With the burgeoning of the beauty, fitness and cosmetic surgery industries, women now have an
abundance of opportunities to take control of their appearances—by either enhancing or changing things about themselves with which they aren’t satisfied.

Having the freedom to alter our appearances brings us a sense of power. But, as they say, with great power comes great responsibility. It’s critical that we, as women, stay vigilant of the intentions that are driving us to make any sort of alterations to our appearances.

In our quest for physical perfection, we should ensure that we aren’t doing it because we don’t feel good enough and we want to cover up our perceived inadequacies. Beauty treatments, makeup and fashion should enhance the inner beauty that lies with you. It shouldn’t define you.

There isn’t anything inherently wrong with having a desire to look good – the problem arises when we attach our sense of self-worth to how much attention we receive from others because of our physical appearances and if our whole identity is centered on our looks. We can move away from this potential pitfall by redefining what it means to be a beautiful person.

Today, beauty is seen as being all encompassing – it’s not just about how pretty you look or how in shape you are but it’s about your character, morals and the compassion you show towards others. You have to be willing work on developing yourself as an individual and cultivating your inner beauty just as much (if not more than) as your outer beauty.

To make this new perspective on beauty easier to understand, I have created a fictional persona of a woman, called a True Beauty (TB). She exemplifies the new standards of modern-day beauty, which include her belief system, ideologies, and personal values.

These are the ten characteristics that define a True Beauty. I believe if every girl and woman aspires to these ideals, she will radiate beauty from the inside out.

1. A True Beauty is not defined by her size or body type. For the longest time women have felt pressured to conform to a specific body type, shape, or size to be considered attractive. The reality is that women come in all kinds of shapes and sizes. A True Beauty does not obsess about changing the things about her body that cannot be changed. She channels that energy toward becoming healthy and giving her body the care and nourishment it needs so she can experience total vitality, stable energy, and a strong constitution at all times.

2. A True Beauty develops her intellect and personality. A True Beauty knows that her character plays an integral role in the persona she projects into the world. This influences her to give priority to enriching herself through constant self-development and personal education. Very often women mistakenly believe that their pretty face or attractive body is sufficient currency for getting ahead in life and opening up doors for themselves. Many women do get by in life by relying on their looks and even earn a good living, but if they want to be respected and liked, they can only do so by showing strength of character, dignity and integrity.

3. A True Beauty is proud of her ethnic heritage. Gone are the days when beauty was defined by a certain skin color, facial feature, or body type characteristic of a specific race. A True Beauty draws on these modern values of cultural diversity and isn’t ashamed or self-conscious of any of her pronounced ethnically defined features, such as her skin color, hair texture, the size and shape of her nose, or the color of her eyes. Whether it’s her freckles, large luscious lips, eye fold, or curly long hair—she accepts all of it and is proud to represent her unique heritage. She knows her distinctive ethnic features enhance her personal beauty and gives her brand of beauty a distinguished kind of allure.

4. A True Beauty is driven by her aspirations, hopes, and purpose. A True Beauty lives with a strong sense of purpose in her life. She does not allow herself to simply go through the motions and live aimlessly without a sense of who she is and what she wants to accomplish in the world. She knows there is much more to life than just trying to look pretty and garnering compliments from people. She has clarity about her goals and a compelling vision for her ideal life, which she proactively pursues on a daily basis.

5. A True Beauty is not intimidated by the aging process. Many women struggle with the process of aging because they fear their physical beauty will fade away. True Beauty, on the other hand, accepts the inevitability of the aging process with a sense of peace. She doesn’t resist or fight it and, because of this attitude, she ages gracefully. She is convinced her beauty is not disappearing, but is simply transforming into another form that is a product of all the wisdom she has accumulated over the years.

6. A True Beauty wants to make a difference in the lives of others. A True Beauty is always looking for opportunities to add to the lives of people in a positive way. She may wish to touch the lives of the people within her own family, community, country, or even the world. The scale of her contribution is not important, as long as she makes a difference doing something that is close to her heart and in line with her values.

7. A True Beauty is understated. A True Beauty is not desperate or needy for other people’s validation. She is self-assured because she is already convinced of her value as a woman. She does not feel the need to be loud or overbearing in her communication, mannerisms, or fashion sense. Her beauty is understated, honest, and genuine because it is grounded in a strong sense of self and respect.

8. A True Beauty practices self-love. A True Beauty makes her self-care regime a top priority. She protects her emotional health by building healthy boundaries in relationships and friendships and never allowing other people to mistreat or disrespect her. She speaks to herself with love and kindness and does not beat herself up for making mistakes. She is her own best friend, cheerleader, and manager, ensuring that all her personal, emotional, physical, and spiritual needs are being properly met.

9. A True Beauty demonstrates compassion. A True Beauty exudes empathy, kindness, and shows real concern for others. She’s not afraid to express her natural feminine and nurturing traits. She is inherently curious about those she meets and takes a sincere interest in their lives. She is also secure enough to offer them genuine compliments. Her aim is to make others feel special, as opposed to trying to get others to make her feel the same way.

10. A True Beauty defines her own standards of beauty and lives by them. A True Beauty is not concerned about the general consensus of what is considered to be attractive and unattractive, or what’s trendy and not so trendy. She sets her own standards of beauty and defines her own unique style. She decides whether her well-defined muscles are hot or not. She decides if her afro is hip or not. She decides if her button nose is charming or not. She makes the best of what she has and does not feel the need to prove her worthiness or value to anyone.
By adopting the beliefs and values of a True Beauty, you’ll find yourself getting increasingly more in touch with the true essence of who you are. You will be able to acknowledge your gifts and allow your inner light to shine into the world. You’ll realize that you are beautiful and worthy of love, not because someone told you so, but because you possesses the kind of beauty that is strong, deep and eternal – a beauty that originates from your spirit and your unique persona.

Written by: Seline Shenoy

About Seline Shenoy:
Author of Beauty Redefined, is a podcast host and life coach who focuses on personal empowerment, self-esteem, productivity, and wellness. As the founder of The Dream Catcher, a blog community that encourages people to live their ideal life, Shenoy’s inspirational message has been attracting thousands of people worldwide since 2014. She is a regular contributor to a variety of publications including Forbes, MindBodyGreen, Elite Daily, Project Happiness, and Global Love Project.