for some CEO somewhere. I could not agree more that beauty comes from within, though, as a child of this culture, it takes some effort to remember that. Speaking of the fabulous French, I love the French concept of a woman who is ‘jolie laide’ which is “pretty/ugly” in other words, a woman who transforms a unique exterior because of her inner beauty, aliveness, charm and wit. I know women like that, who become more beautiful the more you know them. Much better that than women who start out pretty, and gradually lose their appeal when you get to know them!
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You totally “get” this conversation, Reba! Yes, the beauty comes from the inside and often the more we get to know someone who isn’t traditionally beautiful, the more beautiful they get. Culture definitely has played a huge role in this issue and although I see things are changing, I still hear horror stories of young girls and women who are dieting to be thinner, or having “work” done on themselves in an effort to look and be something they emulate in the world “out there”. I appreciate that you appreciate me taking on this big topic and will continue to do so, as it really is a very important topic to me and to all of us women, regardless of our age.
The culture we live in these days, we cannot stress enough where true beauty comes from. The role models that we have these days make it even more difficult for young girls to truly see themselves as beautiful both inside and out. Thanks for sharing such a beautifully written article.
Thanks for weighing in Veronica. Yes, the cultural norms are slowing changing and yet, we still see so much focus on the “outer” instead of the inner when it comes to beauty. Challenging for young girls to ignore it and yet, we must lead by example as we all contribute to the change we want to see. Slowly the brands who target girls and women are shifting their message to ones of empowerment and accepting yourself as you are. Slowly indeed.
Interesting article. As a single woman who is asked a lot why I am not married or have a boyfriend (wow, that term makes me sounds young, which I am not), I am honestly left feeling puzzled and powerless over this. When I was younger, I know men dated me for looks, and had little interest in anything that was between my ears. Now is not much different. While most tell me that my looks have stood the test of time, and I am smart, easy to talk to and fun to be around, it makes it no easier to find a man who will stay interested longer than a first date. I am fairly sure I know why that is and it does have to do with looks, not my face, though. Many men still want thin women. And as middle age has crept in, so have middle age weight – more than I am comfortable with. For me, being pretty AND smart does not seem to come into play. The men I meet still seem to hold onto beauty standards of decades ago – thin and pretty. I have had great dates with awesome conversations, even with men who have told me they thought I was very pretty, only to never hear from them again. While I do think each man is different in what he wants, I still think a majority of men still base a LOT more on looks than they are willing to admit publicly, for fear of seeming shallow. So you probably think I have a negative view of my looks, but I can safely say the only negative is my weight. I know I can hold my own in a room full of women. I only make this point to counter the comments I have made about weight.
So, after reading this I am left confused and frustrated. I seem to be what men look for, only I am not. I would love to be the one interviewing men on these topics. Not only would I want the answers to this puzzle, but I would like to dig deeper into the psychology of what men are really thinking when they see women of different shapes, sizes, and beauty. Just a thought. I would love to know!
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It is such an interesting topic, Lisa and each of us have such varied experiences with what men say and then how they behave. I’d love to think the research that has been done is accurate, although when I talked with a male friend of mine, he also thought like you did. That men don’t want to appear shallow and end up saying what they believe is the proper thing to say. And yet, my friend Jonathan, who I profile in this article, is truly a man who loves women, exactly as they are. He encourages women to own their individual beauty, whatever that looks like. Another female friend of mine reminds me that for men, often biology comes into play, regardless of age. They still think of women as perfect mates for procreation, even if past that age.
As far as weight, there are apparently lots of men who actually love a zaftig woman and go for the plump curvy ladies. Not sure where to find them, however, I hear about them all the time. I also believe as we get older, we do want more substance and less flash and depending on the man and how you connect with him, a pretty face and a great personality with intellect is what they want. It is such a challenging topic to fully understand. I don’t find men who are still attractive and interesting and current in my age group either. Once men turn a certain age, it seems they are looking for someone to look after them. That will never be for me and I’ve been divorced for a lot of years. My sense is the younger generation is more accepting of the person, rather than an ideal the media has portrayed as the perfect woman.
