Quick, what are the first things that pop into your head when you think of “natural beauty?” If I’m guessing right, you thought of physical traits…for example, having sunkissed skin, tousled frizz-free hair, and probably what the person who “I woke up like this” was deemed after might look like. Right? Yeah. And the reason being is what the majority of the world sees as natural beauty is exactly that: physical traits only, perfect skin, straight teeth…ya know. Well let me let you in on a little secret, real-girls: true Natural Beauty is not physical.
Natural beauty is derived from within and exudes out of your soul, transforming you into a brighter, lovelier being than anything physical will turn you in to. Being a natural beauty comes from internal battles won, embracing your current state of being, understanding your true self, and possessing a kind heart. It took me a while when I was young to realize these things, and I wish I could go back and tell my 1999-2007 year old self what I’m about to tell you now. Here are my four, real-girl secrets to becoming a natural beauty:
> DON’T LET ANYONE DEFINE YOU
You were born to be different, to be a real-girl, to stand out, and to not be fit into a societal mold. You were also born loved fiercely by a wondrous Creator, who designed you to be unlike any other, who has great big amazing plans for your life. When others try to break you down, define you, label you, and limit you, remember this: they can only try. It’s up to you whether or not they will succeed. Set yourself apart from the world and remember that no one is capable of ruining your happiness, unless you let them.
> BELIEVE THAT YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL, & TURN ON YOUR FILTER
Up until about 10th grade, I really had a hard time believing this due to the amount of cruelness I dealt with from others about my appearance. I had curly blonde hair that I had no idea what to do with, I got acne at a young age and have heard every joke in the book about it since about 5th grade, I had tomboy tenancies (yes I knew how to skate and play guitar back then), and I really didn’t know how to filter everyone’s harsh comments out of my head properly until one day, it hit me: I thought, “I AM beautiful in my own way, these kids just don’t know what to do with me because I’m not like them, and I’m not going to let them get to me anymore.” And that was that.
Making that decision really changed my life, and felt so liberating knowing that no matter how mean and judgmental others can be in that stage of life (and even after, hello college), I will always find my worth in my Creator. Not in others. I am confident because I know I am unique and unlike any other, and I embrace that. So know this girlfriends: You have a filter. You get to choose what comes in and stays in, and what comes in and goes right out. Turn that switch on–filter in positivity, and filter out negativity. It really is as easy as that.
> KNOW YOURSELF APART FROM OTHERS
If everything you were attached to in life fell away, who would you be? If your friends left, if your job was no more, if your social life ceased…who would you be without those things, at the core of your being? Taking the time to build a foundation from the very center of yourself, alone, is crucial to understanding who you are as an individual person. When you know yourself, your most intimate self–filled with joy, with grace, with beauty, and with all things lovely–you will know that you have a firm foundation on which to stand strong and confident in the midst of life’s storms. Hold fast to the real true you, when you feel like all things are being stripped away.
> DON’T LISTEN TO ANYONE, & SOMETIMES, NOT EVEN YOURSELF
Words have such a power. Criticism and judgement come so easily from us to others, and sometimes even from you about your own self. It’s harder to embrace the beauty under the brokenness, to call out encouragement and compliments, and to only look for the good in yourself and others. Practice the latter and see how immensely your world changes 🙂 Know this: words gain their power only when you believe them. Choose which ones you speak and listen to wisely.
> FINAL THOUGHTS
Internal beauty shines brighter than any form of physical beauty. Forgiving others when they don’t deserve it, learning to love yourself after low points in life, accepting and embracing your whole body–shape, size and color, willing to work with what you’ve got and loving it: all these things turn your soul into a radiating beam of light. There is nothing more beautiful than that.
Hold fast to these things, soak them into your soul and I can assure you, you will shine a natural beauty this world has never seen. Who needs make up when you can wear self love instead? Who needs bedhead beach waves when you showcase confidence instead? Believe in yourself, speak only kindness, encourage others and know that you, real-girl, are so precious and so loved.