Are you beautiful? How do you answer that question? If your answer is no, I want you to ask yourself why you would choose to not see yourself as beautiful. Because it is a choice.
In preparing for this episode, I came across this incredible quote by Elizabeth Kubler-Ross. She says, “The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths. These persons have an appreciation, a sensitivity, and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness, and a deep, loving concern.”
Beautiful people do not just happen. This episode is all about how to be beautiful.
Bonjour, and welcome to The French Kiss Life Podcast, where personal development meets style. I’m Tonya Leigh, certified master life coach and the hostess of this party, where we explore how to live artfully and well. Each week, I’ll be sharing inspiring stories, practical tips, and timeless wisdom on how to elevate the quality of your everyday and celebrate along the way. Let’s dive into today’s episode.
Hi, my beautiful friends. Welcome to another episode. I want to talk about how to be beautiful. I was inspired to create this episode because I just spent some time with a dear friend of mine who I think is so beautiful inside and out. And yet, she doesn’t see that in herself. And I can’t tell you how frustrating it is, as a friend, to see your fellow friends not see their own beauty.
Hey, listen, I’ve been there. I spent the large part of my 20s and even early 30s not seeing myself as beautiful, not feeling beautiful, not being beautiful. And I truly believe that every woman wants to be beautiful.
And yet, there are so many things in the world that, until you make how you feel the most important thing, will constantly remind you of how you’re not enough; how you’re not beautiful enough, how you’re not thin enough, how you’re not rich enough. You know, I talk about not-enoughness a lot on this podcast.
And I want to change that conversation. I want to share with you how I got to a place where I genuinely think I’m a beautiful person, inside and out. And let me tell you. That was a choice I made.
Many of you know this, but some of you may not, who are new to the podcast, but there was a time where I weighed over 200 pounds. And I remember, I had lost my hair around the scalp area, the temple area. I had really bad acne.
And so, to look in the mirror and see myself as beautiful was such a challenge. And yet, it was something that I wanted to feel for myself. And so, I’ve done a lot of work around this topic for myself and I want to share with you some of the things that I’ve personally done, so that you can start to create your own beauty.
I looked up the definition of beauty and here is what it says, “The quality present in a thing or person that gives intense pleasure or deep satisfaction to the mind, whether arising from sensory manifestations, meaningful design, or pattern or something else, as a personality in which high spiritual qualities are manifest.”
The thing that I know about beauty is that when you look outside of you for it, the definition is always changing. And so, to be a beautiful woman, you’re going to have to take ownership of your beauty. And so, let me share with you some ideas of things for you to consider so that you can truly start to be beautiful, to have that essence of beauty in your life.
So, the first thing I want to recommend is that you define beauty for yourself. If you think about through the decades how the definition, again, of beauty has changed and evolved over the years, it’s as if the media paints a new definition about every 10 years.
I remember, when I was younger, it was during the age of the supermodels, so Cindy Crawford, Linda Evangelista, Naomi Campbell, Claudia Schiffer. And I remember looking at them as the ideal form of beauty. But then, it evolved again and it was the decade of Kate Moss and that very petit beauty standard.
And then, we welcomed in the super-tall, super-skinny form of beauty that most women cannot relate to. And now, we are in the decade of the Kardashians, who are super-curvy, big hips, big breasts.
And here’s the thing, you all. I don’t believe in body shaming in either direction. I just believe in women owning who they are. And if you look outside of you for how you should think about yourself, chances are, every decade, you’re going to end up feeling bad about yourself because eventually, what society tells us is in style, it’s going to go out of style.
And so, why not create a definition of beauty for yourself; one that you can live into. One that is timeless. One that never goes out of style. One that every day allows you to feel beautiful.
For example, if you have been brainwashed to believe that the ideal standard of beauty is a six-foot 130-pound blonde and you’re five feet and a 140-pound brunette, you’ve created a standard that doesn’t allow you to feel beautiful. And here’s the thing, you all. I want us to play games that we can win, right?
I want us to play a game that allows us, every day, to feel beautiful. In order to feel beautiful, you must create a beautiful mindset that personalizes what beauty means to you and not what you see on the cover of Vogue.
I had one of my clients do this because she really struggled with owning her beauty. And so, she wrote this definition of beaty for herself. She said, “Beauty is taking great care of myself. Beauty is walking into a room and not caring about what others think, but caring about them. Beauty is taking the time to look my best. Beauty is feeling my body with beautiful foods and my mind with beautiful thoughts. Beauty is celebrating life.”
