Written By: Carrie Hooey
What is Natural Beauty?
I’ve spent the last few days thinking about what natural beauty is, and I keep coming back to the idea that it is whatever makes people feel good about themselves, which means it’s different for everyone.
I could tell you what it means to me, and I will, but that doesn’t mean that you or anyone else needs to agree. In fact, make your own decisions about it because natural beauty isn’t a set of guidelines from other people.
Natural beauty- yours, mine, everyone’s- comes from within, not from the outside world, so it’s up to you to decide what it is.
Since natural beauty comes from an internal place, I don’t believe we should limit it to one’s appearance. That would be too shallow of a definition.
When I think about other women and what makes them beautiful, it’s not what they are wearing on their face or their bodies or in their hair. It’s how they treat others, how they set boundaries, and how they ebb and flow in their world because natural beauty comes from one’s inner workings.
It’s an attitude, a light, an energy. It’s like the source of an ocean’s tide.
Natural beauty runs deep like a belly laugh that contorts the face and seeps water from the eyes, or like a grin from ear-to-ear when beaming with pure pride and joy.
It’s getting so lost in doing something with purpose that the desire for outside validation disappears. It’s finding time for yourself amongst the craziness of life. It’s daring to feel pain and walking through it to the other side.
It’s feeling good in your own skin, comfortable in whatever space you are in, but venturing out of that comfort zone now and then. It runs so deep that it cannot be carved out and molded externally, solely by the human hand.
The outside glow is primarily an inside job, and any final external touches are simply the icing on the cake.
Natural Beauty is not looking for approval from others.
It is not comparing yourself to anyone. It is not losing yourself to people. It is not obsessing about one’s physical appearance. It’s quite the opposite.
It is living your life authentically and listening to your voice above all other voices about how you should exist in the world.
And with that said, there is only one person whose judgment is genuinely worth caring about, and that’s the one staring back at you when you look in the mirror.
When I look at my reflection, sometimes looking put together but more often appearing or feeling like a frazzled mess, I can manifest my sense of beauty when I contemplate the day ahead or recall the end of an usually long day with all the things I had accomplished that made me feel fulfilled, like:
- How I helped a student with a problem, or how I could smile when one of my daughters excelled at what they love.
- How I laughed with my colleagues over lunch, or how silly I was during a moment of downtime. How I made the time to work out for my physical and mental health, or how I didn’t obsess about what someone thought of me.
- How I said yes to something new, or how I said no to something I didn’t want or need to do. How I made some creative outside-of-the-box decisions, or how I survived my endless to-do list one decision, one inhale, and one exhale at a time.
I could give many examples of experiences that make me feel naturally beautiful, and not one of them has any material value.
And let’s be frank, sometimes natural beauty isn’t pretty. It can feel downright ugly, but it’s only the inner world trying to shine through when the layers are peeled back.
It might be a vulnerable moment to shed tears or reach your breaking point and put other people in their place with you first.
So, how about you?
When you reflect, what moments in your life do you consider to be your most beautiful?
If wearing make-up, getting your hair done, dressing up, etc., makes you feel good within, then do it. Do it every day. Do it once a week. Or don’t.
I sometimes adorn my inner beauty with outside dressings, and when I do, it feels like an enhancement for the natural beauty that already resides within me.
Whatever you decide to do, don’t judge others for their choices. And hopefully, you won’t be judged for yours- and if you are, let your natural beauty sweep those judgments into thin air because natural beauty is a judgment-free zone.
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