Oct 042010
 
don't feel beautiful today

How do you feel beautiful, no matter what you look like? (image by kevin dooley, flickr)

No woman, no matter how beautiful she is, feels beautiful all the time. Here’s how to feel beautiful no matter what you look like – without botox, plastic surgery, or dieting.

Learning how to feel beautiful – and confident – no matter what you look like takes time, but it will change your life forever.

These tips for improving confidence and self-esteem are inspired by women who are happy with their imperfect bodies. They have physical flaws and weaknesses, yet they accept and even love who they are. That’s what feeling beautiful and confident no matter what you look like — or how much you weigh — is all about.

Before the tips, a quip:

“You have been criticizing yourself for years, and it hasn’t worked. Begin approving of yourself and see what happens.” ~ Louise L. Hay.

Try approving of yourself for two weeks. Appreciate and honor what your body does for you, instead of what you wish it could do or what you look like. If this is a struggle for you, consider taking a self-esteem, body image, or self-confidence course.

And here are several tips for feeling beautiful no matter what you look like or how much you weigh…

How to Feel Beautiful No Matter What You Look Like

Don’t compare your beauty to that of celebrities or movie stars

Those impossibly thin and beautiful models, movie stars, and celebrities are not the norm. They are the exception; they are paid to be beautiful, work out, exercise with personal trainers, and eat the best, most nutritious foods. Instead of comparing yourself to what you see in magazines or the movies, focus on accepting your body for what it is today. No matter how much cellulite or body fat you have, you are a valuable, worthwhile, beautiful woman!

Focus on your life – achieving your goals, living fully

“I’m too busy to dwell on problems,” says 95 year old Alice, in This Is Who I Am: Our Beauty in All Shapes and Sizes. Instead of focusing on what you wish was true about your body, set career, personal, and financial goals. Get busy. Get a life. The more you focus on what you want to achieve, the less you’ll compare yourself to others — and the more beautiful you’ll feel no matter what you look like.

Appreciate different types of beauty

“What I didn’t realize is that there isn’t one kind of beauty. There isn’t one person or group of people that possesses the monopoly on beauty,” says 33 year old Jennifer in This Is Who I Am. “There isn’t one face, body, hair, eye or skin color that is the definition of beauty. Now I know there’s an infinite amount of beauty – it can be found in the way a person moves, a well-sculpted arm, a graceful neck, lustrous hair, compassionate eyes, hardworking hands, a soothing voice, an enthusiastic heart.”

Love your body, even when you don’t always like it

To feel beautiful no matter what you look like, practice loving your body — including your flaws. You can accept yourself and be yourself, and still dislike certain parts of your body and personality. I love my freckles, but wish they weren’t so big. I love my eyes, but wish they offered me 20/20 vision! It’s like loving a partner, family member, or friend: love means acceptance of even the worst parts.

Accept that learning how to feel beautiful is a lifetime goal

Most women go through stages of acceptance and dislike of their bodies. Improving your body image is a constant process of acceptance. “Every hour of the day I work to keep this new body in line,” says 48 year old Susan. “It frustrates me that this is a lifetime challenge.” Getting and staying fit and healthy is part of feeling beautiful no matter what you look like — and it’s something you’ll have to work at daily.

Read Body Confidence – 10 Ways to Love Your Body the Way It Is for more tips.

See the value in your scars

Is your face or body marked in some way? Use your scars to remind you that you’re strong, resilient, healthy, and alive. “My scar has helped me choose men who are kind and good,” says Sarah, 29, in This Is Who I Am. Scars can improve your life by reminding you of your past — which is the reason you are who you are today.

Look at pictures of REAL women

One of the best ways to learn how to feel beautiful no matter what you look like is to educated yourself about real human bodies! Seeing the female bodies in This Is Who I Am: Our Beauty in All Shapes and Sizes changed my perception of out beauty and how I see my body. Women are so different: tall, heavy, tattoo’d, thin, blonde, black, varicose vein’d, smooth, bumpy. You wouldn’t believe what we look like underneath our clothes! But we don’t often see real women — we see the perfectly air-brushed impossible bodies in women’s magazines. That’s not real beauty.

Don’t stop here! Read Look Beautiful Without Makeup – 5 Fun, Creative Beauty Tips.

laurie pawlik kienlenI'm Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen - bookworm, travel bug, flute player, writer, blogger, warrior princess. :-) My husband and I live in Vancouver, Canada with our cat and dogs.

Are you happy? My Grade 10 Social Studies teacher always asked me that. And I am happy, despite a hard childhood (schizophrenic mom, no dad, foster homes), infertility, an eating disorder, and a chronic illness. The source of my peace and joy is God; I'm a Christian. Where do you find peace?

I welcome your big and little comments below, about big or little things. I can't give you advice, but writing can give you clarity and insight.

In peace and passion...Laurie

  6 Responses to “How to Feel Beautiful No Matter What You Look Like”

  1. Giulia,

    Thanks for your comments. That’s terrible that your psychiatrist decreased your self-confidence so badly! I hope you’re recovering from her “work”, and that your confidence in yourself has increased.

    I think learning how to feel beautiful no matter what you look like takes a lot of practice, especially in our world of advertising, thinness, sex, and beauty.

  2. What’s hard is when you are a thin woman, you are often considered as “not a real woman” because everyone diets and I don’t.
    A psychiatrist jumped on the conclusion that I had anorexia only based on my weight. She didn’t even ask about my eating habits… I went in with self-confidence and I went out feeling so damaged that I thought I would never recover.
    Fortunately, I did. It was hard, and for me, the key point was : “Her lies cannot harm you unless you buy into them”.
    Or “I am underweight, not under-smart”.
    It helps a lot with self-confidence.

    I would add the tip : “don’t diet. Instead, focus on good nutrition for the sake of your health, not for the sake of weight loss.
    Eat when you feel hungry and stop when you feel full, no matter what other people tell you”.

    I think that self-confidence can be built one day at time.

  3. Thanks for your comment! I think that feeling beautiful and confident as a woman is a habit that can be developed….but it does take time.

  4. Great quip, thank you. I love to see a perspective that helps me change mine for the better.

  5. Thanks for your comment. I think it’s so important for women to know how to feel beautiful no matter what they look like.

  6. wow!
    that’s just awesome.
    thanks for sharing :)