Monthly Archives: June 2017

Outer Beauty

If you ask one hundred women, “Do you want to be beautiful?” most of them will say they do. But, if you ask them, “So what do you think of beautiful women?” Most will have some pretty strong opinions. They will tell you that beautiful women are “thin, confident, perfect, well-dressed, and that they get what they want.” They will tell you that it takes a lot of time, energy, and money to look beautiful. They will also say that beautiful women are usually born that way. These statements are all myths — they are not true, but we tend to believe them.

And lurking just beneath the surface, the myths get even worse. When questioned more closely, many women will also report that beautiful women are “vain, self-centered, egotistical, selfish, and basically, not very nice.” I have asked tens of thousands of women of all ages and social groups these questions and share with you that this is what many women experience. They also think that they would have to be perfect. And until they are perfect in every way, then they cannot be beautiful.

If we think this way, we are in a trap! We think we want beauty, but the concept carries a lot of baggage with it. And if it’s as bad as some think it is, we should be avoiding it! The unfortunate result is that very few women have been able to be happy or satisfied with their appearance. Yet, we live in a world where others judge us and we judge ourselves on how we look.

Most women don’t want to be vain. In fact, the fear of becoming vain — or being perceived as vain — keeps many women from seeing and experiencing their beauty. This becomes very understandable when you look up the word “vain” in the dictionary. It is defined as, “having no real value, idle, worthless, useless, foolish, silly.” With this definition, I can see why no one would want to be seen in these ways.

Another definition of vain is “having or showing undue or excessive pride in one’s appearance or accomplishments.” If a woman thinks that she is worthless or has little real value, then any small amount of personal pride is “excessive and undue,” and can make her uncomfortable.

Pride is a very tricky word. It has two completely different meanings and they are quite contradictory. One definition is “inordinate self-esteem; conceit” and the other is, “a reasonable or justifiable self-respect.” So, let’s think of false pride as, “conceit” and true pride as, “self-respect.”

Now, the plot thickens. It’s not just becoming vain that we fear. Women are afraid that others will think they are vain and so they either keep putting themselves down, or trying to prove that they are good enough. So, in several different ways, vanity is related to fear.

Vanity comes out of feeling worthless or unworthy to some extent and trying to prove you are not. So, every step toward finding your true worth is a step away from vanity.

Both vanity and false pride seem to come from trying to pretend that you are something that you are not. Let’s give this up! Every single woman I’ve ever met had her own beautiful qualities. Very few women realize their beauty fully and some have not realized their beauty at all. They are all just at different stages of learning their worth and beauty.

Realizing our beauty is not something that we were ever taught to do. And we were never shown how to do it. To top it off, we live in a world and society that teaches us that it’s bad to think too highly of ourselves. We are also told that we can never be perfect, but that we should be perfect. So it should be no surprise that women have so many mixed emotions about these issues. Beauty, the way society has defined it so far, is a pretty impossible goal.

The real problem with the common notion of beauty is that we often see it as something comparative and competitive. This is really a very silly idea that we don’t apply to the rest of nature. We don’t go to the zoo and discuss, “Which is more beautiful a giraffe or a zebra?” When we go for a hike in the mountains we don’t analyze or evaluate, “Which is more beautiful an oak tree or a pine tree?” But for some odd reason, we apply this strange thinking to our appearance as women. Let’s stop it.

Women have to realize how much of a lose/lose situation this is. No matter how much you perfect your appearance, there will always be someone out there who is thinner, prettier, or younger, etc. All women lose at these limiting, either/or type of comparisons. Let’s leave competition for sports.

I used to say that we’ve needed to redefine beauty. But if you look in the dictionary, you’ll see that “beautiful” really means, “generally pleasing; excellent.” I’ll buy that. “Beauty” is defined as “the combination of qualities in a person or thing that gives pleasure to the senses or pleasurably exalts the mind or spirit.” That really is sounding better, isn’t it?

