Why Inspirational Beauty Quotes are Overrated
I have been labeled many things throughout my life. In school, I was always ‘the tallest girl in class.’ When I went to high-school I was ‘the fat girl who never dated.’ And in college, I became ‘the timid, antisocial, gloomy girl who never said much or attended parties.’ People made fun of me at times. I had many ups and downs, friends and foes. Nonetheless, going into the third decade of being me, I have noticed a recurring theme that I strongly suspect will never change as long as humans continue to exist in the known or unknown universe: at one point or another, everyone will start to wonder whether they are good enough. In other words, struggle with self-acceptance.
How inspirational beauty quotes can lead you off course
When I was trying to lose weight, I used to copy inspirational beauty quotes and stick them to my closet door. These words would remind me of the importance of being beautiful, and that one day I will achieve that goal myself. I WILL be whatever the word ‘beautiful‘ meant to me at the time.
Time went on, I lost weight, I learned how to use makeup, I incorporated exercise into my daily routine. I followed all the well-known steps towards achieving the long-term results everyone is all about nowadays. But my idea of ‘beauty‘ also suffered modifications. I began to feel like a bad person for choosing those things deemed as ‘superficial’ by my peers. So focusing mainly on being physically attractive became my new problem.
What makes beauty so alluring?
Most people who read inspirational beauty quotes might find them somewhat obscure and more or less shallow. This is due to the fact that we each have our own definition of how beauty both looks and feels.
When Coco Chanel stated that “A girl should be two things: classy and fabulous.” Everyone takes that to mean that all women should have amazing fashion sense and look like they just jumped off the cover of Vogue. But what if my definition of ‘fabulous‘ has nothing to do with hers? What if I think doctors are fabulous? Should I be walking around in scrubs and trading in my chokers for a stethoscope? A crude example, but you get my point.
Also, is class the same in France as it is in Finland? Perchance there is an objective way to define the term ‘class‘. However, I consider this term, as well as the similar ‘beauty,’ ‘sophistication,’ ‘elegance,’ and every other word related to this topic, to be highly dependent on a number of intertwined factors. These elements ultimately cause a person’s authenticity to radiate through every fiber of their being. It’s like they are in perfect unison with those things that specifically cause them wellbeing.
If you think I sound extremely vague and nonsensical saying this, that’s because the ingredients I am talking about are all different, depending on each individual person. They might be considered modest by some, huge by others; the fact of the matter is they cannot quite be precisely defined because they are all different from person to person.
Alicia Napoleon is an exquisite example of this. As a professional boxer, Alicia speaks against the popular, widely-accepted belief that muscles are just for men. She promotes the healthy approach to taking care of and accepting your body in its natural form, even though that makes you different from everyone around you.
We’re different anyway, why not accept that as a good thing?
Thoughts on self-sabotage
Everyone has heard of the basic, tried and tested ways to reach your ‘beauty‘ goals:
- ~ exercise smartly
- ~ nourish your body with the right foods
- ~ think thoughts that make you feel good
- ~ make health the number one priority without turning it into an obsession
- ~ everything in moderation, including human interaction
- ~ get good quality, 8-hour sleep every night
These are the most elementary rules of thumb that are said to apply to anyone. However, the number one requirement needed for someone to start incorporating these principles into their own lifestyles is basically THE WILL TO DO IT in the first place.
As a result of today’s fast-paced society, we are prone to subconsciously doubt ourselves, think self-deprecating thoughts and even self-harm by sabotaging whatever we set out to achieve.
Leading a healthful lifestyle may be tough at times. But the main thing to focus on is staying in touch with your genuine self. This will inevitably lead to self-love through the gained perspective of what your true self-needs and wants.
StyleLikeU: inner versus outer beauty
StyleLikeU is an amazing project dedicated to promoting self-acceptance and body positivity. It was created by a mother-daughter duo whose motto is: “true style is self-acceptance.” An outstanding book, as well as numerous excellent YouTube videos, came out of this wonderful venture. Each of them portrays different human beings through their own words and stories, and each of them is more inspirational than the last.
