Yesterday I blogged about my first day with Dove in New York city, checking out the 60 year retrospective, chatting with scientists and learning more about a few upcoming key launches. Today, I’m super excited to share with you my experiences of day two. The first part of the day was spent listening to inspiring talks in the most beautiful townhouse in Sutton Place, Manhattan. The garden, with its view of the Hudson river was just breathtaking.

Now, before I get into the uplifting and inspiring talks I listened to about real beauty, I want to share the following statistic with you:

Only 2% of women globally describe themselves as beautiful.

Only 2% – Why is this? I believe the media and advertising – with it’s stereotypical images of perfect models – is in part to blame. As an ex model (who in part helped perpetuate this thinking) this is something I’ve been grappling with a lot.

That was why I was so encouraged to see the Dove Real Beauty Pledge – three vows the brand promises to uphold for women everywhere:

The Dove Real Beauty Pledge

Dove Pledge

1.We always feature real women, never models.

Models reflect a narrow view of beauty. Dove believes that beauty is for everyone and therefore features real women of different ages, sizes, ethnicities, hair colour, type or style.

Zero models in our campaigns.

Real women introduced by their names

Our campaigns reflect the population’s diversity

2. We Portray women as they are in real life.

We never present the unachievable, manipulated, flawless image of “perfect” beauty which the use of retouching tools can promote.

Zero digital distortion of women.

Image approved by the women we feature.

3. We help girls build body confidence and self esteem.

Globally 8 out of 10 girls opt out of key life activities when they don’t feel good about the way they look. Dove has a mission to ensure the next generation grows up enjoying a positive relationship with the way they look – helping young people raise their self-esteem and realise their full potential. For over 10 years the Dove Self-Esteem Project has educated over 20 million young people in body confidence and self-esteem and has become the biggest provider of self-esteem education of its kind. We work with world renowned body image experts and leading universities to develop evidence based and academically validated educational tools.

Pretty powerful stuff hey? And, this pledge couldn’t resonate more with me – being the mom of a young, impressionable teen who’s starting to show signs of being insecure about her looks. I think more multi national brands need to be more introspective about the way they communicate with women and girls.

This got me thinking, What does #RealBeauty mean to me? First and foremost, it means being comfortable in your own skin. Comfortable and confidant enough to say what you feel, express your emotions and not be too concerned with other peoples opinions of you. Real beauty is also treating people the way you would like to be treated – with respect and compassion. As I get older, I realize that real beauty has very little to do with looks, it’s all about attitude and grace.

I’m so inspired by strong, independent thinking women who smash conventional barriers. So I was THRILLED to meet and listen to these four, trailblazing women chat about real beauty, and what it means to them.

First up is Rebekah Marine, also know as “The Bionic Model”

Dove- Rebekah hold

Rebekah is a motivational speaker, humanitarian and model. She was born without a right forearm, and wears an i-limb quantum advanced prosthetic arm by Touch Bionics. She is one of the worlds only disabled supermodels.

Rebekah began her talk by explaining that to her, real beauty is about owning one’s uniqueness and embracing the things that make you unique. “In this day and age, we’re all obsessed with perfect, and it can be quite challenging for a lot of people when they can’t see the true beauty in themselves. It was hard for me for a long time. I spent a large portion of my life trying to fit in with the crowd. I just wanted to be like everyone else. I just wanted to be normal. That word normal… It’s very similar to the word perfect – it just doesn’t exist. People spend an entire lifetime trying to achieve perfection. Sometimes we spend so much time trying to cover up our imperfections, we lose ourselves. In a world that’s magnified by beauty, wealth, power and perfection, it can be difficult to accept the things that we cannot change.”

“Beauty is a funny thing,” says Rebekah. She explains how it’s different for everyone and there’s no right or wrong way to embrace it. “My mom has been a big influence on how I perceive true beauty. She helped me embrace the things that I hated about myself like my cellulite, stretch marks and my arm. But she taught me that these were all part of what made me unique. We shouldn’t beat ourselves up about these things, trying to conform to unrealistic standards in beauty that we constantly feel pressured to meet. At a very young age, I was told by a modeling agency that I would never find success in the fashion industry, because I didn’t fit the “model” look. This bought on a lot of fears and insecurities that I never even knew I had! After that, I began to hide my arm under long, baggy sweaters, and I would often pose awkwardly in photos, so people wouldn’t notice my arm. I became my own worst enemy and I was SO angry at myself for feeling that way.”

