Five Different Ways to Look at Beauty
By Sue Miller

Some people think that beauty belongs to the twenty-five-year-old socialite who stars in her own reality television show or the 15-year-old country singer who has a number one hit song. But what happens when young people age, or rich people run out of money, or successful people face professional setbacks, or healthy people become sick? People can’t control everything, but they can learn to be beautiful all the time. Here are five ways to find true beauty and share it with others:
1.Redefine Beauty. Some of us have classically beautiful features. Some of us do not. Millions of dollars a year are being spent on plastic surgery. We fix our noses, take out the wrinkles, or take the circles out from under the eyes. But what happens when puffy lips go out of style after we’ve spent millions of dollars emulating puffy-lipped actresses?
And what happens to those who have starved themselves to be thin when curvaceous models take over the covers of the fashion magazines?
The key to feeling beautiful is to define beauty for yourself, rather than letting others do it for you. Your looks belong to you, not to the cosmetics industry or to plastic surgeons. Empower yourself to look the way you want to look rather than the way others tell you that you should look.
2. Find inward beauty. If you are not gifted with the type of facial features or body that can turn heads, carry yourself as though you were. When you walk into a room, project self-confidence, whether or not you are feeling it. When you act as though your self-esteem is high, then you feel good about yourself, and it shows. Others will notice your inner glow, and you will become the most beautiful person in the room.
3. Use words to create beauty: So what if you are not a supermodel or if your body is imperfect? You can control what you say and how you say it. If your words convey empathy, wisdom, concern, and compassion, you will be sharing beauty in a lasting way. Superficial beauty can never compete with that.
4. Be centered and silent: You don’t have to say anything to share beauty. Sometimes, sitting in silence and reaching out to someone in need with a hug or gesture is the best kind of beauty there can be. When your quiet presence soothes other people and brings comfort to them, that is more beautiful than all of the mass market beauty that money can buy.
5. Make others feel beautiful. Help other people find the beauty inside of themselves. They may have put on weight over the holiday season, or they may have broken a limb, or they may have lost their hair. But you can show them that their worth has not diminished in your eyes, and you can bring more beauty into the world by helping others believe in it, too.
While some people are lucky enough to be born with superficial beauty, that is not the type of beauty that will last forever. Beauty that you can find in yourself, and that you can generate in others, is lasting, and that is something you can control.
Sue Miller is the author of "I'm Tougher Than I Look" (Williams Cohen Press 2006). You can visit her website at: www.imtougherthanilook.com.


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