Inner Vs. Outer Beauty: The Winner Is. . .

by Claudius J West

inner-beautyMy forty-ish, 215 pound female friend from Georgia asked me to write about inner and outer beauty.

“For many years, the ONE thing I wanted in life was to be beautiful.

“I wanted to look like a supermodel.

“If I were beautiful, people would want to be around me, they would respect me, I would have confidence in myself, men would be attracted to me, I would be invited to parties, I would have a good attitude about life, and I would have fewer problems.

“Can an improvement in physical health cause an improvement in emotional health? Can better health improve physical beauty?

“Are there people, especially women, who changed their lives to pursue health, and have experienced results in other parts of their life?”

Last question first: Jillian Michaels. There’s a woman who lost big weight and changed her life significantly. Not every woman who loses weight ends up with the success Jillian Michael’s has, so let’s put her on the extreme end of the success spectrum.

jillian_michaels_350x650Thousands of testimonials found in advertisements and on weight-loss forums from people who have lost 25, 50, 100+ pounds rave about more than their change in waistlines. Are their lives really happier? They say they are, and I believe them.

You can get a noticeable boost in health without having to lose a lot of weight. A regular walk around the block will contribute to your having more energy throughout the day and give you better sleep at night. Better health, relatively speaking, is within easy reach.

Once you begin improving your health, it becomes easier to make further improvement.

That is, unless you make it not-easy to exercise, like trying to run five miles or staying at the gym too long.

As for looking like a supermodel, if I could wave a magic wand and turn you into a one, it would be of limited duration.

As my friend says about becoming a millionaire: it isn’t about money in the bank; it’s about becoming the kind of person who can generate and hold onto big money. Money doesn’t make you a millionaire (except in a technical sense); money shows up as a result of who you are and what you do.

Before money started showing up for my friend, he spent years of continual personal adjustment making himself into a millionaire. If it were easy, we’d all do it. As the history of the lottery shows us, give a guy a million dollars, or ten million, or more, and in a few years he won’t be a millionaire, anymore. That’s because he was a millionaire on the outside but he wasn’t a millionaire where it counted, on the inside.

Waving a magic wand and instantly clearing the weight-slate: who wouldn’t want that? Without all of that depressing weight to fight, then you’d have sufficient motivation to develop the dietary, exercise, and mental habits that would sustain your new form, right?

channing tatumMaybe you would, but if healthful, beautifying habits were easy to come by, we’d all have them. Instead, the habits you do have led you in the opposite direction. Habits don’t go away because we try to ignore them. Habits have to be replaced by other habits. That’s the tricky part.

After forty years of failing to become a supermodel, yeah, I think it’s time for you to try something new.

Nobody should be judged on their looks.

True, but it’s fair to judge looks by their looks.

Looks have value. In a general way, they tell us who’s healthy and who isn’t. They give a hint during mating selection about who might be a more promising prospect to pass on the genetic heritage of the species. Animals don’t ignore looks when making animal decisions, and neither do humans.

If people’s appearances consistently provided inaccurate and misleading information about people, then we’d stop basing our opinions on what we see. But, that’s not the case. We do derive accurate and useful information from what we see.

Luckily, we humans are capable of going beyond first impressions and modifying our opinions and biases. Appearances are just one factor we take into consideration, even in beauty pageants. At a beauty pageant, all of the women are equally beautiful, so, being equal, some other element must be considered.

Do you need to change the opinions of everyone who sees you? Naw. You only really need to positively affect the opinions of the people you want to have relationships with, at a minimum, one intimate person.

There are millions of people, unlovely, overweight, or both, who are in relationships. Being short in the looks department is not a disqualifier. Plenty of men out there are looking for a woman your size, with your looks, and they would be happy to meet you. You don’t need to lose even an ounce of weight.

beauty-beast

Playing out of your league can work, too, especially if you own a castle.

Maybe the men don’t all look like Channing Tatum, but, hey, you’ll get more action playing in your own league.

If you compete with women in your own league, then looks stop being a deciding factor—it’s a level playing field and factors like “inner beauty” matter a lot more.

But if you want to play, you have to get on the field.

What is inner beauty?

As ever, beauty, inner or outer, is in the eye of the beholder.

Different eyes, different results.

It’s not about becoming slimmer or increasing your inner beauty quotient.

It’s about finding the one who beholds you as you already are.

Of course, you will attract more flies with honey than with vinegar. It doesn’t take all that much honey to get the job done.

“Outer beauty attracts; inner beauty captivates.” – Kate Angell, Squeeze Play.

Shrek and Fiona

Keep in mind the message of Shrek: learn to love yourself for who you really are, inside and out.

Imogen Heap has a fun song called My Bad Body Double where she sings from the point of view of her ideal self being pestered and plagued by her everyday appearance.

We look very similar except she’s got some grays
And a little extra weight on the sides and dimply thighs
I hear that stuffs a bitch to get rid of. . .

It’s not me, no, it’s my bad body double
I’ve got bad body double trouble

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