Rebekah says she blames the advertising industry and the ideal body image that they push on us that contributes towards this warped perception she and many women have of their bodies. She adds that a lot of companies won’t even book her. Not because of her arm, ironically, but rather because of her size (Rebekah is a local size 34). “I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard I’m too short, my hips are too wide and my thighs are too thick. However, being a model who doesn’t fit the typical industry standards, only means I’ve had to work harder and push further than other models in the industry. Sometimes I think I’m fortunate to struggle – not so much with myself, but more so convincing the industry I have what it takes to be successful. If I never heard the words “no” or “you never will” I wouldn’t know what it’s like to fight for something so hard and appreciate where I am now.”

Rebekah says her journey has mostly been about helping people who may not see the bright side of the cards they were dealt. “It’s about embracing who you are, and educating people about those living with disabilities and differences. I have this rare opportunity to educate. While we all struggle with things in our life, we have the ability to control how we treat those struggles”.

Key messages from Rebekah’s talk:

We need to help young girls feel confident in their own skin

We need to open up a conversation about our differences

Be careful with your words and always aim to be kind

As women, now more than ever, we need to support each other

Dove- Ibtihaj

We then go to listen to Ibtihaj Muhammad, a female Olympic fencer for team USA (7 years). She’s the first Muslim American woman to wear a hijab while competing for the USA in the olympics. She had an incredibly commanding presence, and chatted to us about how beauty & sport intersected in her life, defining her journey as an athlete. She says, growing up, sports were central to her family dynamic. Playing various sports as a Muslim youth, Ibtihaj’s mom always had to adapt the sports uniforms for her, adding long sleeves or pants. Because of this, she says she had a hard time fitting in as a kid.

When she was 12 years old – while driving down the street with her mom in New Jersey – they saw from the road (into the local high school) athletes that had on long jackets, pants and what they thought were helmets. They also had swords in their hands. Her mom said, “I have no idea what sport that is, but when you get to high school, I want you to try that out.” Her mom saw this as a unique opportunity to participate in a sport where she, for once, didn’t need to alter the uniform. So, when Ibtihaj got to high school, she joined the fencing team. “That was the beginning of this journey into sport that I didn’t see coming at the young age of thirteen.” Ibtihaj explains that historically, fencing was a sport for nobility. It’s traditionally very white and expensive. But, fencing also held it’s challenges and Ibtihaj says it was during fencing that she first heard the “N” word when someone referred to her using that phrase. “It was difficult to be questioned – as a girl who was very strong and good in the sport – that as a black girl, I should instead be playing baseball. I was also told that Muslim girls didn’t participate in sport and certainly didn’t fence.”

I’ve now been part of team USA for 7 years, and would like to think I’ve shattered some stereotypical views of which sports African Muslim women, or women, in general can participate in.

Key messages from Ibtihaj’s talk:

Believe in your work ethic

Believe in your strength as a woman

Believe and trust your faith

Dove-Jessica Torres

Next up was the super vivacious and well renowned Plus Size style blogger, Jessica Torres.

Jessica refers to herself as a fashion and body positivity reporter. When you get a chance, go check out her blog HERE.

“We all have body issues, and we all need to be heard. To me it’s all about representation because that matter so much!”

Jessica explains that when she was younger, she didn’t have anyone to look up to – all she saw in the media were skinny models. She jokes that when she saw someone who looked like her, it was always in “before” diet pill pictures… “It was like, you’ll go from this, to something thinner and prettier”. I was always told; “oh, you’re SO pretty, BUT, if you lost some weight, you’d be so much hotter and men would find you so much more attractive. Or, that dress looks SO cute on you, but if you lost a few extra pounds, it would look EVEN better.” Jessica says that these often thoughtless comments really affected the way she saw herself, and the way she let other people treat her. “I missed out on so much. I didn’t go to my high school prom because I thought a body like mine would NEVER look good in a dress. I regret it so much, because that’s something I can’t get back! I used to wear baggy T-shirt and jeans because they hid my body. I was always told, make sure you cover your stomach, make sure you cover your arms – nobody want’s to see that jiggle and all that fat. And that’s what I did.”