And I watched her live into this definition and I watched her energy change, her essence change. And literally, by the time we ended working together, she was just illuminated with beauty because beauty is an energy. I mean, have you ever been around someone who maybe fits the ideal standard of beauty but their energy is just off-putting, or maybe you can sense some insecurity?
And that’s because beauty really is an inside job that radiates into everything that you can do, and so, I want you to create your own definition of beauty that you can start living into today. Not one day when you’ve lost weight. Not one day when you have the perfect wardrobe. Not one day when you look different than what you are today. But today. Because as you start to feel more beautiful, you start to show up in more beautiful ways.
I know that from my own personal experience. I used to look in the mirror and I would just say terrible things about myself. Which then would cause me to continue these toxic cycles in my life of not taking care of myself, of really neglecting myself. And so, I kept perpetuating this ugliness that I felt in my physical being.
But when I started to practice feeling beautiful, being beautiful, it inspired me to take better care of myself. And that’s ultimately what led to my weight loss, that I’ve been able to maintain.
But a lot of you are waiting until one day when to feel beautiful; one day when you get the makeover, one day when you’ll lose the weight, one day when whatever, fill in the blank. And that’s not how this works. Beauty is an energy. And so, I want you to create a definition of beauty that allows you to embody that energy today, not one day when.
The second thing I want to recommend, and it’s very similar to the last one, but I’m going to talk about it in a different way. I have done a podcast in the past that’s called Stop Outsourcing Your Emotional Life. I think that’s the name of it.
But I want you to stop outsourcing your beauty. So many of us are looking for the accolades. We’re looking for someone to tell us we’re beautiful. And when we get it, it’s like a drug. And when we don’t have it, we go through withdrawals. You know what I’m talking about, right?
It’s like we become dependent on other people’s opinions of us as to whether we should or should not feel beautiful. And the problem with this is that everyone’s opinions are always changing. And here’s the interesting thing. I have found that when people really feel beautiful themselves, those are the people that are able to see the beauty in others.
Someone who feels beautiful is not going to tell you that you’re not. However, someone that’s insecure and judgmental of themselves, those are the people that are most often the ones that are going to call out the faults in you and say mean and hurtful things to you.
And I know this because I coach so many of you around this. Again, you have to take ownership of your beauty and you need to stop outsourcing your beauty to your husband or to your children or to your mother or mother-in-law or to your friends or to society.
And you need to decide, again, what beauty is for you and to create that feeling for yourself. And here’s the thing. It’s true, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. There may be some people who have different preferences, who may not see you as beautiful. So what?
I will tell you all, my life changed when I started to make how I feel so much more important than other people’s opinions. So, if I want to feel beautiful, I can’t be looking into magazines that, again, their standard changes about every season. Or I can’t be looking out another person who, because of the thoughts in their mind, they may not see me as beautiful. But you know what, that’s okay. I get to feel beautiful anyway.
It’s like the most empowering thing, to walk into a room and not needing that validation, not needing anyone to affirm you. And hey, listen, if someone doesn’t appreciate your beauty, guess what, their loss. That’s how I like to think about it.
The same goes if someone doesn’t like me. Their loss. I love what Byron Katie says. She was like, “They’re confused.” But there’ such an empowerment to that. When you don’t outsource your emotional life or your beauty to other people, you take full ownership of what that is for you and you live into that every single day.
The next thing is, again, I want you to understand that beauty is an energy. There’s a softness to it. There’s an elegance to it. There’s a simple quality to it. And everybody’s definition of beauty is going to be different. But what I do know is that the most beautiful people do this one thing. They practice beautiful thoughts about themselves and others.
What do you think about yourself? Are you thinking beautiful things about yourself? Because how can you create beauty and how can you be beautiful if you have such ugly thoughts about yourself? It’s heartbreaking. Being with my friend who I love so much and hearing her thoughts about herself, it’s really difficult to hear.
My clients know, I tell them all of the time, I’m like, “Don’t talk to my friend that way.” You all are my friends. Don’t talk to my friend the way that you’re talking to yourself. If you want to be a beautiful, you have to reach for beautiful thoughts. What’s beautiful about you? What do you love about yourself? What do you appreciate about yourself?