My only suggestion is to keep being who you are and if weight is troublesome to you, work on that. Ultimately it is all about how we view ourselves and I believe beauty is an inside job. What you believe you are, is how you present to the world and hopefully how others see you. This is a big conversation in the world and I hope I’ve opened up some new things to explore for yourself. If you’d like an introduction to Jonathan, he’s in NY City, I am happy to do that. His male perspective could be interesting for you. Thanks for taking the time to share all this, as I think we do need as many voices in the conversation as possible.
First of all, I want to tell you how sorry I am that I didn’t get to see you when you were in AZ recently. I was so excited to see you and Meli, and had the date circled on my calendar for months! But, as you know, it wasn’t meant to be, and I hope we can get together next time.
That said, we aren’t getting any older, my friend, we are getting better! At least I think we are!!
It would have been so lovely to reconnect with you when I was in AZ, Tina. Meli and I had a wonderful day and we totally understand your situation. You did what I would have done too. As far as getting older, we might be getting older, but we certainly have the ability to keep getting better and better. Especially once we know ourselves and can share ourselves without all the other considerations we have when we are younger.
Love this entry!!!! Yes beauty is a hot topic! And it is on the inside! I always remember the day after our wedding I was dressed in sweats with my hair up in a bun and no makeup my husband said to be you looked pretty yesterday but you look beautiful today.
Thanks so much Robin! Happy you enjoyed this post. I love your story about your husband, as it truly shows how it is us women who continue to perpetuate that we have to look a certain way for men and yet the reality is men see our beauty just as we are. Your husband sounds like a very heart centred man! Congrats…
Another fantastic piece, Beverley.
Well, being smart and funny are the biggest features that would attract me to anyone – a man or a woman. I know some “physically-beautiful” people who are so boring that every time I see them I want to run away. I feel sorry for them more than anything else. They probably know that they are attractive in appearance and they try to maximise it to the benefit – thinking it is their biggest asset.
A positive attitude, as has been mentioned in the article, is another huge attraction for me. I can’t stand being in the company of negative people for too long.
So I agree with most points in the article.
Thanks so much for reading this one, Irina. This topic of women and beauty is such a huge conversation in the world today. Seem times are changing though and being smart and funny is now at the top of the list when it comes to what makes someone beautiful. I’ve also met people who lose me after they open their mouths, regardless of how externally beautiful they are. Being positive seems to have become so important too, as if anyone with a negative attitude has ever been considered attractive. It seems like a no brainer to me that this is even mentioned. However, it is all good and to hear that things are changing is what makes me most excited. It’s been a long time coming and maybe the tides are finally shifting. Thanks again for connecting and sharing!
Fantastic post Beverley. I heard somewhere that most women dress up to look good for other women… meaning that women dress for women…. are more concerned about what our female peers think than anything else. I’m not sure if this is true, but it does make a lot of sense in the light of your article!
Love the idea of renewing what beauty is: confidence & smart 🙂
I’d heard that as well, Anneline, however, the research might show otherwise as well. Depends on whether they are looking for a mate I guess. And yes, the paradigm is shifting and now smart and oozing self-confidence might soon trump looks when it comes to how we define beauty.
GREAT conversation here. Beauty might be a universal desire, but it’s so subjective that it can’t be universally achieved in any way.
Maybe it was because my teen years were so different to begin with, but I remember feeling so uncertain and ungainly and horribly unattractive and ugly.
I lost my mom to Cancer the day after my Freshman year of High School ended. She’d spent three years fighting Cancer. When most girls were worried about curling their hair and learning how to wear makeup, I was struggling to find my way around a mother who needed me to look out for her.
After she passed away I went to live with a father who was, well, lots of things. But nurturing wasn’t one of them.
So being uncomfortable, ungainly, and literally unable to deal with much of being a teenager, I think it was only natural my self esteem suffered.
I might be far removed from being uncomfortable in my own skin, but a lot of the uncertainties about myself are deep-seeded and harder to truly fight.
We all have a story – some more poignant than others – but each of us have stories. They cause us to feel like young girls when we are mature women who know better. We know better than to listen to a society that discounts us – but that little girl or teenager inside of us? I think she’s still there fighting to hang on to it.
I don’t know … lots of memories stirred up in this one. It’s an important conversation. I’m just not sure a lot of women are able to have it.