Thankfully all that changed when Jessica got to college. There, she met friends who were fuller figured and fabulous. They encouraged her to embrace her body. “I started blogging because I realized there wasn’t anyone who looked like me, and I wanted to show other plus size girls that it’s okay to embrace the body you were born with. Finally I worked up the courage to do a post wearing a two piece swimsuit (it was hard). When I saw that picture, I thought ‘damn, you actually look so good!’ That’s when I realized the perception about how I looked was my own doing. When I started putting myself out there on social media, I started receiving messages from other young girls from different parts of the world telling me how they’d seen my body, and it had inspired them to be positive about their plus size figure.

I realized I needed to embrace who I was, and remind other women that they can be happy right now.”

Key messages from Jessica’s talk:

We depend so much on people to value us, and we shouldn’t

It’s all about feeling empowered with the way you look

I decided I needed to stop judging myself through the eyes of others

You don’t have to wait to be beautiful – you can be beautiful now

You decide when you’re beautiful, don’t let others decide for you

Accept your gene size ( I love this)

I saw my mom dieting and criticizing her body, I picked that up from her, so did my sister

Dove-Caryn Franklin

The final speaker – and probably the one I most resonated with – was Caryn Franklin, a British fashion commentator and professor of Diversity in Fashion. She was the fashion editor of cult magazine, i-D in the 1980’s. Caryn chatted to us about how the media needs to change the way it sees and speaks to older women.

“It’s only when you’re listening to your own voice, that you can make a valuable contribution to your industry. I refer to myself a disruptive fashion lover – It’s only when you really love something that you’re in the position to reform it. The power of clothes, the joy of clothes, has never died. I’ve seen clothes embolden women, give them confidence. I’ve seen beauty products do that too. I think bringing beauty and fashion into our lives on our own terms and wanting authenticity is a great place to operate from.”

One of the projects Caryn has been working on recently is counteracting stereotypes around age. She says that young designers need to know that older women have a lot more money to spend, and that we’re all on the path to growing old, so we need to be inspired.

She goes into how, through her intense research, she’s discovered that no matter what your age, there’s pressure coming from mass media about how you should look. “In mass media imagery, you never see the image of a woman who has not been thoroughly post produced (re-touched). Most of the time, all the character and lines have been removed from her face. Yes, there are older women in beauty campaigns – but they’ve been made to look like twenty year olds, and that doesn’t serve us, or younger women. It’s actually younger women for whom the advertising is aimed at, and because of this, they are encouraged to feel a lot of concern about getting older, so corporates can tap into your spending ability and keep you with them for years and years.”

Quite often, says Caryn, companies benefit from the fact that their products don’t actually live up to their claims. This means when you buy the product, you probably only use only a third of it.  You then then leave it in the back of their cupboard, and buy another product. It’s a vicious circle and companies love the fact that we are repeat buying with much more frequency than you would, if you were actually using the whole product. Think about that!

“As much as we like to think that some companies want to bolster female self esteem, they’re actually only concerned with profit margins. I’m a big believer in putting the “power of the purse” behind the changes we’d like to see.”

In closing, Caryn explains how important it is for women of her generation (Caryn is 66 years old) to be hyper vigilant about the amount of imagery out there that creates a very corrosive, anxiety and fear driven drive to purchase. “There is an underlying message of loss (ageing) which corporations promote, because they want you to buy into products. A message of atrophy as you begin to loose your youth.” She goes on to say that there is enormous gain to be had from moving through maturity, because of the intellectual capital and experience you gain. “Truthfully, you simply don’t mind the fact that your face is changing,” says Caryn. “So, even though you’re encouraged to think that you’re going to mind, you’re not going to – because the gains are so much more. If we had a better dialogue about what it is to get older – and if we were able to enact that in our fashion and beauty imagery – we may be able to address, in a somewhat disruptive, but very pro-active way, this dialogue, which really is unhelpful.”

