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What Does "Beauty" Even Mean?

"Beauty" and "beautiful" are words that are thrown around all the time to describe people, places, and things (and sometimes, in my case, a pizza lol). But what do they actually mean? According to everyone’s favorite dictionary (and probably the only dictionary anyone knows by name), Merriam Webster, beauty is defined as "the quality or aggregate of qualities in a person or thing that gives pleasure to the senses or pleasurably exalts the mind or spirit." Now, I'm not one who loves making things more complex than they need to be; so, let's simplify that a bit. Beauty is an attraction. It's what makes others desire to be around you, and how you decide who you want to be around. Want to dig a little deeper? What exactly makes you want to be around those people? And how can I make more people want to be around me? That, my friends, is why we started this blog.

Beauty is an all-encompassing characteristic that extends far beyond one's physical appearance. It includes, but is not limited to: your personality, your behaviors, your health, your hygiene, your beliefs, your mental health, your interactions with others, and your environment. Essentially, everything you do, think, say, and feel contributes to your beauty affecting not only by how others perceive you, but how you perceive yourself. But since beauty is obviously such an expansive category, I want to go over some specifics about what beauty means to us here at The Beauty Prescription.

Beauty is a state of being

Sure, beauty is a physical descriptor. But, why others may perceive you as beautiful is actually so much more than that! It's about: how you feel, how you treat yourself, how you perceive yourself, and how you interact with the world around you.


While you can't change your genetic makeup, we believe that the most compelling aspects of beauty are completely within your power to change. And by doing so, you will receive benefits that are both more rewarding and more enduring: greater confidence, stronger self-esteem, improved health, more joy from life, and lasting beauty that everyone can see!


Beauty is an intention


It’s no secret that today's society continues to place an emphasis on appearance, but we all want to be recognized for who we are and not just how we look. Disciplinepersonal empowerment, and optimism are the keys to making this happen. By becoming fully aware of the beauty within you and allowing yourself to cultivate love, confidence, purpose, and compassion, your inner health will begin to shape your physical self and you'll be astonished by how the world responds to you!


Beauty is a feeling


Regardless of how genetically "lucky" you may be on the outside, it is impossible to hide how you feel on the inside. You can meet all of society's traditional beauty standards, but if you are consistently unpleasant, unhappy, insecure, withdrawn, or uninterested people will notice.


The images we see on social media and in magazines don't allow these qualities to become apparent, allowing us to perceive those "genetically lucky" individuals as beautiful without any other information about them. This is the same reason why you may perceive your own reflection in the mirror as less beautiful than others perceive you to be-- you only see your still image, whereas others see your whole package! When you train yourself to view yourself holistically--not just as your reflection, but as someone with charisma, wit, kindness, empathy, intellect, and talent-- you begin to feel beautiful. And when you feel beautiful, you let yourself shine, increasing your outer beauty as well!


Beauty is diversity


Contrary to what is highlighted on TV, instagram, and the magazines, there is NOT one specific image of beauty. What is considered "physically beautiful" varies from culture-to-culture and person-to-person, and this variation is, in itself, beautiful. Here at The Beauty Prescription, we denounce "perfection" (whatever that might be)and instead we hope to give you the tools to improve upon the things you can and love, celebrate, and accept the things you can't.


Regardless of what you view beauty to be, we believe that being beautiful, looking beautiful, and feeling beautiful should always include the same core concepts:

Gratitude, love, kindness, compassion, love, and joy for yourself, your experiences and for others.


Beauty is empowering


Caring about how you look and are perceived by others is NOT superficial, its SMART. As humans, we have evolved to recognize beauty as an indication for good health and therefore, reproductive capacity-- the ability to survive and continue the species. In today's day and age, we know that the ultimate life goal is not necessarily to reproduce and that women (and all people) should not be defined by their reproductive abilities; however, our brains are still programmed to think about and view others in this manner!


More than simply physical attractiveness, humans are awed by confidence and assertiveness. It just so happens that many "physically attractive" people assess these qualities as well, possibly as a result of feeling confident in their appearance and consistently receiving positive feedback from their environment. Looking your best can help you feel your best; and at the same time, feeling your best can help you look your best. That’s the beauty brain loop. Feeling and looking secure, self-assured, and beautiful is the key to empowerment and confidently confronting the world around you!


And now that we're clear (hopefully..) on what our definition of beauty is, let's talk about what beauty is NOT:


Beauty is not femininity


Let's start this off by acknowledging the elephant in the room: we recognize the irony of us making this statement on a website with a very "girly/feminine" color scheme. But, we want to emphasize this point: beauty ≠ femininity.


Sure, femininity can be beautiful, but so can masculinity and everything in between! In fact, all of us have both feminine and masculine components to our appearances and personalities. To become your most beautiful self, it's about finding the right balance for YOU and falling in love with that person, not the person who others may desire you to become.


The most beautiful people are those who are comfortable with all aspects of their personality and confidently put them on display for the world to see!


Beauty is not conformity


Societal beauty standards, trends, and ideals are constantly evolving and while you may benefit and receive positive reinforcement in the short-term by partaking in or conforming to them, they provide minimal benefit on your overall perception of yourself in the long-term. In fact, making drastic, perhaps permanent changes to yourself based on temporary trends can be harmful. The beauty we believe we should all be striving towards is one that transcends all evolving trends, generations, and cultures-- one where uniqueness, rather than similarities, are celebrated and encouraged to shine.


The world would be so incredibly boring if we all looked and acted the same (so cliché, we know). But, we also recognize that "fitting in" provides us with an easy fix for the sense of community and popular acceptance we naturally crave. By putting in a little effort to surround yourself with people, environments, and places that welcome both your similarities and your differences, you can get the best of both worlds and learn to feel beautiful as you truly are!


Beauty is not criticism


Each person perceives beauty differently and is willing to take different steps to either increasingly fit in or stand out to become the person they want to be. What you may perceive to be someone's weakness might be something they consider a strength, something they've accepted, or even something they recognize as a weakness but are comfortable with. While we as a society are constantly providing feedback, whether it be desired or unwelcome, no amount of feedback or criticism or judgement will lead to long-lasting improvements. The most meaningful, durable changes and improvements come from within. Beauty is not about putting others down, it's about building yourself and others up. By building others up, you will not only support others in becoming the best version of themselves, but you will become a better version of yourself and others will perceive you as more beautiful.


By creating this page, our aim is not to tell you what you are currently doing is wrong and direct you to change it, but rather provide you with strategies and information to improve yourself in the areas that YOU would like to improve.

By now, I've either clarified what it is we are trying to do or confused you even more. Whichever one it is, it doesn't matter. Beauty is a surprisingly difficult concept to fully understand and grasp-- I'm still working at doing so every single day. In fact, this pandemic has liberated me from many of my previous beauty routines and yet, I have never felt better. I am exercising more, sleeping more and receiving more compliments and at the same time, saving hundreds of dollars on make-up, manicures and haircare.

We are delighted that you are here and we hope we have inspired you to join us. We can't wait for you to come along with us on this journey of self-reflection and -improvement and to discover your unique Beauty Prescription!


Zoe

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