1. The belief that you’re only as good as you are beautiful is an insidious one, it comes up in ways you don’t expect. It’s dieting out of self-hate and disguising it as health. It’s believing that to be loved, you must be lithe and shining and contoured.
2. It is not your fault that you dislike yourself some days – or many days. Society is designed to make you feel insecure. This is how consumerism thrives, particularly with women (shopping was once a heavier part of a “woman’s role” in the home, thus more was marketed toward us). Without an incurable sense of inferiority, the system would cease to function.
3. In a world that profits from your self-hate, liking yourself is an act of rebellion. Every time you choose to be proud of how you look and feed yourself well and dress how you want, it is a tiny revolution.
4. Attractiveness is not a competitive sport. You are not only as good as you are better than other people. You have not “won” once you assume you’re better looking than everyone you know.
5. Beautiful people do not necessarily have more love, or happiness. What they do have is more attention. If you want to spend your life thinking that love is attention, you will end up a sad fraction of the person you had the potential to be.
6. Bemoaning the fact that you’re not as attractive as you think you should be is a weak way to spend your time. If you want to be more genuinely appealing to others, develop the parts of yourself that matter much more: intelligence, style, humor, wittiness, grace, kindness, humility.
7. Attractiveness has much more to do with how you style yourself than how you look naturally. Styling has much more to do with how you present your personality than it does how well you adhere to trends. Fashion comes and goes. Personal style becomes iconic.
8. There is not one way to be beautiful. There are aspects of the human form that are more physiologically attractive to others, such as symmetry, or the appearance of health. But there are so many variations within those parameters, and some instances in which they are defied completely. The point is that the idea that there is only one type of beauty is profoundly incorrect, and damaging.
9. When it comes to feeling like you’re in unhealthy, shallow competitions with other women, there is nothing as profoundly badass as choosing not to engage. Simply being above it means you automatically win.
10. Being concerned with how you look is a great way to keep you distracted from your power. By trying to control something so ultimately insignificant, you are draining your energy that could otherwise be used in incredible ways.
11. There is a significant difference between wanting to look your best and trying to mold yourself into a person you were never meant to be. You must ask yourself: am I trying to look more like myself, or am I trying to look more like someone else who I think is attractive?
12. The issue of attractiveness is one that overwhelms many people’s lives and minds, and dismantling this particular mania is going to take time. Know that the things you think and fear about how you look are the same thoughts even the people who you think are most beautiful grapple with now and again.
13. If you evaluated who in your life has love and friendship and respect and success, you would find there is absolutely no correlation between all of that and your level of socially-accepted “attractiveness.”
14. Remember that the people who seem almost impossibly full of themselves are the ones who are actually suffering from a crippling lack of self-esteem. The people who work the hardest to look better are mostly in pain.
15. You have to start believing you are good enough as you are. If you change your body and then agree to feel good about it, all you are teaching yourself is that you are only “okay” one way, and as your body naturally shifts and changes over the years, you will find yourself on a rollercoaster of your own making.
16. When all is said and done, you will want to end your life liking something more about yourself than just how you looked. Our bodies are all headed to the same place, and will deteriorate slowly until we get there. Leave a legacy that’s not: “she wore small jeans.” Nobody talks about beauty at a funeral. They talk about how you made other people feel.