The various quotes about confidence and beauty that result from this project are simply amazing. Each individual featured in their videos brings personality, positivity, and uniqueness to the table. These beautiful people each put themselves outside their comfort zone to show the camera their most vulnerable sides. They open up and speak about their life journey, and how they overcame the various inevitable obstacles.
These videos’ main goal is not about learning to love to be fat, or being thinner so that you can define yourself as beautiful. It is about living. That’s it. It is about being enough. You are enough, without any labels attached. You do not need to define yourself in words. You are not simply ‘fat‘ or ‘skinny.’ You are not ‘the tall guy,’ ‘the short chick‘ or ‘the smart one.’ Nonetheless, at the same exact time, you are all those things. And that’s OK. We need to set healthy limitations in our daily lives so as to fully experience all the opportunities we are being given.
The self-acceptance revolution is gaining momentum
In a society over-saturated with ‘ideal bodies‘ and ‘perfect beauty standards,’ it comes as no surprise that the fashion industry is the number one business that comes to mind when thinking of beauty ideals. Nowadays, more ad more companies are supporting the idea of ‘natural beauty‘ by not using Photoshop to retouch their advertised images.
Here is a list of companies who don’t photoshop their images:
- ~ Verily Magazine
- ~ Modcloth
- ~ Aerie
- ~ SilkFred
- ~ Darling Magazine
- ~ Seventeen Magazine
- ~ Dove
This idea has received intensely positive feedback. Therefore it will probably continue to expand in the future, changing the face of fashion, and what we think about beauty, and reminding people that ‘beauty‘ doesn’t have to mean ‘perfection.’
The eye, the mind, and the heart are all beholders
That being said, inspirational words still hold the potential to impress and guide people on the right path when it comes to self-acceptance.
Here are some short beautiful quotes that I believe will remind anyone of what truly matters in your relationship with yourself:
Amy Bloom’s words: “You are imperfect, permanently and inevitably flawed. And you are beautiful.” definitely define what it is to be human.
While Jess C. Scott’s “A fit, healthy body – that is the best fashion statement” remind us what it means to think positively and stay true to what really matters.
And who can forget the enchanting way F. Scott Fitzgerald describes one of his best-known characters: “She was beautiful, but not like those girls in the magazines. She was beautiful, for the way she thought. She was beautiful, for the sparkle in her eyes when she talked about something she loved. She was beautiful, for her ability to make other people smile, even if she was sad. No, she wasn’t beautiful for something as temporary as her looks. She was beautiful, deep down to her soul. She is beautiful.”
Marilyn Monroe, one of the most famous all-time symbols of beauty and sex-appeal has stated that “Beauty and femininity are ageless and can’t be contrived, and glamor, although the manufacturers won’t like this, cannot be manufactured. Not real glamor; it’s based on femininity.”
It would be amazing to have someone shadowing us, constantly reminding us of the words Steve Maraboli used to speak of beauty in his book, ‘Life, the Truth, and Being Free:’ “Your beauty, just like your capacity for life, happiness, and success, is immeasurable. (…) Get off the scale! (…) It cannot measure beauty, talent, purpose, life force, possibility, strength, or love. Don’t give the scale more power than it has earned. Take note of the number, then get off the scale and live your life. You are beautiful!”
However, before you splurge on a life coach, remember that it’s easier than you think. You are doing it right now. Simply pay attention to the way in which the thoughts you are thinking, the foods you are eating and the people you are interacting with make you feel. Stay in touch with yourself, note your ‘flaws,’ accept them as part of your current self. Then, do whatever you can to move little by little towards the destination you have in mind. The good news is, you’ll always have what to reach for to enrich your life experience.
The essence of what defines you
That which defines you cannot be contained in an inspirational quote about beauty. You are the holder of an undefinable, unlimited ability: the power to create a personal, unique, boundless universe, in any way, shape, or form of your choice. This is the beauty of life we must all embrace. And we can all do this by starting with self-acceptance.
The conclusion I’ve reached so far can be summed up as follows. There is no set plan, no rules that can tell you what beauty really is. So no need to worry. Beauty is exactly what you think it is. Beauty is represented by your values as well as your looks. Beauty is an amazingly profound concept that teaches us so much about the world around us, about ourselves and about how to merge the two in order to find inner peace through the mental attitude of acceptance and love.
Image source: Pixabay