We’re a funny sort, we women. We are always trying to loose a few pounds. We “pin” more outfits online then we’d ever attempt to wear ourselves. We spend 45 minutes to get bed head hair. We work really hard to look like we don’t try at all.
Granted, I appreciate a tutorial on how to look artfully disheveled just as much as the next girl, but I’ve come to find the more I relax in just being me, the more me I become and the more beautiful I am. Natural beauty is at it's best when it's just that, natural.
But in our day to day American norms, there are likely more subtle ways robbing us of our natural beauty than we realize. Sorting through and clearing out some of the typical clutter and odd fixations may not only instill in us a sense of confidence and ease our minds, but may just give us something more to live for other than always trying to be beautiful:
1. You look at Instagram way too much.
Instagram, oh Instagram, how you have changed our little world. We can now check the daily looks, workouts and meals of every girl and celebrity we admire.
Whether it be Pinterest, Facebook or endless googling, these forms of media all have the tendency to leave us forever in want. While it’s great that we have a window into each other’s lives, such platforms impose upon females an unrealistic expectation to be always impeccable (whether by Free People’s standards or Vogue’s - both of which, by the way, I’m guilty of browsing). We don’t even realize it but each time we engage images in search of how to be more beautiful, we subtly sign ourselves up to compare and rate our beauty.
2. You get your sweet tooth fix on Skinny Lattes.
So, I know it seems like the obvious skinny girl best option - the skinny latte, or anything that tastes sweet without the consequence of calories. But not all consequences come in the form of weight. To name a few, artificial sweetners such as aspartame (in your skinny latte) and sucralose (hello, Splenda) can cause allergies, headaches, bloating and gas.
No wonder some women who order skinny lattes daily look a tad moody.
3.You dread your workouts.
Been there. Done this. If you don’t like your work out, don’t do it. Now granted there is a difference between a challenge and pure misery, so decipher for yourself and find an activity you can enjoy and grow in. For me, my daily challenge and joy is yoga. I will “yoga” any day, all day. But I also like variety. I think our bodies crave it.
4. You still haven’t discovered your “personal style”.
As women we identify ourselves WAY TOO MUCH with what we wear. And while we love the idea of personal style, in all our Pinning and Instagram-ing madness, we copy each others styles too much to feel any true sense of individuality through our wardrobe. I think it’s best to just throw this idea of personal style out the window and let your tastes and closets evolve. Try new styles you adore, but never think are quite you. After all they’re just clothes.
5.You wish you were “her”.
We all have a her in our life. A her we love or love to hate because she always looks so perfect. Be it a friend or celebrity, if we’re always trying to be like someone else, we’re focused on every trait we don’t possess and overlook the unique beauty we do have. Envy and jealousy ignite discontent more than anything. And wallowing in discontent is just plain ugly.
6. You stress way too much over what & when to eat.
Keep it simple stupid. Excuse the rude phrase, K.I.S.S. but seriously, we women stress out over way too much already. You’re in a well-developed, overly informed, abundantly supplied country. Don't create a crisis you don't have to face. Eat what you like. Eat real food. Eat when you’re hungry. Stop when you’re satisfied. Don’t complicate what was meant to be enjoyable and so, so simple.
7. You try every new trend under the sun.
At the root of pure beauty is confidence and contentment. Without these things we are forever dissatisfied and forever trying way too hard (an you can just forget about any sense of individuality). New looks can be fun and be a boost to your confidence, maybe add a little snap in your step, but if you’re always trying something new chances are you are deeply unsatisfied in some areas of life. Step back and look at why you want to look this way, or why you hate this or that about yourself. Change what you can but learn to embrace what you have.
Trying too hard can just come across as a little - wanting.
8.You’re not getting outside.
Long walks and bicycle ride (yes, I own a bicycle) have become for me something quite therapeutic. Taking in all of nature, letting out all your thoughts and soaking up the warm sun, serene rains, or chill in the air (you lucky northerners, you) is pure health to your bones. Clearing your thoughts and embracing where you are is pure beauty in and of itself.
Stop trying, trying, trying and try to just be. When you do, and you embrace where you and who you are, life naturally becomes a much more beautiful and enjoyable thing.