If we can go along with the idea that all flowers are beautiful and all mountains are beautiful, why can’t all women be beautiful? We shouldn’t have to stretch our imagination too much to include ourselves with the rest of nature!

It’s really a matter of harmony. Just as there is already beauty and harmony in forests and deserts, there is already beauty in people. They just need to realize it. If you went on a walk with someone who did not see beauty in the woods, would you change your opinion? I don’t think so.

Harmony is a pleasing or congruent arrangement of parts. It’s knowing that, as part of nature, you are put together well. That’s exactly what I’ve seen in studying thousands of women (and men, too.) We are put together very congruently. Nature is very consistent in giving giraffes long necks and zebras get stripes. There are patterns in women also.

The pattern in you is there whether you see it or not. Just because a flower doesn’t see it’s harmony, doesn’t mean it’s not there. Fortunately, unlike a flower, you have the ability to discover your harmony. And when you do, you’ll be able to have the experience that you’re already beautiful. Then your clothes don’t make you beautiful, they enhance the beauty you already have. Your make-up doesn’t make you beautiful, it brings out the beauty you already have.

Finding your true beauty will never occur until you stop trying to be anyone else. Just be you. But, you have to look for and discover the beauty and the harmony. Ever since I discovered the patterns in people, people have become beautiful to me.

The approach of finding harmony in yourself does not create vanity because it is not about undue or excessive pride. It’s about finding your true worth and value. Remember, we said that “true pride” is self-respect. Every woman’s goal should be to find her true value. It’s an area in which most of us have no training, but it is possible and thousands of women have learned to see the harmony in their natural pattern.

Discovering your harmony leads you to finding your true value and builds your confidence. Confidence is the quality or state of being certain. Confidence stresses faith in oneself and one’s powers without any suggestion of conceit or arrogance. You can learn to find strength in being you.

Rebel Holiday has 25 years experience establishing and developing companies. At age 22 she started her first company on the proverbial shoestring and built it into a successful business in just a couple years. She originally began speaking to share her business ideas. Now a professional speaker, Ms. Holiday has presented to hundreds of diverse audiences in corporations and associations internationally, traveling to 43 countries. She assisted over 200 entrepreneurial companies launch with early-stage venture funds in the Washington D.C. Metro area. Ms. Holiday has taught classes on topics related to entrepreneurship and business to graduate students in MBA programs at American University, Georgetown University, Massachusetts Institute for Technology (MIT) and University of Maryland.

Understanding of Beauty

Beauty is a phenomenal concept which is as old as mankind. Yet, it is a concept which is very misunderstood. Different individuals listen to such diverse views of what beauty entails that quite a number end up confused, frustrated and frankly give up. If someone were to walk right up to you and asked you to define beauty; what would you say? Would you start describing a cover model you saw in one of the popular magazines, or colors of the rainbow? Or would you consider a soft melodious piece of music or even a romantic verse from a lover? All these can be defined within the concept of beauty but one thing that is clear, there is no definite definition of beauty. Beauty is something abstract and intangible. It is something about something. This something about something will vary from individual to individual. A popular definition of beauty is that it is a characteristic about something that gives a feeling of pleasure and satisfaction. Therefore for beauty to be perceived, it must stimulate the senses to evoke a feeling of joy, pleasure and satisfaction. From this definition, the judge of what’s beautiful is the person who receives or fails to receive the pleasure.

How is this sensuous beauty applicable among human beings? What makes one be considered beautiful and attractive? Is a person considered beautiful necessarily attractive? These are complex questions which do not have a direct answer. The way the societies we live in view beauty is influenced by many factors. First of all there are cultural factors. In the past, each culture had distinct criteria upon which they based beauty. There are those cultures that considered plump women to be beautiful. Therefore fattening of maidens before marriage was a common practice. Others considered small feet to be beautiful. These have however changed a lot in modern times. With the advancement of technology and human interaction, the differences in cultural preferences have been minimized and we now almost have a standard way of viewing beauty. This is greatly influenced by the parameters set by top fashion houses. The images they project to the public, form the dress, walking style and physique have increasingly become the trend that the reminder of the World is expected to follow. But is what we see on the Catwalk the true representation of beauty? Thankfully, no. Human beauty is so rich in variety that we can have no set parameters within which to define it. One cannot authoritatively say small is beautiful, blonde is beautiful, slim is beautiful, green eyes are beautiful etc. and condemn other characteristics. There is no standard of beauty and each individual is beautiful in her own way. There may only be prejudices as a result of the society around the individual. It for this reason you would find a man married to a blonde having an affair with a brunette, or a lady of oriental or African descent. They are simply beautiful and the man cannot resist!

