Monday, September 10, 2012

Trust Me, I Look Really Good On the Inside...

I know that all of us ladies want to be beautiful, and yes, I mean truly physically beautiful (not, "Wow, honey, that Christmas ornament you made in preschool is sooo beautiful" type beautiful). We may tell ourselves that we don't care what is on the outside because we're working on the inside (by the way, its an error to think that the two are mutually exclusive).  We may find solace in the fact that we're smart, funny, athletic [insert any other positive attribute here], and that its okay that we aren't blessed with good looks. But deep down, we do care. Well, the truth is..... (you're wondering if this is about to be the most depressing "lighthearted" blog post you've ever read), drum roll, please, each one of us has our own unique physical beauty.

Just suspend your disbelief, and hear me out.  There are two ways to grasp that you have your own unique physical beauty. One is iffy; it may work, or it may chew you up and spit you out. The other is less dangerous, more effective, and more fruitful, because it results in concrete opportunities to use your intelligence and creativity to enhance your beauty. Let's take a look at the first, more dangerous method. I call it "finding a paradigm of beauty." 

This method often begins with the following thought, "I don't look like anybody else.  I look strange. Therefore, I am uncomfortable with the way I look."  From there, we either rest on the images of other beautiful women that we look nothing like (consciously or unconsciously concluding that we are ugly) or we try to find a "paradigm of beauty." A paradigm of beauty is a woman we recognize as beautiful and that we can relate some aspect of ourself to, or our general "look", thereby legitimizing our own appearance as a woman. Does this make any sense? Let me further clarify. This phenomenon often centers around a particular feature. For example, let's say that you have a pronounced nose. No other woman in your immediate experience does, except for the time your sister dressed up as the Wicked Witch of the West for Halloween. Then you see a picture of young Barbara Streisand (like here) and realize that big nose doesn't equal ugly. Now, this exercise can be a positive experience, one where you come out the other end feeling better about yourself. It can also be crushing, if you can't find a paradigm for your particular look.   

The second method is to know yourself. Yes, it is that simple. Instead of looking at others, then looking back at yourself, then looking at others (for some reason the natural go to method for 99.9% of women), just look at yourself. What is your coloring? Is it warm or cool? What is your face shape? What is your body type? What is your style personality? I guarantee that once you go through this process you will have a greater appreciation of what is truly beautiful about you, and the comfort of knowing that you belong to certain categories that millions of women past and present occupy. Also, by identifying your best features you will be able to highlight them to their best advantage.

So, that is why I would like to introduce to you a coming series on With My Sisters called "Know Yourself." Each week I will cover the basics of one aspect of knowing yourself, and also how to use this knowledge to be your most beautiful you. 


  1. Dear Mary,

    I love your blog posts, please keep them coming-great writing, philosophy, beauty and style, what a great combination for a blog. Miss you!!

    Love, Sarah.

  2. Wonderful.

    I really am looking forward to these posts!!

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