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Sunday, October 16, 2011

“Exuberance is Beauty.” ~ William Blake

Physical ‘beauty’ is not an external, quantifiable, measurable ‘thing.’  It’s not how your various body parts are arranged, the color of your eyes or skin, your weight or age, or how much money and time you have to spend on clothes. In other words, beauty is subjective- in the external sense it’s in the eye of the beholder. There are potentially as many different kinds of beauty as there are people.  Go to any art museum and you’ll see hundreds of different interpretations of beauty.  You’ll also see that there really isn’t any such thing as a ‘figure flaw.’ 

Real ‘beauty’- the worthwhile kind- lies in facing life’s challenges with courage and integrity, being willing to take risks while putting yourself on the line in all earnestness. Doing what you can to make the world a better place. Sincerely doing your best to make your life and the lives of those around you better. Treating yourself, others, and the world at large with respect. These are the things that make us better people; it always shows, and always makes you more beautiful.   

Despite this, we are a visual species; by that I mean we have strong immediate responses to physical appearance when we see each other; especially for the first time. This results in assumptions about your socio-economic status, educational background, intelligence, self respect and so forth. 

As I said before, I believe part-a big part- of real beauty is self respect. Properly caring for your body -getting enough sleep, exercise, and eating well- is the first step.  Basic grooming/upkeep is next.  When you’ve got these things down, the only thing left to do to achieve ‘external’ beauty is to wear the colors and styles that flatter you and create a pleasing visual ‘balance.’ These things are the simple foundations of external beauty. This also tells others that you have self respect and thus expect them to also treat you with respect.  This helps in all areas of life.

Beyond this foundation is the joy of self expression.  With life being so full of challenges and circumstances that force us to quash opinions, preferences and even needs, this is one area that you can- and should- totally indulge yourself.  Every day is an opportunity to adorn yourself with what makes you look and feel your best.  It doesn’t cost more money to wear flattering colors, and no matter where you shop you’ll be able to pick and chose between styles that will be more flattering for your physique.  It also takes the same amount of time to put on clothes that make you look good as those that don’t. To really make dressing a pleasurable experience, be aware of your personal aesthetic and learn ways to incorporate it into your wardrobe as much as possible.

Life is so much better when you make the most of everything you’ve got.