So, if we are all beautiful, what then is the big deal? Is there any reason to bother or care about how we look? Yes there is! You must certainly take the keenest interest in how you look. We live in a complex and highly socialized world. The image of beauty has become highly commercialized. Non conformity is risking rejection. Studies have shown that what is considered beautiful has a halo effect. A beautiful and attractive person will receive more attention, score higher marks in class, get more assistance, get a better job, be paid more and be trusted more. Coincidentally, people who are considered beautiful are better adjusted, confident and appear more intelligent. Therefore beauty plays a key role in our lives in how we relate with others and in how we choose our mates. It is therefore a responsible thing for us to ensure that we are beautiful. How do we do this? Since we have established that beauty is about evoking feelings of pleasure and satisfaction in other people, we must therefore aim at ensuring that people are pleased with what they see when they look at us. We all have strengths and weaknesses. We must strive to strengthen our strengths and mask our weaknesses. The aim is not to be the most beautiful person around. That is futile in that there is no such most beautiful person. The aim is to ensure we are presentable and acceptable in the society we live in. This will enhance our self confidence and of course our health. In Beauty and Health for Happiness, we will discuss tips on how to enhance our beauty and health. But first we must observe the following fundamental beauty tips.

o Accept yourself the way you are and know that you are beautiful in your own unique way. This is the first step in enhancing your beauty and health, making it shine to all around you.

o Develop healthy habits. Beauty and health are inseparable. Among the many characteristics contributing to overall beauty is health and youthfulness. You must have a healthy body, healthy skin, eyes, good breath, and healthy teeth etc. It is therefore imperative that you have a well balanced diet, exercise regularly and consult your doctor whenever necessary.

o Identify suitable products that you can use to strengthen your strengths and mask your weaknesses. These include moisturizers, creams, perfumes and hair products etc.

o Make a plan and start simply.

Beauty is a concept that plays a major role in lives and affects how we socialize and compete within the society we live in. There is no correct version of beauty and all of us are beautiful in our own way. Our perceptions of beauty are influenced by the society we live in and the modern commercialization of beauty. You however need not follow what you see in commercials. You can instead make a point of improving how you present yourself to others, and in the process, enhance your beauty and health.

Beauty Psychology

On the different theories of beauty and the role of perception in the judgment of beauty.

The psychology of beauty is complex not just because the concept of beauty is as yet undefined but also because it is largely true that beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder or how individuals perceive other people or things. Beauty can be attributed to everything that appeals to our senses and all objects that are compatible with our personal preferences. Beauty as we perceive it is largely a projection of our needs and beautiful objects or persons simply cater to our idealizations or fancies and reflect our natural need to relate to all that is appealing. Human beings are controlled by the senses and we tend to repeat processes or experiences that appeal to the senses, that are harmonious and have structure and form. Beauty appeals to our sense of sight so there is a preference for repeating the experience of beauty.

