Work for it!

Life has been HECTIC this past few weeks. I have had lots of work, and very little time for myself. To be honest, I have been trying to spend my free time -which has been narrowing every day- working out and sleeping rather than doing anything else.

But still I do not have a real reason to complain. All this work is for something AMAZING.

Anyway, I have been thinking about a ton of things I want to write about. But I’ll start with the one that’s right on top of my mind: Beauty.

I’m going to take advantage of the fact that I recently was able to revisit one of my favourite paintings: Picasso’s Girl before a mirror.

Girl before a mirror

As a girl, I have always had the concern of “looking pretty”. Since I was little I spent countless hours looking at the mirror, trying to look as pretty as I could. Sometimes I didn’t feel very beautiful (most of these times were after looking at a magazine), but most times I like what I see.

I love this painting, not only for its colours; they are so vivid, so joyful. But I love it, because in some way I can relate to the girl. Looking at the mirror, and observing an image that is different from the reality. But still, both of them are beautiful.

Every time I look at my image in the mirror I find new things. I discover new elements of myself that I did not know they were there. Sometimes I notice that my eyes have a funny shape, others I notice my eyebrows are not as weird as I have always been told. Other times I notice that the tips of my eyelashes are blonde, so this makes them look shorter; I have realised by looking in the mirror that my first wrinkles will be on the side of my mouth (thankfully from laughter).

This brings me to the second point I want to talk about. Where does beauty come from? Sure, the politically correct answer is that “beauty comes from within”. Or that “Beauty is on the eye of the beholder”. In my humble opinion, both of those answers are correct. But they lack profundity.

Pictures from Pinterest, collage by me.
Pictures from Pinterest, collage by me.

Yes, people that are essentially good tend to look more beautiful than those who tend to be malicious. (And not in the sense of mischief, I mean malicious  as in “I enjoy hurting living beings”.) And of course, there are different beauty standards around the world, and different tastes. And usually people that read more, and have a more interesting conversation in the end become more attractive than those that rely only on their good looks.

But physical beauty, also needs health. By this I mean TAKING CARE OF YOURSELF!.

Picture via: http://tournesol50.tumblr.com/post/68405927888
Picture via: http://tournesol50.tumblr.com/post/68405927888

I hate it when people that have been sunbathing for years now, without proper SPF comment things like “I hate that I have so many spots on my face, and crow’s feet”. Really? You brought that on yourself; not to mention the risk for melanoma.

That example is the most common I see almost everyday. But, healthy beauty includes eating good things for your body. Vegetables that contain enough vitamins and anti-oxidants for your skin. Good fatty acids for your brain, nerves and your hair! (Not to mention they also help your nails and your eyelashes.) Stay away from foods that tend to cause inflammation (in my personal case, this means staying away from dairy, but everyone is different). Stay away from excessive amounts of coffee, sugar, refined flours, processed foods, etc. Inflammation in your body, usually manifests itself as allergies or acné.

This seems pretty basic, I know. And it is. There is a science behind it. But honestly, there is nothing new to it. We might call it “Paleo diet” or “Alkaline diet”. They are different, but all of them go back to the same idea.

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Healthy beauty includes working out. Move your body! Sure, not many will look like Victoria’s Secret models. But, is that really your goal? Those girls get paid to look like that, and have genes helping them (Hello 1.72m minimum height?) That is not realistic. But, if you want to feel good about the way your body looks, about how you feel when you move. then MOVE IT!. Find the exercise you like best, and the one that works for you. And like the Nike marketing people have been saying for years now “Just DO IT!”. Even doing squats in your office cubicle works. (I do them even in the supermarket.. to the amusement of many.)

Just like the girl before the mirror, portray a happy image. Try to see a non-distorted image. Get your beauty from the inside, but remember that beauty needs work. And this work implies physical and mental work. But most of all, it requires confidence. Do the work for yourself. Others will enjoy the results, but do it for yourself.

As always, lots of love!

Dany.