Because again, when you start practicing these kinds of thoughts, you’re going to feel better. And then, that energy of feeling better is just going to illuminate every room that you walk into. And the same goes for looking for the beauty in others and thinking beautiful thoughts about others. Think about how magnetic that is.
If I’m sitting in front of you and I’m even just thinking it, I don’t even have to say it, but I’m thinking, “Oh my god, this human is just so beautiful. I am so excited to get to know her. She’s so interesting. She’s extraordinary.” You’re going to feel that energy from me and it’s going to be very attractive.
You’re probably going to want to hang out with me. And I don’t even have to say a word because life is all about energy. And the same goes for beauty. When you start to think beautiful thoughts about yourself and others, you’re going to feel it and everyone around you is going to feel it as well.
The next suggestion that I’m going to make to you is to clothe yourself in beauty. I’m a big believer in the power of style and what it can do for a woman. And here’s the thing; your journey is to figure out what is beautiful for you. No more waiting until one day to dress yourself in a way that makes you feel beautiful.
When was the last time you felt beautiful in an outfit? And what was it about that outfit that made you feel beautiful? Life is always giving us clues and we have to pay attention. I’m hearing this in the School of Self-Image from some of the ladies that have joined.
There’s this tendency to put off buying yourself beautiful things, investing in a beautiful wardrobe because you’re waiting. Some of you are waiting to feel beautiful to do that. Some of you are waiting to lose weight. Some of you are waiting for, again, fill in the blank. But you have to start embodying it today.
So, figure out for you what makes you feel beautiful when you’re wearing it. And stop looking at trends. Stop looking at magazines. Of course, you can look at those things for inspiration to notice what draws your attention. But it is an experiment of trying different things and different looks and seeing what really resonates with you and noticing what outfits, when you look in the mirror, you’re like, “Wow, I’m beautiful.”
And here’s the thing. If you’ve been practicing not so beautiful thoughts about yourself, it will take you some time to get there, and that’s okay. But reach for something that feels a little bit better. And you know, there is something powerful about putting on an outfit that resembles the woman you want to be. So, figure out what that is for you and clothe yourself in beauty.
The next suggestion is that you edit your life for beauty. So, here’s what I mean. Right now, with Instagram and Pinterest and social media, it’s almost like we are the editor of our own magazine. We get to decide what we see and what resonates with us.
I know, for years, I would do the craziest things like buy all of these magazines like Shape Magazine and, gosh I can’t remember all the names of the magazines that I would buy. And I would look at them and I would instantly feel bad about myself because I did not look like that.
Why do we put things in our lives that make us feel bad? Now, of course, it was the thoughts in my own head. But still, when we start to surround ourselves with things that make us feel beautiful, it’s so much easier to think beautiful thoughts. So, surround yourself with things that feel beautiful to you.
Make it your number one goal to feel beautiful and begin to edit your surroundings to support that goal. I also suggest that you diversify your beauty. If we’re not mindful, we will have images put in front of us that is a very myopic standard of what beauty is.
So, for example, if you’re not careful, maybe your Instagram feed will be filled with 20-year-old models. But beauty comes in so many different forms. But if that is all you’re ever seeing, then that becomes your standard of beauty.
I have been intentionally curating my social media feeds and what I surround myself with, with diverse forms of beauty, different ethnicities, different ages, different body types. Because I want to be the kind of woman that can see the beauty in all of its forms, not just one standard.
And so, I want you to really think about what you’re consuming in terms of beauty ideals and is it serving you? What if you made it a mission to really go out there and look for different forms of beauty? And for us all to celebrate the beauty that’s available in all its incredible and fabulous forms.
All of a sudden, you’ll start to see the beauty within yourself. And again, that is so magnetic. It draws people in. People want to hang out with beautiful things and beautiful people. And it is an essence. It’s not one look. It’s not one height. It’s not one body size. It is an energy.
I want you to know right now, you are beautiful. And your assignment is to look for the beauty within yourself and to celebrate it every single day. I love you all. I can’t wait to see you in the next episode.
If you enjoyed this episode and you want to dive even deeper into the French Kiss Lifestyle, let’s start with a makeover; a mindset makeover. You can download my free training, The Three Mindset Makeovers Every Woman Needs, by visiting frenchkisslife.com/mindset. Because, after all, mindset is the new black.