Beauty is... you
I have been in the beauty industry for 10 years. That is a drop in the bucket compared to many cosmetologists. However, in my 10 years, I have been consumed with everything beauty. The pictures my clients bring me, setting my own standard for appearances, and merely general observation of the world and people around me, noting and, yes, often judging their external beauty. I'm done. I'm tired of society's expectations. I'm exhausted from pinterest pictures. I'm sick of my own personal insecurities. So, I declare a truce with beauty. I am now seeking it in a different manner. Rather than spend hours on my own appearance every day, I'm going to spend extra time with my family. Instead of wondering why on earth my cashier at the store isn't touching up her roots, I am going to have a conversation with her and watch her face light up with joy when she talks about her grandkids. When my clients bring me pinterest pictures, I will do what I can to achieve that look, but I want them to know that no amount of hair color is going to make them more beautiful than they already are. And, whatever we do at the salon, will serve as an enhancement, not an alteration.
That is the key... what we do to our hair, skin, body should "enhance" our natural beauty. There is nothing wrong with that idea - my livelihood depends on it and I still adore the excitement of my industry. But I implore you to give up your quest to "change" your beauty. You are who you are - your hair texture, your skin tone, your body type. Quit trying to be an image of someone else and start loving the self you are! If you don't love who you are - whether it's what you look like or what you act like - I encourage you to start working on the inside. It's amazing how much clearer my skin is when I eat and drink healthier, when I get more sleep. It's unbelievable how less obvious some of my fine lines are when I practice patience, when I smile more, when I think and act kindly toward others. At the gym, I am no longer working toward that ideal skinny body... I am working toward stronger goals. And, in the process, my body has changed in a positive way!
I don't want you to give up your beauty routine. I am certainly not saying "let's all go totally natural and forget makeup and curling irons!" I love looking pretty... it feels nice to receive a compliment from someone. But if you are constantly down on yourself, if you think you are even slightly inferior to someone else because you believe them to be "more beautiful", if you can't be satisfied with a new hair style because something is still lacking for you... please stop. Stop letting society tell you what beautiful is. Stop allowing yourself to be depressed over aging. Stop focusing on the outside so much when a little more focus on the inside could make all the difference in the world. I truly challenge you to change your thought process, shift your priorities, and open your mind to your own redefinition of beauty. Let your inner self SHINE! Your heart, your mind, and your soul are beautiful... and so are you.