But how do we perceive beauty and why are some people or objects considered more beautiful than some others? Psychological tests have considered symmetry and proportion as extremely important in the perception of beauty. Beauty is also more holistic than specific as a beautiful object is judged as a whole package that is appealing rather than judged on the basis of its parts. Freudian or psychoanalytic explanations of beauty are scarce but psychoanalytic concepts could be used to consider our judgment of beauty as a projection or wish fulfillment so people attractive to us are typically ones who we admire or who in some way represent our own desires and fancies. Psychoanalysis can also be compatible with the idea that beauty is preferential perception when there are similarities with a parent. Most people are also considered beautiful when they have baby-faced features or a particular innocence in their faces. Beauty can also be culturally motivated so in certain eastern cultures women with beautiful feet are considered attractive whereas in the Victorian era in England, women with elegance and grace were the ones with smooth neck and tiny waist and modern western women are judged on the basis of their breasts, bottom and lips. The perception of beauty can change and studies have found that women may prefer softer features of men during particular times and more masculine features at other times depending on the stage of their reproductive cycle. So there are actually several theories of beauty which are discussed here one by one.

1. Beauty as Symmetry and Proportion – As you might have noticed in case of ancient architectural marvels, symmetry was extremely important. Whether it was the great pyramids in Egypt or the architectural wonders in Greece, symmetry and perfect dimensions played an important part in the history of aesthetics. This whole idea of symmetry also applies to every other object or person that we perceive so a person with perfectly symmetrical face would also be considered as an epitome of physical perfection. Perfectly shaped and sharp features are attractive to most people and the most beautiful faces are the ones which have very proportionate features. The same applies to the body and the low waist to hip ratio giving a curvy lower part of the body in women is considered more attractive than a straight shape which usually does not indicate fertility. As human beings are finally looking for evolutionary advantage women with a curvy shapes are considered more fertile and are thus more attractive to men. Similarly men with athletic and muscular bodies are attractive to women. However many men might not prefer extremely voluptuous or curvy women just like many women may not prefer extremely muscular men. This suggests that proportion is also about moderation or maybe human beings are more comfortable with certain moderation in what they perceive rather than excess and that way the perception of beauty may even depend on some sort of social programming.

2. Beauty as a whole rather than parts – When we consider something beautiful, we usually try to take a broad holistic view. Thus when we consider a rose as beautiful, we are less attentive towards each petal and consider the symmetry of the flower as a whole. In a similar manner, when we consider the face of a man or a woman, beauty is the composite quality that seems to represent the entire face of the individual rather than the parts or particular features. Our senses prefer a holistic view and perception of things and thus a person is considered attractive or beautiful only when all features add up to something really pleasant to the senses.

3. Beauty as projection and wish fulfillment – The perception of beauty is not only a mental process but also a deeply personal one. If say your lover has blonde hair, you might find other blonde haired people very attractive because you tend to project your inner fancies on to other people. The ‘he’ looks like my lover or ‘she’ looks like my lover is a common syndrome in our perception of beauty and people who are remotely similar to our mates are suddenly more beautiful to us than others. The same projection applies in case of selecting a mate who resembles a parent. If a man looks like your father or a member of the family he is obviously far more attractive to you than to others. The wish fulfillment theory is also equally true and when we want to be like someone in terms of talents or certain qualities, we naturally consider that person as absolutely perfect and beautiful. Some teenagers may idolize popular actors or actresses and the need to be like them also determines their own perception of beauty.

4. Beauty as innocence and charm – No one can deny that a charming personality with social confidence can be far more attractive than a dull personality. A person who has the inherent ability to attract individuals with the sheer force of personality and presence is considered highly attractive. In some way there may be an association between good looks and social confidence and sometimes individuals with good looks are also socially most accepted and thus more confident. Individuals with baby-face features with high or defined cheekbones and certain innocence on their faces are usually considered very attractive by both the sexes. Beauty is advantageous in social adaptation and good looking people are thus socially successful as well, as they get support and positive assessment from other people. However the opposite in also true and sometimes good looking women and even men can become extremely self-conscious and fail to develop adequate self confidence. Good looks can in certain cases become an impediment as good looking women who are also intelligent may be judged more on the basis of their looks rather than their intelligence and this is sometimes a sad fact in modern society.

