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36 Ways to Feel Absolutely Beautiful

“You are beautiful no matter what they say. Words can’t bring you down, no, no. Cause you are beautiful in every single way. Yes words can’t bring you down.” ~lyrics from ‘Beautiful’ by Christina Aguilera

(Note: Men, please share this with the women in your life.)

It’s hard to be beautiful — and even harder to feel beautiful.

The current media ideal for womenís overall appearance is achievable by less than 2% of the female population. But we are bombarded with this unrealistic ideal.

Young women today see more images of exceptionally beautiful women in one day than our mothers saw throughout their entire teenage years. It’s no wonder that 8 out of 10 women are dissatisfied with their appearance.

The standards of female beauty have become progressively more unrealistic and unattainable. We need full-time hairdressers, make-up artists, physical trainers, and dietitians just to attempt to keep up.

The truth is that most of us aren’t “beautiful” by the current media standards of beauty. And even models and actresses are outed as less than perfect when they are caught in their natural state by lurking tabloid photographers. Maintaining that standard of perfection must be exhausting and humiliating.

Even though we know this standard of beauty is unrealistic and unattainable, most of us spend far to much time, emotional energy, and money attempting to keep up. It doesn’t matter whether you are young with enviable skin and a tight butt or beginning to see gray hairs and wrinkles, you probably focus far more on your perceived flaws than you do on any aspect of your true beauty.

Although physical attractiveness can help you get a foot in the door, it has very little to do with sustaining relationships and even less with developing real self-confidence. We’ve all seen beautiful people who open their mouths and become instantly less attractive, or unattractive people who become more and more appealing because they exude something special.

Wouldn’t it be wonderful to wave a magic wand and eliminate all of the insecurities and self-loathing that is wrapped up in the struggle for beauty? What if you could just walk away from it all and just live your life focused on what makes you joyful and confident?

With practice, this can be done! For those of us in the 99% who will never make it on the pages of a magazine, we can feel absolutely beautiful by shifting our actions and attitude.

Here are 36 ways to start feeling absolutely beautiful right now:

1. Smile. It lights up your face. It triggers happiness in your brain. It makes others feel happy.

2. Remember your posture. Stand up straight. Hold your head high. Throw those shoulders back. You look confident, energetic, amazing!

3. Focus on the best not the worst. Stop staring at the wrinkle or the bulge. Quit comparing yourself to Patty Perfect. Let your “worst” features recede and focus on your best instead. You have far more beautiful features than you see!

4. Be amazed at the wonder of your body. No matter your size, shape, or age, your body is a miraculous temple. Observe how wondrously it operates to house the beautiful person you are.

5. Appreciate your flaws. You are part of the Great Community of Flawed Persons. Welcome to the club. So embrace your flaws as a reminder of your connection to humanity. Flawed is the new perfect.

6. Be expressive. When you are animated and expressive, the fullness of your personality shines through. What could be more beautiful?

7. Get excited. Allow yourself to be enthusiastic and excited about life. Don’t let your concerns about appearance hold you back from embracing the beauty of living. It will reflect back on you!

8. Break a sweat. Get some exercise. Put on that lovely spandex and move your beautiful body. Get an endorphin high. Let your hair get sweaty and greasy. Through the sweat you are shining like star!

9. Practice beautiful movement. Try ballet, tai chi, yoga or some other movement that is fluid and allows your body to respond in beautiful new ways.

10. Acknowledge your inner beauty. Get pen and paper and write down all of the beauty that you do, that you give, that you create, and that you are. You are a powerhouse of beauty.

11. Show kindness. A kind person is exquisite in their beauty. It shines from them like a beacon of hope and peace.

12. Don’t try too hard. Don’t overdo it with make-up or clothes. Don’t spend thousands getting surgery. Don’t exercise yourself to death. When you try too hard, you look desperate. It’s hard to feel beautiful when you feel desperate.

13. Don’t act your age. Your age doesn’t define you or your capacity for beauty. In fact, age ripens you and provides a lushness to your bad, beautiful self! Live the age you feel.

14. Create something. Creativity is the handmaiden of beauty. Creativity is beauty expressing itself through you. Paint, write, garden, scult, cook, sew, decorate — be creative and you will feel beauty spilling out of every pore.

15. Inspire others. As the poet Rumi writes, “Let the beauty we love be what we do.” Do beautiful things. Live beauty. Be beauty. You will inspire others through your beauty.

16. Stop your thoughts. It’s hard to feel beautiful when your brain is whirring away like a ticker tape with negative thoughts about your appearance or age. When you are trapped in those thoughts, stop yourself and redirect your thinking.

17. See yourself through the eyes of a loved one. View yourself the way those dearest to you see you. Offer yourself the love they offer you. Feel the beauty they feel around you.

