We’re so inundated with images and concepts of ‘beauty’, it’s been reduced to a near-meaningless buzzword. I think it’s important to give real meaning to the word, and attribute new value to it, so that it actually becomes applicable to our personal lives.
From my miniature mountain of magazines, I recently pulled a thoughtful nugget from Stefano Tonchi, the editor-in-chief of W.
“... beauty is far more than being beautiful. It is about how we present ourselves to the world and the spirit with which we approach what surrounds us. The idea is not to attain an abstract manufactured idea of beauty but to find a way to explore a different sense of self.“
Bravo. This statement reflects my philosophies and purpose in creating Eye For Elegance (blog, Youtube, Instagram, etc.). My goal is to offer you inspiration and invite dialogue about discovering and highlighting your best sense of self. Beauty is not a veneer to be applied, like makeup foundation or a trending clothing fashion. True beauty comes from your aura of presence and energy. It influences how others view you, and sets the stage for every single one of your interactions.
So what does this mean, and how do you take charge of yours?
How do you define yourself? How do you want to be defined as?
Put another way, what characteristics do you want other people to use to describe you? Be thoughtful and considerate. Take a good amount of time to compile your list. It’s not a trivial or easy task, and you deserve to focus on yourself. (In our fast-paced, multi-tasking, information-overloaded lives, we don’t spend anywhere near enough time thinking about ourselves – our psyche, our well-being, and our true sense of self.)
Physically write out your list. It clarifies and strengthens your awareness of and commitment to each characteristic. Think of it frequently. Re-evaluate and edit it; it is as dynamic as you are. Live by it. Cherish it.
I define myself as confident, resolute, empathetic, thoughtful, and gracious.
How do you physically hold yourself? What does your body language say about you?
Look at yourself in the mirror. Don’t focus on what type of a hair day it is, or how slim or bloated you may feel. Note your posture, your stance, and your facial expression. Consider how you come across in photos or videos (ah, video – today’s new medium to learn how to deal with).
Of the person you see, what do you appreciate and approve of? Be kind but fair to yourself. If you note anything less than desirable, acknowledge it and consider how a change of posture or mentality could improve it.
I am relaxed and dynamic. I hold myself deliberately, with acute awareness of my posture and image: spine lengthened, shoulders back and down, eyes constantly moving and taking things in, and my mouth in a slight smile. I fill and own my space. I interact with my environment. By doing so, I establish myself. I do not wish to be rendered invisible. I have an identity that I want to be known.
How do you project yourself? When you start the day, what are your primary emotions? How does that change as you go through the day, based on what you do, where you are, and who you’re with?
Consciously evaluate how your mental mindset very likely influences the way you carry yourself: your expression, gestures, and attitude. That’s not to say that you should force yourself to project an attitude that you don’t feel within yourself. Just know that your energy and outlook is a significant portion of what others will understand – and remember – of you.
I can’t control how I feel everyday. Recently, I’ve been going through a number of emotional and psychological challenges. But my true nature and self-resolution is to be optimistic, looking towards the future for its sense of opportunity. I always strive to find reasons to express joy and wonder (and yes, this is a conscious self-mindset) because I find life to be better-appreciated when seen as new.
I frequently smile, however slightly or widely. Smiling is my way of adding my small bit of personal warmth to the world. You will find that smiles are often returned and even if not, it has made a subconscious impact.
Find a favorite photo of yourself. This one by Kent Hwang is one of my favorites. I love my natural, unposed happiness. It’s relaxed, joyful, and full of life. It’s how I hope to approach each new day and opportunity: with a wide smile full of delight.
I look forward to many upcoming conversations about the individualistic beauty that we each create for ourselves. Confidence, elegance, self-awareness and self-love: that is my definition of beauty.
Much love and aloha,