I’ve always been confident in my abilities to do things, talk to people, or achieve goals. But I didn’t always have confidence in my physical appearance. I was always so jealous of the girls in high school and college who were beautiful and popular and had all the boys chasing after them. I was actually friends with most of them, and most of them were genuinely good people as well, who were just also blessed with beauty.
And then there was me, the nerdy friend who played the violin and volunteered at the zoo. The more that I owned that identity, the less I hung out with them because I just felt like I simply didn’t belong anymore, they were all developing this natural beauty. And I was not… I dated and flirted but I always relied on my charm and wit, not having any confidence in my external beauty.
Even throughout college I always just felt like I didn’t fit in with my exotically beautiful roommates. Blonde hair, thin, and green eyes or perfect long hair with a smile to match. Again, I was super short with short hair (not that that’s a bad thing), and struggled to feel beautiful without fake tans, too much makeup, and short skirts. My appearance has changed drastically since those days.
That’s the difference of 5 years and a whole hell of a lot of soul searching. Thanks to maturity, acceptance, and good ole’ aging this is the most beautiful I’ve felt in my whole entire life. Inside and out. So here are some tips from a late bloomer because ya know, we are all in this together.
Tip #1: Stay Away From Self-Conscious People
It was really hard to feel pretty around people who didn’t accept their own natural beauty. Self-esteem issues breed more self-esteem issues within even the most confident of people. If people are self-conscious about their own appearance and constantly talk about it or put it upon others, stay far away. It wasn’t until I lived alone and got away from all the bullshit noise of what other people think I should look and/or dress like was when I finally started to feel pretty. I felt like I had to have perfectly straight teeth, or a perfect complexion, or a perfectly round ass to feel worthy.
Let me tell you one thing, I have a slightly crooked smile, tons of freckles, and not a body builder Brazilian ass and I feel great! And that’s because in my own quiet, alone space with no other input, I was able to define MY version of beautiful.
Tip #2: Do Things That Make Your Heart Full and Your Appearance in the Mirror Will Change
Sounds crazy but it’s 110% true. Maybe it’s my inner spiritual gangster but when I am being an authentic, honest, and kind person I feel much better about the manner in which I’m conducting my life which makes me feel great inside. And that reflects to your outward appearance. When I started going to yoga, volunteering for Austin Pets Alive, and doing nice things for my friends, I started living a life of giving and not taking. When you give your energy to someone else, it’s replaced with positive and uplifting energy.
It’s a true scientific principle that energy is never gained or lost but only transferred (thanks high school physics). Maybe it’s my inner spiritual mind playing tricks on me, but when I give energy to someone or something that has better use of it than me, I feel that energy replaced by something even better. Gratitude, humbleness, and selflessness offer an overwhelmingly better energy to soak in than just about anything else on this planet.
If you have 6 hours of time for a Netflix binge, you definitely have 1 hour to do something selfless for someone or something else…just sayin’.
Tip #3: Most People Are Too Shy to Tell You They Think You’re Beautiful
Because of how messed up our society is sometimes, people feel weird telling others that they’re beautiful or gorgeous. These words have a completely different connotation than saying someone is “hot” or “cute”. “Hot” is an adjective meant for temperature, and “cute” is a adjective meant for describing dogs or children. Take my advice and don’t tell a grown ass woman she’s “cute”, it makes her feel like she’s 12.
GUYS: It’s perfectly normal and OK (heck even encouraged) to tell a woman she’s beautiful without being romantically interested in her.
LADIES: He told you that you were pretty, not that he wanted to jump in bed with you, stop making it weird. He isn’t “obsessed” with you, he isn’t “creepy”, and he isn’t “being weird”, he’s being nice.
Start by telling people this for yourself, because it usually lends them to feel comfortable saying the same thing to you. You never know when you’re gonna get hit by a bus, so tell people these things when you feel them. Sounds morbid, but it’s so true. If you never told your friend he has a beautiful smile or deep eyes, how is he ever going to know? If you never tell your friend she has beautiful hair and a magical smile, is she supposed to read your mind?
Here’s the take-home message
This post has absolutely nothing to do with how to improve your outward image because unless you feel great on the inside, it won’t translate to the outside to where you feel authentically beautiful in the skin you’re in.
When you start giving positivity to yourself and others, and distance yourself from negativity, how you see yourself starts to change. Then one day you’ll look in the mirror and say to yourself “Yes, that’s me. And I look damn good.”
Lots of love to all my late bloomers, you aren’t alone, and you are beautiful.