Inner Beauty Versus Outer Beauty
Every morning we look in the mirror and see ourselves. Maybe we see a new zit that popped up, stretch marks, or any number of factors that make us beautiful. We spend so much time thinking about beauty, judging ourselves for imperfections, trying to fix what we think is wrong, and comparing ourselves to others. With all this obsession with our appearance, is our perception of beauty altered?
There are hundreds upon thousands, probably even millions of beauty articles and videos on the internet, not to mention the secrets shared in magazines and between friends. But beneath the surface is there beauty we may not spend as much time on?
We are scarcely reminded to take care of our mental health and emotional well being. And when we are encouraged to do so, this inner beauty is something that is often cared for through meditation, journaling, and other things that make you feel good. Some could argue relaxing with a good book, going for a jog, or even catching up on TV can help you care for your inner beauty. Relaxation and taking time out for what you love is how we make ourselves feel better. So then why are inner and outer beauty so separate?
Although our beauty routines are often viewed as superficial, self-love comes in many forms. Our perception of both inner and outer beauty can be stretched to cover multiple facets. Just as exercise, something that helps you physically can also clear your mind, so why is caring for your appearance through makeup not accepted as beneficial to the mind and soul?
Our self-image and confidence are both affected by appearances. As women we are constantly judged by both men and other women by how we look. How others first perceive beauty is almost always based on the physical. If a woman is seen without makeup at work there will be comments made about her lack of effort. But if a woman wears “too much” makeup to work, she will likely be shamed for giving off the wrong vibe. These judgements greatly impact our confidence. Yet, when we put effort into how we look to improve our confidence, we are then judged for caring too much about our looks. Our beauty can so often be used against us.
Applying makeup and testing out skincare to help us feel good in our own skin is not something to be judged for. Loving beauty products is a way to care for ourselves. It feels good to put effort into how we look, whether it is what we portray to everyone else, or what makes us smile when we look in the mirror. As much as we may feel judged for caring about our look, it is our right as women to do so. There is nothing wrong with investing in or even spending hours on ourselves. I, for one, write beauty articles for a living, so I know just how fulfilling and impactful focusing on our beauty can be when we are passionate about it.
Inner and outer beauty seem to be considered polar opposites. And of course, I would agree that inner beauty is more important. You could be the best at styling your hair and blending your makeup, but if you lack inner beauty, the outer one will only take you so far. How you treat others, how kind, open minded, and accepting you are, are all without a doubt more significant to who you are as a person than what color lipstick you wear. But caring for your outer beauty and putting effort into how you look is not a weakness.
Being able to take time out to apply your makeup, to put on a face mask, and shop for the latest trends are, in fact, acts of self-love. When you feel good about wearing a new eyeshadow or bronzer, you are in a better mood. When your confidence is boosted so many aspects of your life can improve. When you focus on being kind and caring towards others, or put effort into making positive changes, you emanate a beauty that is indescribable.
So whether you harber guilt for focusing on your looks, have been judged for wearing winged liner, or going bare faced, know that what makes you beautiful is you. The confidence that comes with focusing on both your inner and outer beauty is most important. Accepting and even celebrating your uniqueness whether that is your body shape, skin color, or sense of humor, are what beauty is all about, so be you, and enjoy yourself!