Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Looking Back: Things I Wish I Had Known About Beauty When I Was Younger

Dear Young Girls and Young Women:

I spent a lot of time in my teens and twenties wishing I was more attractive, comparing myself with other girls, and reading beauty magazines. Some of the things I learned were useful -- for example,
I'm certainly glad I started wearing sunscreen on my hands and face every day -- but in retrospect, a lot of that time was wasted. Why? Because a lot of my beliefs and assumptions about beauty turned out to be incorrect.

I'd like to tell you a few things I wish someone had told me when I was a young woman.

Often, Youth = Beauty

Now that I am in my forties, it seems that all the young women and young girls I see are pretty, if not beautiful. No matter how much you bemoan your acne, frizzy hair and weight, in many ways, you are in the best physical condition of your life. Almost nothing has started to sag or wear out yet. So, while you probably can't help comparing yourself to your peers, remember that your youth alone gives you some beauty, and take confidence from that.

If You've Got it, Flaunt it

As I observe young women now, many seem to be either very modest or complete exhibitionists. This bit of advice is for you modest young ladies who were raised right. Unlike your mother, I'm going to suggest to most of you to go ahead and wear that short skirt, that shiny pink dress with green stripes, and put a purple stripe in your hair. Only do it if you want to and it seems reasonably flattering (i.e., no muffin-tops), but by all means, if it looks good, wear it. You will never be in better shape to do it, and you will wish you had. I hear older women say all the time that they wish they had worn 2 piece bathing suits and halter tops when they were younger and could have carried it off, and I may yet dye my hair some unnatural color.

Except for a Few Horn Dog Men, Beauty Really Does Come from Inside

A lot of men in their teens and twenties are only after one thing, and a lot of them don't care about you as a person or about your personality. This is, by no means, ALL men in their teens and twenties, so don't tar them all with the same brush. Many of these males will begin to learn what their more enlightened bretheren already know, however, after an encounter or two with women who are only pretty on the outside. The younger, more sensitive man, and his older brothers who have been burned, would rather have a woman who is intelligent, cares about him, is punctual, courteous, and shares his interests than a bitchy hot babe. Sadly, however, some men will never come to this conclusion, regardless of age. Just feel sorry for them, and don't pursue them yourself. Even if they are millionaires, they will never be "worth it."

People Who Love You See You as More and More Beautiful

Have you ever noticed that your own significant other is really attractive? Do you remember back to when you met that person, and they weren't quite as hot then as now? That's because people we love become more attractive to us the more we love them. So when people who love you tell you that you are beautiful, believe them.

You Will Eventually Look Back on the Age You are Now

Eventually, I will be in my sixties, and I will look back on my forties, and have a whole different list of things I wish I had known now, but don't. I can't predict what those things will be yet, but for now, I'm going to take my own advice: I'm going to realize I'm beautiful, flaunt myself, work on my inner beauty at least as much as I do my outer beauty, and listen to the people who love me when they tell me I'm beautiful.

1 comment:

candycoffin said...

I really love your writing and advice. So true! I am in my early thirties now, but when I look back at photos of me in high school I can't believe how thin I was! Back then, I didn't feel that way. I was always feeling fat, ugly and depressed. I was also modest, being raised right and all. Once I turned 30, I threw caution to the wind. I dressed funkier, dyed my hair a neon color and decided to just work it! Work it harder than I ever had before. You are so right about beauty, youth and its perception. Thank you for this piece. I wish more people said things like this.