Key messages from Caryn’s talk:

Engage with fashion and beauty on your own terms

Style does not retire

Don’t get older just to get wiser, get older because it’s fun

Youthfulness is about how you live, not when you were born

Older women need more achievable and realistic role models

Looks really aren’t that important

After meeting these amazing women, we were whisked downtown to the Dove Real Beauty showcase.The women featured in the Dove Real Beauty Showcase are all real women. Each of them had a say in how they looked in their photographs, and some of the young women featured have also benefitted from self-esteem education delivered through the Dove Self-Esteem Project – a programme created to help girls develop a positive relationship with the way they look and to reach their full potential in life.

Dove Real Beauty showcase

The women include Vicki, a retired medal-winning Paralympian from the UK who had to change her definition of beauty after losing her leg to cancer; Paola, a football lover who started her own club for girls in her hometown of Mexico City after she noticed many young girls drop out of sports as they entered their teenage years; Jasmine, a young professional who has decided to pursue career goals instead of traditional beauty ideals in her birthplace of China; and Cammy, a young woman who participated in the Dove Self-Esteem Project over 10 years ago, and now passes it onto the next generation of young girls through her public speaking and coaching. All these dynamic women were photographed for the campaign by none other than world renowned photographer, Mario Testino.

There was a (very) proudly South African moment when I saw South African born Luyanda, a chartered accountant, featured in the campaign. Growing up in South Africa, Luyanda was desperate to fit in – going to great lengths to change her hair so she could look more like what society perceived to be ideal beauty. But, after realizing she would never fit a standard beauty mould, she decided to grow dreadlocks. And she hasn’t looked back since. I loved her comment so much. She said; “I have stopped trying so hard to fit in -my beautiful personality is written all over my face, and that’s the only beauty I need.”

Luyanda

“The way Dove empowers women to celebrate their own unique beauty has long resonated with me. I have always taken the same approach with my pictures. A photographer has a choice – they can take a picture and make it about themselves by using avant- garde techniques, sometimes capturing the weakness in women, or they can choose to give their picture over to the woman in front of the lens by making her look herself and feel her most powerful.” – Mario Testino

Mario-Testino-Dove-2017-BTS-3898

What could top such an exciting, inspiring day? A beautiful dinner, that’s what. Come evening, we were whisked to the Liberty warehouse in Brooklyn. But this would be no ordinary journey…I was so excited when I heard we’d be making our way to dinner by water taxi over the Hudson River. 

Dove water taxi

When we arrived at the Liberty Warehouse, it was quite simply breathtaking. The room was twinkling with an array of soft light, and our tables were decorated with the most beautiful orchids. We dined on a warm pear salad with fresh cider vinaigrette and curly frisee for starters, and a delicious pan seared Branzino fish fillet with lemon caper sauce, lemon sautéed kale and vegetable bundles for mains. Needless to say, we went mad at the dessert table.

Dove dinner liberty warehouse

In the following months, as Dove launch their new and very exciting products into the South African market, I’ll be able to divulge even more. What I can say it that you are all going to LOVE the new and very innovative products.

And to Dove, thank you for a truly memorable press trip. It was, without a doubt, the best one I’ve been on yet. Hope to see you again soon, NYC.

GIVEAWAY

Dove giveaway

I’m giving one reader the chance to win a Dove hamper, filled with all my favourite products.

The hamper includes: Dove Deeply Nourishing Shower Gel, Dove Essential Nourishment Body Lotion, Dove Intensive Repair Damage Therapy Shampoo & Conditioner, Dove beauty Bar soap, Dove Invisible Dry 48h Anti-Perspirant Spray. Also included is a gorgeous bath robe.

To enter, leave a comment below this post telling me what #RealBeauty means to you. Please ensure you include your email address (only I can see it), so I can contact you, should you be the winner. I’ll announce the name of the winner next week Friday, 24 March 2017 on a In My Bag Facebook post.

52 comments

True beauty is reflected in one’s soul—being truthful, honest, helpful, and trustworthy. Smiling at others even when you are having a bad day, complimenting someone and meaning it, spending time with family and friends, kindness, and most importantly being the best person that you can be. #RealBeauty

Real Beauty is being comfortable in your own skin. Its loving yourself and being truly content with you and not looking to others for confirmation or acceptance! Its being able to put your hair in a pony with no make up on but shining from within. Being beautiful from within and caring for yourself and smiling with your heart 🙂

#RealBeauty means feeling comfortable on my own skin and be proud , and let my smile speak for me with. i must never let anything make feel down about being myself. knowing exactly what i must use for my skinis also giving me the strength to be beautiful.