18. Connect with the beauty of nature. You are part of the natural world in all of its infinite glory and seasonal changes. As you experience nature, become aware of your connection to the beauty around you.

19. Listen to beautiful music. Certain music speaks to your soul. It touches and enlivens the most spiritual and beautiful parts of ourselves. Listen to Brandenburg Concertos #5 by Bach to feel your beauty come alive.

20. Make love. No explanation needed.

21. Wear clothes well. If you aren’t a natural at dressing to suit your body type, age, and coloring, find someone to help you find clothing highlight the beauty inside of you.

22. Hug often. Share loving physical touch with friends and family. It’s a beautiful thing!

23. Get enough sleep. You know what lack of sleep does to your appearance, not to mention your mental health. A good night’s sleep is a mini facelift!

24. Dance. Dance alone. Dance with a partner. Dance like no one is watching. Dancing makes you feel like a beautiful child, carefree and happy.

25. Update your make-up. Make sure your make-up doesn’t look dated, too heavy, or just wrong. Sometimes we get stuck in make-up ruts. An new look can highlight your most beautiful features.

26. Have a beautiful mind. Don’t corrupt your mind with ugly thoughts about yourself or others. Don’t dwell on unpleasant things. Don’t watch violence or negative programs or movies. Fill your thoughts with loveliness.

27. Stop smoking. It ages your skin, it smells bad, it’s bad for you, and it doesn’t reflect self-love. Dropping this bad habit will instantly make you feel more beautiful.

28. Be outgoing, even if it’s hard. Initiate conversations. Show interest in people. Make introductions. Smile. Bridging the gap between stranger and friend feels beautiful.

29. Do physical work. If you have a desk job, sometimes you miss the beauty of a task completed with the physical evidence of your accomplishment. Do something physical like washing the car, raking leaves, gardening, etc. to see the fruits of your labor. Moving, working, accomplishing — that feels beautiful!

30. Take care of your teeth. Since you are now smiling often, you want your teeth to look their pearly best. White, clean teeth make you look ten years younger. Plus, it’s hard to smile if you are embarrassed about your teeth.

31. Create beauty around you. Let your surroundings reflect the beauty inside of you. Remove clutter. Clean windows. Add flowers. Let your home be filled with your beauty.

32. Cook a beautiful meal. Well-prepared, healthy, and delicious food prepared by loving hands is beauty for the mouth and the soul.

33. Reduce stress. Anxiety, a furrowed brow, a tense frown, hunched shoulders are all the physical manifestations of stress. Find the cause of your stress and do something to relieve it. Shine the light of your beauty on the situation. It might dissolve.

34. Exude self-confidence. Show the world that you know you are beautiful where it counts. Your self-confidence rises in direct proportion to your self-acceptance. Love the unique and beautiful person you are and share that with the world.

35. Dress up. Life has gotten increasingly casual. Dress up on occasion. In fact, be the best dressed person in the room. Wear red! Turn a few heads.

36. Express gratitude. Be grateful for everything you are and everything you have. The handful of complaints you have about your appearance is nothing compared to the cornucopia of blessings that surround you. Bathe in the beauty of your blessings, and it will transform you from the inside out.

Barrie Davenport is a personal and career coach and the founder of Live Bold and Bloom, a blog about fearless personal growth. She is the author of the free guide 7 Key Ingredients to a Meaningful Life.

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Photo credit: Carol Richardson Marty

Related Reading:

12 Critical Things You Should Never Tolerate

The Importance of Indulging


55 Responses to 36 Ways to Feel Absolutely Beautiful

  1. Jim Tucker says:

    1 comment to show I read you article

  2. Josie Huang says:

    I love this article.  Thank you for the reminder.

  3. Martin K. says:

    Beautiful list, Barrie! Self-acceptance is imperative to one’s happiness. I think that it all starts with getting rid of negative thoughts and filling your mind with positive ones. So, stop watching TV, reading news sites (99% of news are negative) and most importantly – dealing with negative people. And then learn to live in the moment. “The Miracle of Mindfulness” by Thich Nhat Hanh is great to learn how to do it.

  4. farouk says:

    that’s a great post
    today many people suffer from low self confidence because of believing that they are not that beautiful
    thanks for providing those useful tips :)

  5. Thank you for being the first to comment Jim!

  6. Hi Josie,
    I’m so glad you enjoyed it. We all need the reminder every day!

  7. You are so right Martin. Removing ourselves from the source of negativity goes a long way in helping us stay mindful and happy. I think Thich Nhat Hahn is an amazing teacher. Thank you for mentioning him.

  8. Vic Lawrence says:

    Great list! I created a list similar to this earlier this year. I think it is a beautiful thing To be reminded of how to be beautiful just the way you are.

    Thank you!

  9. You are so welcome Farouk. Yes, isn’t it sad how much our appearance can impact our happiness? I wish the media could take a break from promoting it!