Thank you so much for taking the time to really share your story via your experiences and memories, Katrina. I agree with you that some of our early life experiences seem to ingrain and permeate us and they are the experiences, that see to shape us as we grow and mature. And yes, the little girl memories in the adult persona can be challenging to face and transform. It sounds to me, just by reading what you wrote here, that you are highly aware of what his has done to you and how tough it has been to “forget” it and just move forward. We all do have a story and we all have life journeys that ask us to stretch and grow, in spite of what came before us. Often it is the early experiences that not only scar us (I have plenty of those myself) but are where we find our inner strength and resolve. It isn’t always easy. I get that. The part of life that is most interesting to me, is our opportunity to persevere and hopefully thrive. Thank you so very much for your open heart and honesty in your willingness to share here!
I think we only truly grow (ourselves and as a culture) if we can really be honest about the storms of life.
Permeate — that’s a great word to describe those early experiences – they truly do permeate our very being. But I don’t think it has to be in a bad way – sometimes the hardest things we go through in life have the most ability to shape us and provide us with the ability to rise above the storms we’re given.
Seriously great post – it’s stuck with me.
I agree Katrina. Often the biggest challenges are the things that most shape us and who we become. Glad you like the world “permeate”, as often our early experiences really do that, and continue to impact us throughout our lives.
Life is about polarities and so yes, the good and the bad times, are equally important in our growth and development as human beings. I appreciate your wonderful and thoughtful comments, and I appreciate hearing that this post permeated you and stuck with you too!
I remember being 10 years old and a boy making fun of me because I had hair on my arms. Of all the things he could have made fun of…my ridiculous shag haircut and cat-rimmed glasses to name a few from the 1970’s…this was what he picked. It was nothing I could control but G-d bless my mother who took me to get my arms waxed after school that day. I shouldn’t have cared and have never really worried much about things like that since but at a young age like that, it will definitely have an impact.
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Thanks for sharing your early experience Beth! I get how these early “memories” somehow stay with us and can impact us through our lives. I used to be called “bucky beaver” because I had teeth that weren’t quite perfect. Interesting thing is my parents couldn’t afford braces and somehow I ended up with a great smile that people now compliment me on. It is tough when you are young and want to be accepted by others. How lovely that your mother really got how this could impact you and took action to help you out. I am delighted to hear that it didn’t leave a longterm impact on you, as with so many young girls, it does. And it seems peer pressure is still present and now with the 24/7 media coming at us all, it is challenging to stay grounded and know ourselves and not care when something like this happens. Appreciate you adding your voice to this conversation. Many thanks!
Being positive is having the inner beauty that makes up the personality of a woman. Not possessing such quality is a bar to improving oneself.
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Positivity definitely does go a long way in showing your inner beauty to the world, Lorii. A lack of self-confidence absolutely can hinder someone from truly shining their own light.
This is a great article, Bev! I really want to look good for myself, because it makes me feel great and gives me a confidence boost.
I’m more for wearing casual clothes daily, so really when I dress up it’s an occasion that I like to celebrate, I guess 🙂
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Dressing for yourself is very grounded in self knowing and that is the healthy way to be. So often women dress for other women or to attract a man and honestly if it doesn’t start from within, it probably won’t translate to the outer world either. Like you, I am all about dressing casually and being comfortable. Hopefully still looking good as well. Often when I have to “dress up” it feels somewhat foreign to me and although I love doing in occasionally, I can’t imagine dressing up all the time. Thanks for sharing about yourself here, Delia!
Having 2 daughters I see how they worry about what they look like and even my 11-year-old asking, am I fat? Things are a tad better since they are actually in some places including ads and magazines woman of all sizes. Used to only see the obnoxiously SKINNY women who looked like they starved to death to be on there. Still a ways to go but it is improving…
It must be interesting to watch young girls and how the outside pressures impact and influence them. It does make me sad to hear girls who are so concerned with their weight and their looks and only we can help to create a nurturing place for them to develop from the inside-out. Times are definitely changing and my hope is that it will continue this way as more brands choose to focus on things other than the external. Thanks for sharing your own experiences here, Michael. Very appreciated.
Sadly, the 1-out-of-25 statistic does not surprise me. We all have beauty. Maybe not everyone is “conventionally” beautiful – but as they say “beauty is in the eye of the beholder” after all.
I long for a time when women of all shapes, ages, sizes, colors, will love themselves and one another.
