Society tells women that we should be strive to be beautiful. It tells us that through marketing campaigns and media. Everywhere we look, we’re met with the current beauty standard, which is ever-changing. It’s in the voices of men telling us that we’d be so much prettier if we smiled, as if being pretty is a thing we all aspire to be. Because, naturally, they assume that it is.
And we’re taught young. Girls are lined up as contestants in beauty pageants, made to compete against each other for the most attractive, a mysterious prize when the winner must only possess the genetics necessary to measure up to society’s beauty ideal. It comes around again in the school system when superlatives are gifted as if women, again, can only be measured in terms of perceived attractiveness.
So in the interest of living up to this beauty standard, here are 7 steps to be beautiful:
Kindness is beautiful. How we treat others is a reflection of our character, and kindness is a virtue we could all stand to cultivate.
Intelligence is sexy. Ask anyone! Educate yourself. I’m not saying we should collect degrees. Instead, learn what you can and be interested in the world around you.
Artifice is not beautiful. I’m not talking about cosmetics. I’m quite the fan of makeup. Instead, I’m talking about authenticity. Be who you are. Don’t try to pretend to be anyone else, whether that’s by trying to stand out or trying to fit in. Just do you, and let everyone else worry about themselves.
Lying is a singularly unattractive quality, and the dating world in particular is infested with lies and liars. Don’t misrepresent or omit the truth. Just be straightforward with people.
Confidence always seems to translate to perceived attractiveness. Confident people just have that vibe to them. Even if they don’t have the perfect features, projecting a healthy sense of self-esteem and a body positive attitude seems to work for people.
Love your life.
People who are content in their lives tend to draw healthier people to them. People who mope about their lives and make no effort to change often stay in the same destructive patterns. Focus on making your life wonderful, and it gets translated as beauty.
It’s that simple: just exist. You are beautiful. You are worthy and enough and deserving of happiness. You don’t have to meet society’s criteria. You don’t have to invent a measuring stick for yourself. You are beautiful because you are human and flawed and perfectly imperfect.
It’s not about if your eyebrows are on fleek, whatever that’s supposed to mean. Beauty is more than the sum of our features. It’s more than what we wear or how we present ourselves to the world. Beauty is a feeling and an attitude and something we can decide to claim for ourselves rather than let the world’s marketing team decide for us in order to try to sell us the latest face cream or vacuum cleaner. While the first 6 steps can certainly help us enhance our perceived attractiveness, the only thing it takes to be beautiful is to decide that we are. No other approval is needed.