#RealBeauty is something that you define for yourself, and you follow or you aspire to follow the real beauty.true beauty is deeper than the physique, complexion and features, Beauty lies in truth. And truth in beauty.

#RealBeauty , to me is the smile on a woman’s face, the glow of her skin, spring in her step… making her look confident even though every day might not always be a good day

Real Beauty is a kind of radiance that emantes from withing. People that possess a true inner beauty, their eyes are a little brighter, their skin a little more dewy. They vibrate at a different frequency , inner beauty captivates. Beauty is the illumination of your soul…# awesome venture # Dove # love their products.

To me #RealBeauty means taking care of yourself at all levels, being the best version of you. It is radiating self-confidence and inner strength. Above all being a real women with flaws, unique traits and your own style.

Real beauty for me changed over the years. As i get older i realise it reflects in how you treat others. A random smile instead of a frown, makes for beautiful laugh lines. Beauty is not you’re jeans size but the size of you’re heart. Be kind, be good and age gracefully.

#Real beauty for me shines from the inside out, each individual is unique. It’s about loving yourself for who you are, not what you look like. It’s also about living a positive life and helping those who are in need. It’s about being the best human being you can possibly be. Be self self confident with your body, no matter your age, and for me surrounding myself with love and the people I love, my family and friends. To embrace everything which makes me truly a unique individual, always staying true to myself, love stunning Dove hamper, would be honoured to win stunning prize, as dove is my number one brand, and it makes me feel confident and gorgeous. Love it fingers crossed
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Real beauty for me is a naked face, not someone hiding behind tons of make up, yes I too look at woman with make up and think wow, I wish I could do that but then I see her true face and think now that is beautiful

#RealBeauty is being beautiful and feeling beautiful whichever way you choose to, whether it’s with makeup or going natural, letting your grey grow out vs colouring it or just deciding that anything superficial does not define your beauty or your worth. If you know your worth and you feel beautiful then that is #RealBeauty no matter how it looks on the outside.

Real beauty to me is the beauty that shines through… your soul, your heart. Someone who has a good heart is beautiful to me… Beauty is not always about what one looks like… it’s what’s inside that matters… your beauty shines from within….

#RealBeauty to me means feeling confident with how you look and making the most of your best parts.

#RealBeauty is when you radiate confidence, peace and caring,no matter what is going on in your life. When you share your inner peace and love with others by your smile, your random act of kindness, your encouraging word or just by sitting quietly nextto someone who is grieving. When your focus is on helping others in whatever small way you can to be a better or happier person than they were before you passed, then your inner beauty shinesthrough like a beacon. This is a more memorable beauty than any fashion or beauty media can advertise.
Using products that make you feel soft and cared for help to bring out that confidence and make you want to pass on the love.

Real beauty definitely comes from within and has nothing to do with how one looks on the outside !

Real beauty means being through so much that some times life feels not worth living it but some how making it through all the tough times coming out stronger, loving yourself more, having a positive mindset and still loving unconditionally even though life has shown you so much hurt and pain in the past that to me is real beauty. #RealBeauty

#RealBeauty is when the inner beauty of a person radiates to the outer appearance , it’s the kind heart , the care, love , understanding , all these qualities epitomizes real beauty and it shines through with a warm smile and through the eyes which is the window to the soul. That’s real beauty , it comes naturally no need for a face filled with make up to look beautiful but all it takes is the inner beauty to glow on the outside now that is true beauty to me.

True beauty to me is that moment when you realise what and how you look is not beautiful. When you realise true beauty is in what you do, how you make others feel, compassion and love. Those are the things that make you beautiful!

#RealBeauty Is to Love and except yourself NO matter what the world thinks of you. There is only one person like you, you are unique you are beautiful. Let your true colours shine bright.