I am with you in longing for the time when all women regardless of age, shape, size, colour, will have the inner self-esteem to love themselves for who they are, without being so focused on how they look only. And yes, if we shift beauty to be in the “eye of the beheld”, then truly women will be exuding their beauty from the inside-out! Thanks for your voice in this conversation, Natalie!
Great post. I have shared it on my FB page 🙂
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Many thanks Jo-Anne! Appreciate you reading this one and sharing it so other women (and men) can be part of the conversation.
How great to hear about what these wonderful men are doing. As a boomer myself, I grew up during the time when women were tentatively trying to figure out who they were and how they wanted to be seen. Our mothers couldn’t help much, having been victims of repression themselves. I’m so glad to see that the younger generation has better role models.
Times are changing and thanks to us boomers, we planted new seeds and now I see how they just might be sprouting and changing paradigms, Carol. Interesting that women often do not do it for other women and that it is men who are stepping up to be a voice for inside-out beauty! Thanks for adding your personal experience into this conversation!
Wow… GREAT read Beverley and I have to agree… what is it that we find beautiful and everyone is different even still. I don’t want to play the victim but society surely has made it tougher for women to just be themselves when all of our “rolemodels” and runway models are fixing everything, plastic surgery, airbrushing and giving the younger generations a false sense of beauty. However, as you are referring to as well.. we really need to find it within ourselves.. the heck with the rest of the world.. but sadly, we give away a lot of our power to “the rest of the world” to show us what our beauty is. I love the Oil of Olay campaigns about beautiful.. it’s amazing, like you are referring to here. Great job!
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Agree that up until more recently, society and the advertisers have seemed to “dictate” a certain look and size as to what is beautiful. I’m optimistic that paradigms are changing. Hopefully quickly as it has been a long time coming. It does begin within, however, it also has to start from a young age and this is when girls and boys are most impressionable. There are many companies who are sincerely working to empower women and girls to being within and to embrace who they are, not only how they look. Love your voice in this conversation. Thank you, Kristen!
I’ve heard women say they want to look good for other women (hidden competitiveness, trying to out attract a mate, who knows). But I can really only speak for why I ‘occasionally’ fall into the cultural beauty trap…it makes me feel better. It’s a self-confidence booster. Now, I’m not a typical woman because I don’t wear make-up daily or high heels – I’d rather wear a sweatshirt, jeans & flip flops everyday. Great article!
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Thanks for sharing your perspective Liz. I am more of a casual kind of gal too, although back in the day, I wore high platform shoes when I was a singer in a band. I wear little makeup and have never wanted my “looks” to be the reason someone was attracted to me. I was always about my “smarts” first and looks alongside it. Big topic and so many different facets to it. And yes, some women do say they want to look good for other women, although my sense is those days might be coming to an end as we continue to shift the paradigms.
We women can be our own worst enemies because we tend to go with the idea that we should look perfect. I love the new model of a positive attitude and being smart. If we really embrace that, maybe girls will stop pretending to be dumb so that men will like them!
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Love the point you made, Beth, about why some women might be acting “dumb” to attract men. This isn’t what men like anyways, according to the newest research, so let’s have women and girls own themselves and develop their self-confidence. I also love this new model and hope we are truly moving towards it being the new norm. Appreciate your input and voice in this conversation!
I’m standing with You 3!
Thanks Sharon! Glad to have you standing with us…
A woman’s confidence is extremely important… I tried to share this, but the tab just turned the page.
Bobbi Raffin recently posted…doTERRA Product Spotlight – Patchouli Essential Oil
Thanks so much Bobbi for truly getting that a woman’s confidence and self-worth are really what makes her beautiful. Not sure why you couldn’t share this post, and appreciate you trying. Hopefully we’ll get it fixed and you can share so other women can weight in.
As much as I would like to believe that men are attracted by a positive outlook, I think that comes after they are attracted by appearance. Women are the same, in my opinion. Nice article. I think the most attractive part of men and women is their self-confidence — as long as it’s not narcissistic!
This is what I was more inclined to believe as well, Jackie, as after all, we are attracted to others because of biology! If there is truth in paradigms shifting, I would be very happy, as it makes me sad to see younger and younger girls so consumed by how they look, not nurturing who they are. And like you, once you get past the physical attraction, it is who someone is, something that comes from the inner, that is truly attractive in the long run. Appreciate your voice in this conversation! Thanks.