Daily, almost hourly, we’re bombarded with the ideal of perfect physical beauty. Magazines, movies, TV shows, advertisements, and athletic competitions hold us hostage to our culture’s definition of beauty. From skinny stomachs and sapphire eyes to dazzling white teeth and luscious locks, our self-esteem is taunted by models, singers, actresses, and our own self-consciousness.
These “role models” make us question our value if we don’t look a certain way, if we don’t look like “them,” those “beautiful people.”
But, is true beauty only the outward appearance? The answer is NO.
Inner Beauty Attracts
Inner beauty is just as attractive, if not more so, as outer beauty. The physical can, and does, fade over time, and that is often out of our control due to aging. However, what’s on the inside, including a person’s character, is something we can control and does not have to fade, or become jaded, over time.
Do men care what’s on the inside? Yes. According to Quora, some of the inner qualities men find attractive in a woman include:
- Calmness – you’ve likely heard the term ‘drama queen;’ people don’t like dealing with tons of drama in their lives, so if you are the calm and steady type, you already possess an attractive quality.
- Caring and Compassion – showing others you care, whether in what you say or in what you do, is a positive trait, and others’ hearts are touched by someone who exhibits compassion and care.
- Loyalty – most people don’t want to be around someone they can’t trust.
- Maturity – tying back into drama, childish behaviors, like temper tantrums, are a turnoff. Someone who is level-headed, confident and independent, however, displays calmness and maturity.
Author and blogger Sarah Biren reminds us in an article on The Hearty Soul, “You don’t need big eyes, a small nose, or a slim build to be beautiful.” Her list of inner beauty qualities includes kindness, integrity, and modesty. How does one tap into or build upon those qualities in a world filled with bullying and negativity?
Two words: growth mindset. What is that? It’s believing that qualities and abilities can be developed and strengthened through commitment and, at times, hard work. How you respond to situations and how you decide to direct your life helps determine your character. And, character counts – your character can be appealing and attractive or it can be repulsive. You can have the most drop-dead gorgeous physical appearance, but as the saying goes, ‘beauty is only skin-deep.’ Your inner qualities, your character, are why you have healthy, strong relationships – or not.
In his book “The Road to Character,” writer and commentator David Brooks states, “Life is much bigger than we think, cause and effect intertwined in a vast moral structure that keeps pushing us to do better, become better, even when we dwell in the most painful confused darkness.”
Author Jon Mertz describes character this way: “Character is all the good traits we think it is. However, character is much more. Character is a verb, demonstrated in what we do, how we do it, and why we do it. Character in many ways is a combination of our mind, soul, and backbone.”
There is nothing wrong with looking your best physically. However, some people go to extremes, which can lead to poor health, like anorexia. Plastic surgeons make a ton of money from those who don’t like themselves or too often compare themselves to others. If you want to make changes to your outer appearance, do so in healthy, positive ways. But, don’t forget to nurture your inner beauty, too – those qualities last a lifetime and attract strong friendships and other healthy relationships, which can profoundly contribute to your life-long happiness.
Read more on inner beauty here: