The quest for true beauty

Comments (0) Beauty/Fashion/Style, Health, Menopause

Throughout my career, it’s been my mission to do everything within my power to help women- AND men- reach a healthy place of self acceptance-and let me tell you, at times it’s been an uphill battle, especially when addressing body image and self esteem issues.

I deeply believe how a woman accepts herself depends largely upon the cultural and societal norms that prevail in her day to day life. Nowhere is this more apparent than as a woman hits midlife and begins the processes of peri menopause / Menopause.

Women’s responses to Menopause and the aging process in general vary significantly.

The more Menopause is viewed as a ‘loss’ -of youth, vitality, beauty- the more likely a woman will experience pain, illness and emotional issues as she makes the transition.

Coincidence? I don’t think so!

Quite frankly, it’s been my personal experience that for women, there is no better teacher than Menopause.

You heard me right; that very process we’re taught to dread, can actually be the turning point that frees us to get it right- for the first time in our adult lives.

Let’s face it, Menopause happens to all women- eventually- and brings with it numerous physical, emotional and psychological changes.

This process might be met with feelings of relief, peace and acceptance-or depression, anxiety and illness, depending upon the woman.

Let me explain:

Those of you that read my articles or attend my seminars regularly have heard me say: ‘Aging will happen – but only if we’re lucky!’

The simple truth is: Aging is not a disease- or a deformity to be hidden at any and all costs.

It’s crucial for our wellbeing that we embrace every stage of our lives, and stop battling the woman we find looking back at us in the mirror.

The very simple truth is:

The only way to lasting, genuine Beauty, is to work from the inside out.

Let’s take my career experience in Hollywood for instance:

It was in Hollywood that I worked on supposedly ‘the most beautiful women’ in the world; the women we were all knocking ourselves out aspiring to be…

Yet, when I would provide makeup services for these women, more times than not, I found them to be anything but beautiful. Granted, their outer exteriors were stunning: perfectly symmetrical features, perfectly done hair, perfectly manicured nails-but unfortunately, more times than not,  the reality was inside, they were quivering, seething masses of emptiness, insecurity and self absorption.

These ‘role models’ more often than not, proved to be self absorbed, insecure, neurotic shells and all too often their lives were filled with various forms of self-loathing and self abuse: drug and alcohol problems, addictions to sex, anorexia, bulimia…

I can’t tell you the number of times I worked with celebrities I had idolized for years, only to walk away shocked, disappointed, saddened and dismayed.

These weren’t strong women. These weren’t the women I’d been led to believe they were.

These very celebrities I’d been told by pop culture I needed to aspire to measure up to- weren’t even measuring up themselves!

Since I’ve been ‘privileged’ to see behind the scenes, I like to tell women in my seminars: ‘There’s actually very little that’s beautiful about the beauty industry.’

I quickly learned from my film and Television experiences that there was more to Beauty than just a pretty outer shell… but what True Beauty actually was, escaped me- until I started providing restorative makeup for burn and scar patients.

It was here, with these folks- that I finally learned what TRUE Beauty was all about, and I’m here to tell you True Beauty has precious little to do with the size of your butt, the arch of your eyebrows, or whether or not the back of your arm wiggles when you wave!

These burned and scarred people were beautiful—INSIDE- where it counts.

They had been stripped of all artifice and had been forced to meet Life head-on.

They were passionate about BEING ALIVE, because, more often than not, they had almost lost their life in a cruel accident.

They were passionate about living in the Now moment- as more times than not, they had almost lost the luxury that IS the now moment.

They were passionate about family and friends and love- because, more often than not- they had almost lost the chance to love- and they knew what it was to hang at the precipice of their last moment.

They were alive to the fullest, and consistent focus on their outer shells was no longer stopping them. They lived life on purpose and with intent- and THAT’S where the rubber meets the road. That’s where you find Life- and that’s where you discover TRUE Beauty.

But how do we get there without such a horrific wakeup call?

How do we overcome all of the negative programming we’ve been spoon-fed and how do we learn to accept ourselves right here, right now, while striving to improve ourselves from a point of love and acceptance?

The answer is much simpler than you might think, and it will prove to be one of the most empowering things you will ever learn:

Beauty is present- on every level and at every stage of Life– PERIOD.

We must look for it, seek it out- and acknowledge it– when and where we find it.

It’s time for real, hardcore, honest education- and it’s way past time to replace our inner panic and insecurity, with self-awareness and a hefty dose of self-respect.

The only way to lasting, genuine Beauty, is to work from the inside out.

We need to quit looking to the glossy pages of fashion magazines for our answers.

We need instead, to look inside ourselves and ask the hard question:

‘At this stage of Life, are we as women transitioning TO something positive and productive? Or are we going to continue to give our power away, trying to measure up to shallow ideals of what we ‘should’ be… ‘should’ think…’should’ look like?

It is in approaching the process of Menopause and embracing it as a time of self care and self awareness that many blessing begin to flow.

Why not use this as a time to get to better know yourself?

As EE Cummings once said: ‘It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are.’

And to that, I’d like to add: ‘But in so doing, you will- at long last- discover the True Beauty you’ve been seeking!’

By: Carrie E. Pierce www.menopauserus.com

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