Saturday, November 8, 2014

Becoming a Woman Comfortable in Her Own Skin

selfie with a bouquet of summer sunflowers

Being comfortable with oneself by truly accepting what one cannot change or would be difficult to change, and furthermore, embracing all one's physical features to feel authentic and beautiful is so important for a life lived well. The French phrase, bien dans sa peau literally translates to "well in one's skin."

I feel like I am gradually becoming comfortable with myself now that I am in my 30s. (I think this commonly comes with age. Always having wanted to be grown up, my 29th year wasn't the last year of my 20s, it was definitely more pre-30 for me.) Over the past couple years, my actions have shown my thoughts have shifted. First, I introduced my picture on this blog after my 30th birthday trip to Paris in April. I debated about it for awhile before deciding. The truth was that I didn't feel like I was pretty enough before. As I became more comfortable with my looks, I was increasingly ready to 'come out' in that way. I also wanted this lifestyle blog to be more personal and maintaining my anonymity was no longer the way to accomplish that. Secondly, once a summer for the past two years, I felt fine in a sexy little bikini on the beach. Thirdly, the man I recently dated, E, told that I was beautiful all the time. Even though I told him I liked his "Good Morning, Beautiful" greetings and such, encouraging this behavior, I imagine that if I didn't, he would still have said it often and at times, rather insistently. After we dressed up to go out one evening, for example, he literally informed me that I was beautiful every two minutes throughout the entire date. During the following weeks, he also vocalized his memories that I looked particularly lovely that night and wondered where he could take me where I would dress up and be the most beautiful woman in the room again. One of the last couple days I saw him, I confessed to him that those comments really started to affect my thinking. I always had a healthy self esteem before, but after letting his words sink in, I felt prettier than I previously thought. His words inspired me to contemplate, but with my complex mind, my evolution came from within. As it should be, separate from outside judgment. Without him though, this blog post wouldn't exist, at least not anytime soon. Fourth, I also have invested more and more in my appearance lately, purchasing a bit more expensive and highly rated beauty products and actually using them on a routine basis. I am more in control of my look than ever before. When I look in the mirror, what I see more closely resembles what I want to see than ever before. I hope that this rather sudden realization of my gradual transformation leads me to live life more confidently.

It seems almost insane that I am just becoming comfortable with my physical appearance now at age 30. I am often single and will even travel alone and as a result of these facts, feel I know myself well. I am also fairly independent and very much live inside my head. Why is this acceptance so difficult?! There is the fact that I probably wasn't the cutest girl. In fact, I never show anyone pictures of myself with my long messy, wavy-curly hair from the 5th grade. For a decade until the 7th grade, I had such thick bangs, like half the-top-of-my-head thick. My mother thought it was easier to keep that part of hair short. Bangs are my signature, but I grew most of that out starting in the 7th grade, and kept a thin layer of fringe until I finally cut them just a bit thicker during college. Also, I was always one of the "smart kids" growing up. Socially acceptable, I didn't suffer from low self esteem. Although, I didn't receive all that much male attention K through 12. Additionally, I revere all things classic. Classic features for a woman are high cheekbones and slim long legs, neither of which I possess, thus my features did not align with my personal beauty aesthetic. My square face is rather full and my legs are shorter than average and primarily muscular. When I was a young girl, I would suck my cheeks in and gaze into the mirror on my bedroom closet door and daydream that that's what my face would look like when I was older and lost my baby fat. Heredity, unfortunately, had other plans. If I ever considered plastic surgery, it would have been to slightly enhance my cheekbones. I realize now that I will never have that done as I fully accept my face. It's me. Whenever I complained about my legs, E would reply that he liked them. I also dated a guy briefly years ago who was attracted to wide hips. I don't know if both comments helped, but they certainly didn't hurt. If you asked me a little bit ago if I thought I was beautiful, then my inner voice would first say something like, "I am halfway decent looking" or "I can get by." Or perhaps that I didn't even know that I was kinda cute until I signed up for Match.com memberships and received attention. I realize that I dwell on my negatives. I am very nice to others, but like most people, I am quite the bully to myself. My inner voice jumps all over what's wrong. It takes practice to be kind to oneself. I also think one should accept imperfection because being unique should be celebrated as well. Furthermore, one often doesn't even mind imperfections of a confident woman as he or she is distracted by her overall charisma. This short life is meant to be lived, fully, without being held back by nonsense.

There are so many things about my physical appearance that are positive. I like my overall shape: my height and weight as well as my hourglass figure. My brown hair color has never seen a single drop of dye. My favorite feature? My long eyelashes. E also adored my smile and I have to admit it's quick, big, bright ...and reflects happiness. I'm just gonna say it, I am beautiful.

Since this is more my personal journal, this blog does not offer many how to's. Sorry for not guiding you along the way, but I do not feel qualified to do so being a beginner. I assure you that there are so many wonderful resources out there providing helpful tips. In fact, I always love what Shannon has to say over at The Simply Luxurious Life. Nonetheless, since so many external factors inspired my recent developments, I hope my story may help someone on their own journey.



4 comments:

  1. Beautiful post. You are radiating beauty in that photo. I'm happy for you!

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    1. Grazie!

      I love that the photo features sunflowers, which I often keep around during late summer. I'm reminded of the following quote I found used as a caption on Pinterest: "The sunflower is a glorious, robust, dignified, I-am-what I-am sort of flower." -Henry Mitchell. It seems fitting.

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  2. You are lovely and I enjoy reading your blog.

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    1. Thank you. I also appreciate you reading it.

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