5. Beauty as a product of culture and society – This is an accepted fact. The concept of beauty seems to change with time as society changes and the perception of beauty varies in different cultures. Dark skin is considered very attractive in Western societies and whiter skin is considered as attractive in Eastern societies, because of the element of novelty in both the cases. Feet and hair of women are important features in Eastern cultures whereas in the West, the woman’s lips, and hips are considered important. The breasts of women are important indicators of beauty in all cultures and men’s body and chin or jaw and certain masculine sharpness are also considered as attractive. Studies have indicated that women however tend to prefer dominant looking men during the first follicular stage in their reproductive cycle but prefer men with softer more feminine features when they are in their menstrual and ovulation stages. This may have some evolutionary advantage as men with feminine soft natures and faces are considered as more stable and more family oriented than men who have extreme masculinity or a sort of raw appeal. This is however too generalized and there are individual differences as well.

Finally, beauty is about how we perceive the outer world and how we integrate our needs and project our wishes on what we see in the external world. ‘Beauty in the eyes of the beholder’ in completely correct from a psychological viewpoint as our own preferences change with time and so do our desires, aesthetic sense and perception of beauty.

Successful Beauty

Overview

The concept of Beauty can refer to a particular person, a special place, an object of interest or even the concept of an idea, all of which can provide a perceptual experience related to pleasure, meaning or satisfaction. The study of beauty is intrinsically a part of aesthetics, sociology, social psychology and culture. In the form of a cultural creation, beauty has become extremely commercialised.

The characterisation of an “ideal beauty” is represented in a person who is admired, or possesses features widely associated with beauty in a particular culture. There are many historical figures that have come to personify beauty itself, such as Cleopatra, Helen of Troy, and Marilyn Monroe. The subjective experience, which refers to the sensory buzz and awareness associated with a perceptive mind, related to “beauty”, often involves the interpretation of some entity as being as one and in harmony with nature, which may lead to feelings of attraction and emotional well-being.

Beauty, as expressed by the popular saying, is in the eye of the beholder. In its most profound sense, beauty may engender a salient experience, which refers to a state or quality of standing out relative to neighboring objects, of positive reflection about the meaning of one’s own existence. Something that reveals or resounds with personal meaning may indeed be regarded as an object of beauty.

In classical Greek mythology, beauty was associated with the idea of “being of one’s hour”. Accordingly, a ripe fruit, which is “of its time”, was considered beautiful, whereas a young woman trying to appear older or an older woman trying to appear younger would not be considered beautiful.

History of Beauty

It was in the submissions of the ancient Greek philosophers, such as Pythagoras, that the earliest Western appreciation of beauty was to be found. The school, personified by Pythagoras, discovered that there was a strong connection between mathematics and beauty.

In particular, they noted that objects proportioned according to the golden rule, which can be expressed as a mathematical constant with a value of 1.618, seemed more attractive. In fact, this view of symmetrical structures that were in proportion is based on ancient Greek architecture.

It has been found that people whose facial features are symmetric and proportioned, in accordance with the golden ratio, are considered more attractive than those whose faces are not. Another important factor is that of symmetry since it suggests the absence of any hereditary or acquired defects. In fact, one of a number of aesthetic characteristics, including being average and that of youth, which are associated with the health, physical attractiveness and, ultimately, the beauty of a person, is associated with the concept of symmetry, especially that of facial features.

Even though there may be significant changes in image and fashion, it has been found that people’s interpretation of beauty may be defined in a number of ways. In this respect, eyes that are large and a complexion that is soft and clear, are especially desirable. Further, such features are most certainly considered beautiful, irrespective of gender, and certainly regardless of culture.

Interestingly, the features of a newborn baby are inherently attractive, and youthfulness is a timeless characteristic that is always associated with beauty. Early in child development, there is evidence to suggest that an affinity for beautiful faces emerges, and this definition of attractiveness is regardless of their gender or culture.

Beauty – How To Succeed

Peter Radford writes Articles with Websites on a wide range of subjects. Beauty Articles cover Definition, Historical Development, Human Characteristics, Social View, Mathematical Interpretation, Philosophy.