Is Beauty an Inside or Outside Job?

By Caroline Zwick

How do you define beauty?

Is beauty on the inside? Is it in happiness, health and relationships? Is it in your eyes, laughter, dimples, skin, fit body, or luscious hair?

This simple question triggers a lot of different responses and emotional reactions in so many of us. We all have our different definitions of what beauty is. Some are vague, uncertain and filled with slightly uncomfortable triggers. Some are opinionated, loud and über-bold.

Daily, we are bombarded with others’ definitions of beauty. In magazine, on TV, on billboards as we’re walking down the street and in online advertisements that are silently (and sometimes not so silently) decorating the sidebar of an article that is meant to keep us posted on the economy.

Beauty – and it’s illusive definition – is constantly being manipulated (literally via PhotoShop as well as figurtively) that it’s hard to grasp what beauty actually is.

The problem with this is this: so long as we pursue beauty while remaining clueless as to its definition, we are committing to a blind, never-ending chase.

So, let’s take a step back and look at this conversation surrounding beauty. Does it come from the inside or the outside? If we can be beautiful from the inside out, can we also be beautiful from the outside in?

Today, I want to suggest this:

True beauty is when our inner and outer pursuits of it are in balance.

Only when these two functions are in equilibrium, can a person be truly beautiful on her OWN terms.

Think about it: If you are seeking someone else’s definition of “inner beauty,” you likely put others before yourself, often at the expense of your own wellbeing and happiness. If your goal is to achieve someone else’s definition of “outer beauty,” you may be putting your quest for unrealistic and unattainable body ideals ahead of your health, happiness and sanity.

So how does beauty on your own terms differ?

Someone who is guided by her own definition of both inner and outer beauty is kind, loving and genuine on the inside, but also has strong enough boundaries that allow her to step into the world and treat her own body with plenty of self-love that finds expression in how she fuels herself physically. She eats a healthy, nutrient-rich diet, treats herself to regular physical activity and plays. She is full of self love.

Her internal beauty feeds her external beauty. Her external beauty feeds her internal beauty.

Beauty is a two way road.

Think about yourself…

Do you allow your quest for inner beauty to override her own physical self-care principles?

Are your so pre-occupied with being physically attractive that you are losing sight of being kind and unconditionally loving towards yourself?

Do you love your body as much as other people love your “inner beauty”?

Do you get as much joy from spending time with yourself as you do when looking in the mirror?

How can you balance being beautiful from the inside out AND the outside in?

The more you can fuel this concept of beauty from both sides, the more free and vibrant your bubble of self-love can glow, and the more beautiful you will be… on your own terms!

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