True Beauty I believe is being Happy with Who You are on the outside as well as on the inside. 🙂

#RealBeauty is acceptance of who you are and how you look and been confident without arrogance

Wow what an inspiring story/trip……#RealBeauty,for me is when your inner beauty comes out radiantly,being you nd an inspiration to others,to make the world feel love nd respected,being unique…..can’t go without my dove soap#justsaying

#RealBeauty is when you radiate confidence, peace and caring,no matter what is going on in your life. Also eal beauty , it comes naturally no need for a face filled with make up to look beautiful but all it takes is the inner beauty to glow on the outside

To me, #RealBeauty is the man or woman who makes others feel beautiful and significant and who leaves a fragrance of joy in their wake. The woman or man who is able to see beyond physical limitations to unearth the exquisite, the unique, the lovely in every person and bring their attention to it. The person who is able to outline the silver lining in a gloomy conversation, the one who is willing to look silly if it will bring a smile to a sad heart and the one whose eyes do not feast on his or her own qualities or even limitations, but whose eyes look further afield to fill the world with love…. that’s #RealBeauty

Real Beauty to me means: to be beautifull from inside!! Know that Jesus loves you and that your are very special to Him. He made you beautifull just as you are. Have a kind heart to your fellow humans. Live your life through being thankfull for all your blessings you receive out off God hand every day, shine His light through your way of living and people will see his love throug your live and will see it in your eyes!! If you have inner beauty, YOU are beautiful OUTSIDE too and treasure your God’s given body with the heavely “Dove” products every day, then you will stay beautiful for ever. Dove Deeply Nourishing Shower Gel, Dove Essential Nourishment Body Lotion, Dove Intensive Repair Damage Therapy Shampoo & Conditioner, Dove beauty Bar soap, Dove Invisible Dry 48h Anti-Perspirant Spray keeps you feeling clean, soft, refresh and your skin hidrated!! Just let you feel GOOD and BEAUTIFUL all day long. That is what I use every day!!

Real beauty to me means inner beauty of strength, compassion and love. Real beauty is about loving and caring for animals and children. It is doing small gestures of kindness to others when nobody is looking. Real beauty shines from the inside and it is soooooooooooooooooo great that people become so beautiful on the outside when you get to know them. Real beauty is true beauty and it is about being a beautiful person with a beautiful heart and soul which means so much more than someone who looks good on the outside. The outside is skin deep but real beauty lasts forever.

#RealBeauty is the REAL DEAL …………..it encompasses all the elements of beauty on an emotional, pysical, psychological and spiritual level. Some of the most beautiful people I have ever seen in my life are in their 60’s or 70’s their radiance and strength is soooooooooooo powerful they can knock the socks off any 20 year old. REAL BEAUTY is from the heart and soul xxxxxxxxxxx

#RealBeauty is being comfortable in your skin and seeing imperfect perfections when you look at yourself in the mirror. It is a radiance that shines from inside out, from a soul that is bright and flawless. Embracing your imperfections and making they beautiful in their own right.

In a nutshell, a person who is beautiful inside and out and is just herself 🙂

#RealBeauty to me means loving myself, my skin, my body, my flaws…with the result that I feel confident in myself and all I do. Yes I take care of my skin and body but what I cannot change I have accepted an live happily and proudly with it. Being true to myself makes me glow from within knowing I am beautiful inside and out and love myself no matter what others may say.

Real beauty is making the people with you feel their most beautiful selves.

Real beauty to me is to always help other, even if you don’t know them. We don’t know that why go throught. I kind word a day to a stranger will mean the world to them. I always try to lift there spirit.

Real beauty is accepting yourself for every imperfection you think you might have and flaunting it. A smile is the best accessory and being kind and respecting others is what true beauty is

Real beauty to me is all about inner beauty having a kind heart and beautiful nature is the most beautiful a woman can be

Real beauty to me is accepting your flaws and being happy with who you are instead of wishing you had something different its about being confident and carrying that sexy smile and beauty comes with a great personality and a good heart #RealBeauty

To me, #RealBeauty means feeling comfortable in my own skin. I’m loving Dove’s new vibe!

To Me beauty lies with a reliable brand and years of Skin Care

Real Beauty is all about a persons heart and their gestures and aura. Real beauty is the way their personality comes through their smile and kindness on their voice

#RealBeauty Real beauty comes from inside and shows on the outside.Its knowing you are valued and loved,thus gives you the confidence to be you,to carry yourself well,to be content and love yourself beauty comes from all these things ♡♡ kamilah.francis62@gmail.com

Real Beauty to me is everything natural, without pretense, it is truthfulness, living from the heart! You can find real beauty in conversations, books and in anything!