  10. That’s wonderful Vic. Please share it with us!! We need all of the great ideas we can get. :)

  11. Crystal says:

    Loved it and shared with several friends – they loved it too!

  12. Vic Lawrence says:

    Hi Barrie,

    It’s called 44 ways to be spotted as inferior. It’s not as similar in title but our list is similar.

    Here it is:

  13. Thank you Crystal! I’m so glad you liked it.

  14. Thanks Vic! I’ll go read it. :)

  15. Martin K. says:

    Thanks for sharing this post Vic, it’s a great read! Gave me an idea for a new article.

  16. Vic Lawrence says:

    Anytime Martin. Glad you liked it.


  17. Sushmash says:

    Great blog  indeed! I prefer self confidence and smartness than beauty. Beauty is not permanent but beautiful thinking and confidence stays for long.

  18. Anonymous says:

    I love this list. After being stuck in a self-loathing rut for the past month or so, this is just what I need to help me get back on track and feeling great! Thanks! :)

  19. BLACKswan Beauty says:

    This article is chock full of information and reminders for the young and young at heart!  Very timely in this age of unattainable perfection…thank you.

  20. One way to be beautiful is to be yourself and to know that there is at least someone who thinks you are beautiful in every comdition.Thank  you for the great article

  21. You are so right. Self-confidence is beautiful. It can make the most average-looking person transform into loveliness.

  22. I am so glad!! You are beautiful, and don’t forget it!! :)

  23. You are so welcome. It is unattainable, and yet our young women just drink it up in the media. Wouldn’t it be nice if no make-up and a normal body type came into style?!

  24. Yes, authenticity is beautiful. It goes hand-in-hand with self-confidence. I’m so glad you liked the post!

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  26. Devang Patel says:

    wow… I felt amazing after reading this post…
    you made my day.
    Thanks a lot :)

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  28. All tips are fascinating and inspiring. I feel very beautiful after reading this. Not only women have this problem of feeling low about their beauty but also men do worry about their looks as like women.

  29. JasonFonceca says:

    I adore helping women feel more beautiful, whenever I can. This post is definitely something to share. Consider it tweeted, liked, +1’d etc. 😀

  30. Jereepetrie says:

    Beautiful! I especially take to heart the message that you can’t feel beautiful when you’re stressed. I see two completely different people when I look in the mirror and believe me the excited and happy one looks years younger than the fearful and stressed one – and much more attractive! A smile is better than a facelift, and looking in the mirror to see what’s right with you instead of what’s wrong with you definately gives you better results. Thanks Barrie :)

  31. Yomi says:

    thank you for writing this. it is true that the media is promoting unattainable standards of beauty, but it is just as difficult to grow up and watch your friends become truly beautiful people. Sometimes i feel left behind and inferior. I will definitely remember these tips :)

  32. beautiful gal :) says:

    i luv it :) <3

  33. Asifa fida says:

    these comments are so help ful i just need these all thanks

  34. Rojin_tog says:

    hi  you know it  is hard to feel you are beutiful i  dont like my hips and i try to loss them it make me unhappy 
    but this article learn more thing about  try feel happy and do right things to be beuty  thanx alot.

  35. Lingger_10 says:

    Love it :-)

  36. This is brilliant. Would it be alright if I printed them to keep?

  37. This is brilliant. Would it be alright if I printed them to keep?

  38. Gyugygf says:

    I was crying as I read it :)

  39. SerenaScarlet says:

    These tips all sound fun to do. However, I don’t like the message that physical beauty is only for the 2 percent, and that most of us should just give up. I don’t think that accepting that you don’t actually look good, yet feeling okay about it is quite the same as feeling beautiful. I am sure you meant well, but reading the introduction actually made me feel less attractive. I was also disappointed to see you discourage plastic surgery. Why make readers who have gotten it or plan to get it feel bad? Isn’t that just excluding people? 

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  43. Felicita says:

    There are several lines not only for women. Beautiful message.

  44. ayah says:

    loved it
    it really does make u feel amazing
    thanx <3

  45. David Otunga says:

    I think I have never seen such blogs ever before that has complete things with all details which I want. So kindly update this ever for us.

  46. krishamaria says:

    love this article, thanks barrie!…..i feel so blessed to be who i am!

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  51. Jessica says:

    Aww.Feeling beautiful is feeling good about your own soul.Every women should love about the flaws they are blessed .Read this

  52. Anonymous says:

    Why should you care about what other people think? You are beautiful inside and out, all you have to do it to believe it and smile every time you look into a mirror. Compliment yourself everyday, tell yourself how beautiful you are and believe it this your heart and soul. We are all beautiful no matter who we are or where we are from. We are all God’s creation…we are female and HE made us this way for a special purpose…to be a beautiful woman!

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