Once upon a time, there was a girl who believed she wasn't good enough. She hated how she looked; that impacted every area of her life.
She became a people pleaser and a workaholic to avoid the pain and made decisions based on fear. All she desperately wanted was to be seen, but that was impossible because she was ashamed of how she looked. And so, the vicious circle continued.
But one day, many years later, that little girl found her feet, found a voice and decided enough was enough. No more hiding, no more body hate; there was only one chance to live life; something had to change.
I've learned a lot about overcoming body hate, how it creates confidence and what makes women feel attractive, especially as they age. And by that, I don't mean surgery or diet plans (although I learned a lot about that too). What I mean is changing the language we use, our beliefs, and the love we show ourselves. These are the things that really work from the inside out for anyone who wants to look great at any age.
My goal now:...to help other 'not good enough' sufferers understand themselves so they can feel and look their best, to make them feel attractive and live life with passion and sparkle.
This is how I improved my life....
Show Confidence Inside and Out
Beauty is about confidence; it's not about being the prettiest or being perfect. It's about how you carry yourself and how self-assured you are. Holding your head up with self-confidence is the number one quality that leads to feeling and looking good at any age.
Focus on What You Have, Not What You Don't
If you focus on features you like (rather than those they don't), you're more likely to feel good about yourself. Choose one feature you like. Do you have nice ankles, then wear shoes that have an ankle strap to draw attention to them. Maybe you have pretty wrists; enhance that by wearing an eye-catching watch. Delicate ears?...try wearing beautiful earrings, or what about thick hair? Keep it in good condition with a great cut, and it will work magic all on its own. Standing tall, shoulders back, and not shrinking into the shadows can also make everything else about you look and feel more attractive.
Smile. It Works Wonders
It's been said that a smile is the single most important thing that leads you to being viewed as attractive. Think of a baby's smile. There aren't many people who don't light up when they see a chubby baby grin, even if they are a little grumpy. A gorgeous smile is the best facelift you can have; it's free and natural! This one really works and one of the big factors in how I improved my life!
Reinvent Your Look
Instead of holding onto old definitions of beauty or feeling anxious about change, find fun in reinventing your style. If you feel uncomfortable, you'll look uncomfortable. Ever worn underwear that travels where it shouldn't, and you have to constantly adjust it? When you wear something that feels good and fits properly, you feel altogether different. If you've been wearing the same style of clothing, or if you've gone for the 'I'll just hide in this because it's big' type clothing, you will never feel good. Wear something that you makes you feel comfortable and happy. A flexible attitude to your style and fashion sense is key to enjoying your looks at any age.
It's not a beauty competition.
Beauty is not about competing with others. There will always be someone younger and prettier, more elegant or sophisticated, so look forward, not sideways or backwards. Comparison is the thief of joy. You don't have to focus on having the smoothest skin, the thinnest waist, the plumpest lips or the youngest body. You feel like a winner when you know you are looking and feeling your best, not comparing yourself to others.
Healthy Aging, not Anti-Aging
Changing mindsets about age and looking good is very much at the forefront with the #ilookmyage campaign, a fantastic idea by the Centre For Ageing Better.
A new social-led campaign it launched to fight against ageism and challenge sexist stereotypes, which has become a global hit – registering over 4 million views in just over a week. The hashtag has seen millions of men and women hit back at ageist and sexist clichés; it helps dispel outdated attitudes and assumptions about ageing by calling out such phrases as "you don't look your age", "you look younger than you are", and "you look good for your age". "All of these phrases are outdated and ultimately meaningless. I know this is an easy trap to fall into; I've done it myself, we see it as a compliment. But, we all look the age we are supposed to look as we all age differently,"
I want to talk about feeling and looking attractive as we age and focus more on prolonging the health of our bodies and skin rather than stopping the clock by trying to "fix" ourselves. Feeling attractive is based on how you experience your looks, no matter what you do or don't do to your face and body.
Be an Example to the Next Generation
The best tip I've heard from women who age gracefully is to become a role model for the next generation. When you show that ageing is nothing to be afraid of, your body and face appear calm and relaxed. Move and act with grace and poise, and be an excellent example of how to be amazing.