#RealBeauty is seen in a smile and a laugh that shows confidence in ones self. There’s nothing more beautiful than a happy woman .

#RealBeauty means being me just natural with no make up and being happy in my own skin. Confident, kind and caring is #RealBeauty

To me, #RealBeauty means how I feel inside and the radiance it reflects in my eyes. It is not something physical. Beauty is essentially meaningless and it is always transitory.

Beauty begins in a person’s heart and what makes me feel beautiful is when somebody tells me I have the most amazing heart. I thrive off of love and being able to share my love with everyone in my life. When my love and God given heart can make others feel good about themselves, I feel beautiful in my soul and that illuminates my outer beauty more than anything. Anyone that knows me, knows I love hair, makeup and the highest heels ever and, yes, that makes me feel pretty, but beautiful…that is something that comes from within and is centered around loving yourself and everyone around you. I think #REALBEAUTY goes beyond the surface and there are so many roots down deep from which it all stems from. service to others, caring more about others than myself, encouraging others in their gifts and talents, generosity, the giving of my gifts and time, a simple act of kindness….
when I choose to bless others with what I have to offer, it gives me that “that made me feel good” feeling in my heart. I’d like to think it’s those things as well that makes me feel beautiful. Having a beautiful spirit and a beautiful heart, exuding love to others … it’s something I strive for. I fail A LOT, but it’s worth the effort to get outside of myself and look to others often.

I am strong; I am weak. I am flawed; I am broken. I am vulnerable. I am human. And despite these flaws, I give myself permission to love myself unconditionally. I am a growing, evolving being, who uses past mistakes as a fuel for my journey of growth. I accept myself as I am, and I set an intention to become the person I want to be. I thrive off of love and being able to share my love with everyone in my life. When my love and God given heart can make others feel good about themselves, I feel beautiful in my soul and that illuminates my outer beauty more than anything. Anyone that knows me, knows I love hair, makeup and the highest heels ever and, yes, that makes me feel pretty, but beautiful…that is something that comes from within and is centered around loving myself and everyone around me. #REALBEAUTY to me is having a beautiful spirit and a beautiful heart, exuding love to others … it’s something I strive for. I fail A LOT, but it’s worth the effort to get outside of myself and look to others often. I so love that I can happily admit and much more easily accept that I don’t know everything and I don’t have to know everything. Saying “no” comes much easier than it did when I was younger and wanted to be everything to everyone. Working on accepting all the parts of myself – the awesome and the not-so-awesome. It has taken me over 40 years to finally come to a place, where I accept and love who I am, the journey has been long and tumultuous.
I like the person I’ve become. All my experiences – hard and sweet – have moulded me into the woman staring back at me. Growing to love myself has taken some time and finally accepting all my imperfections – #priceless

The meaning of #RealBeauty changes as I mature. Right now I think that real beauty is when a person’s mind, body, soul and personality align. Real beauty also does not exist without acceptance, tolerance, gratitude and a bit of grace.

#RealBeauty for me means loving and respecting yourself, body and soul!

I know the theme is personal real beauty but for me, Real Beauty is when I see my 6 year old niece putting her arm around her little brother, or my dog playing with his ball. Honestly nothing is more beautiful! Perhaps it is innocence.

#RealBeauty is an abstract and therefore elusive concept – and the roots are in the heart… No, not the beauty of the material world, but the beauty springing from the heart to the face when opening the heart to give and receive love. Spread joy – and have joy – that’s the #RealBeauty. Yes, they who give gladly and freely, their own pleasure richly rewards them with #RealBeauty.
THANK YOU – you are so kind en generous hearted to give away a gift instead of expecting one… you’ll be blessed for sure.

#RealBeauty is simple. It is how you feel about yourself, not what you see in the mirror.

#RealBeauty is finding space in your heart to love yourself first, right here, right now.

#RealBeauty is something that you define for yourself, and that you follow or you aspire to follow. So each person has their own definition of what their real beauty is .

#RealBeauty to me means, being balanced in a way where you’re comfortable with a ponytail and no makeup to when you’re out but also loving being a woman enough to know that some contouring and a bold colour lipstick makes you just as beautiful 🙂 I just feel it’s about balance

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