You don’t have to be a corporate CEO or a rockstar to find strength in your own beauty. Here are five ways to feel strong and confident about your authentic, beautiful self.
“Marissa Mayer has many enemies,” blared a recent headline from Slate. Undeniably, the 38-year-old Yahoo CEO, engineer, wife, and mother is a formidable example of female power (as is Michelle Obama, above). Critics note that the former techie is “robotic” and “stuck-up” with the aforementioned enemies, while others point out that this just makes Mayer a regular Joe CEO. This character dissection might make some women melt.
But with a recent Vogue shoot, Mayer flaunted her powerful beauty, she didn’t hide it. In the piece, she poses like an inverted pin-up, flaxen hair splayed behind her, pale-blue eyes staring side-eyed at the camera, arm cocked to showcase her curves.
The Internet basically tripped over itself criticizing the CEO, called her a “tech princess” in “house-arrest stilettos.” Some even wondered if powerful women were even allowed to be beautiful, an idea as outdated as Diane Keaton’s shoulder pads in 1987’s “Baby Boom.”
Lucky for the rest of us non-billionaire normals, you don’t have to be a corporate CEO, first lady (or anything else except you), to find your own power in beauty. Check out five real actions any woman can do to feel strong and confident about your beautiful selves.
1. Beautiful Body
Ultimately, there is nothing more beautiful than a strong woman who feels good in her own skin. Yoga is an outstanding way to improve circulation, digestion, and even brighten your skin—because what part of your body doesn’t look better when you’re breathing deeply and funneling oxygen straight to your organs?
If yoga isn’t your cup of kukicha, any exercise will do—Pilates, kickboxing, running, walking are all great ways to strengthen your body. Empowering your physical self—no matter your weight, height, age or skin color—can’t help but make you feel calmer and stronger (and what is more beautiful than relaxed power?).
2. Beautiful Soul
Does beauty really equal happiness in our world? Yes—but not exactly how you might think. A recent study from the University of Texas, Austin, showed that better-looking people are 10% happier than others. This was true of men and women in any country.
But the reason these people are happier is because they feel successful in what they do. At the same time, they are more successful because they project beauty. Beauty is confidence, and its confidence that will get you through life.
The so-called beautiful people instinctively tell the world they are confident and capable. People follow along and viola—a beautiful person is happier. How can anyone achieve this beauty? When we make an effort to feel good about the work, actions, and deeds we do, we’re improving our inner perceptions of ourselves—naturally, how we are perceived in the world follows, and we are seen as we see ourselves.
3. Beautiful Fashion
Shopping ethically results in feeling good about what you put on your body. EcoSalon fashion expert Rowena Ritchie weighs in: “Being curious about where your clothes come from, who makes them and the impact their production has on our environment can be empowering,” she shares. She points out that a thoughtful approach to style and looking at design from a position of interconnectedness is the heart of the ethical fashion movement.
But how does ethical fashion make us beautiful? “As the great Diane von Furstenberg said, ‘Confidence is beauty,’” Ritchie tells me. “And refining the art of the blend is what makes fashion fun. So pairing a vintage find with a piece from an under-the-radar local designer to create a look that’s all mine is a massive confidence booster.” Creating your own style that expresses who you are and works for your body and life means comfort in—and with—the world around you.
4. Beautiful Skin
There are as many ideas on achieving beautiful skin as there are beauty experts. Drink eight glasses of water a day. Moisturize with an organic, wholesome product. Wash your face with cleansers. Wash your face with water. Stay out of the sun. But get your vitamin D!
The most important? Accept the path and ditch the scalpel. If we’re lucky, we’re all aging, and nothing is more beautiful than a confident, powerful, and sexy woman who embraces the march of experience on her skin.
5. Beautiful Hair
Color us superficial, but there’s nothing like a good hair day to change the shade of your atmosphere. Think I’m wrong? Does Connie Britton’s amazing hair have its own Tumblr and Twitter? As with our skins, there’s a myriad of ways to treat your tresses.
Consider washing your hair at least every other day, as over-washing can strip important oils from your scalp. Invest in a shampoo made with clean ingredients—this one from Intelligent Nutrients is about as awesome as they come.
Want more great hair care tips? Check out several more ways to give your beautiful hair the care it deserves.
For further reading:
25 Inspirational Quotes on the Power of Women
Photos courtesy of WhiteHouse.gov, Vogue and MGM.