Does your Beauty Fit into a Box?

One of the biggest push-backs I get as an image consultant comes from the fear of bing analyzed. It seems that many people assume that being told which style they are is like being put into a box. In truth, however, knowing which “box” you fit into breaks the walls that can hold you back from being true to yourself–like the Ugly Duckling that I blogged about last week.

Many of us are brought up in a culture that confines us to the definition of beauty that our influencers hold us to. It may be that your mom likes things done “properly” but you don’t notice details and feel as if you just didn’t meet the standard set before you.

Maybe you do care about details and love to make things beautiful, but your family does not. Perhaps they belittled you for your concerns and to this day you hold back from being a woman of excellence because you feel as if it is selfish or prideful?

Altering your appearance is exhausting.

Continue reading Does your Beauty Fit into a Box?

Do you Feel Like an Ugly Duckling?

The primary factor in determining your Personal Image Identity (Img.ID) is your physical appearance. Just as a rose by any other name is still a rose, so are you the style of beauty that your physical attributes indicate that you are. Anyone could say that a rose is just a flower, or they could call it ugly, old, deformed or anything else, but it is still a rose.

People may point out your commonality, or they may critique your every attribute, but when you get down to the core of who you are, the truth is, you are beautiful.

Every flower is beautiful, no matter which species, whether it is budding or beginning to dry out. It doesn’t matter its size or color. This is also true of you. You may feel as if you are too old, have gained too much weight, or hate your coloring, but you are still beautiful. People may have told you that your nose is too big or picked on your differences, but focus on anything too closely and you may miss it’s beauty, too. In order to make peace with your beauty, you must take a step back and focus on the bigger picture.  Continue reading Do you Feel Like an Ugly Duckling?

Take this LifeSTYLE Quiz

You are invited to a formal event. How does your heart respond? Some women (and men) enjoy dressing up and socializing. Others feel quite the opposite.

The way you respond to certain lifestyle choices has a lot to say about which style of beauty (or attractive) you are. While your physical attributes are the major indicator of which of the six styles (your personal image identity or Img.ID) you are, your personal preferences are the confirmation. If your physical style does not fall in line with your personal preferences, then you likely have a secondary style or you are in the midst of a Beauty Battle. 

A number of factors come into play when it comes to our personal preferences. The culture, economy and standards of our formative years are certainly strong influences on how we feel about certain lifestyle choices, especially if we have a compliant nature. It is natural to choose that which we are comfortable with, but sometimes we follow the examples set before us without even considering other options because it is all we know.  Continue reading Take this LifeSTYLE Quiz

The Overlooked Solution for Acne

When acne blows up, does you confidence deflate?

Google is betting on it, which is why ads for suicide prevention are often linked to your search on this common skin condition.

Acne affects about 50 million Americans a year.

Obnoxious blemishes have a way of rearing their ugly head at crucial times in life–not only in adolescence! Consider that important event in your life when you woke up to a big zit between your eyes. Why is it  the photo-op days when they suddenly appear to taunt us?

Stress causes acne

  • Emotional stress can cause the oil glands to be more active.
  • Physical stress (including hormones, diets, circumstances and genetics) are major contributors to break outs.

Blemishes happen Continue reading The Overlooked Solution for Acne

Surviving Breast Cancer with Confidence

Sonya was struggling with the way  people averted their eyes from looking at her. The effects of chemotherapy were obvious and friends were now awkward around her.

She knew their response was a natural reaction and one she herself was prone to. But, still, it hurt.  Sonya was a mature and successful woman, yet, suddenly it as though she had no  presence.  She felt ugly, alone and  invisible.

Because of this, however, she found her authentic beauty. In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, I humbly share her words with you:

I have been on two journeys over recent years:  one visible; one less so.  Both have been major.  I have journeyed both with breast cancer and with an internal search for identity.

Breast cancer is something you can't run from - not if you want to succeed in the race.  A search for identity is also something that is always a companion - something I couldn't escape.  For me, both these entities were twin companions.  Where I was, there they both were.

Losing all my hair, eyebrows and almost all my eyelashes was confronting.  I didn't fall in a heap, however, because I had learned earlier in my life that the way we see ourselves really does manifest in how we are.  I was determined to see myself as beautiful, because at our deepest core, all of us are beautiful.  God made sure of that: He created us in His image and likeness.  I knew I must make this profound truth part of my journey - if I was to journey well.  I consciously determined that my first and immediate words to myself, when I looked into the mirror after my husband had 'shorn' all traces of my very fast falling-out hair, would be, "I am beautiful".  And this I did.  It really helped.

Catrina Welch speaks with the same voice in her books on Confident Beauty and Supreme MakeOver:  We are  all beautiful because we were made that way. There is, however, an aspect to this truth that is crucial to our confidence and it is often left unsaid.  But not with Catrina.  God didn't give us all the same kind of beauty.  Further, finding our special kind of beauty is synonymous with finding our identity.  As Catrina explains, some of us have refined beauty; some glamorous; some bold.  And there are other types of beauty.  One thing is for sure, however, all of us have beauty.  

In Catrina's books she gives specific information that helped me determine what my personal Image Identity is.  I found that I have Glamorous Beauty as well as strength and boldness!  I am essentially a combination of tender compassion and bold strength.  Fantastic!  I always knew I had a tender and compassionate heart but was not familiar with my capacity to be bold and to be a voice both for myself and for others.  Catrina not only helped me find my Image Identity and what to wear, she also affirmed to me who I am on the inside.  And more than this, she has left me with direction in my life to keep growing as the beautiful woman God made me to be.  I extracted from Catrina's writing that I am a person who brings comfort and healing to others.  I must also give this gift to myself.  I have tenderness, compassion,  strength and boldness I can use for myself and others.  How powerful is that?!

There is much wisdom in what Catrina says in her books, and I thank her for that.  My search for identity is greatly resolved and I have a future I can be passionate and confident about!

Sonya, Australia

Are You Stylish?

Stylish, by definition, is trendy, modern, fashionable, sophisticated, elegant, glamorous.

When someone or something is “stylish” it captivates our hearts and attracts our attention. A woman is considered stylish if she follows fashion and gives attention to the details of her makeup, hair and nails. A home is considered stylish if the details and finish are exquisite and up to date.

I submit to you that there are many types of styles and not all of them are high-fashion. Continue reading Are You Stylish?

Making Peace with your Style

When did the quest to find yourself begin? Did you know who you were as a little girl? Did you discover your true identity in High school? Did your passion, purpose and personality suddenly reveal itself, or was it a progressive unveiling?

Who am I?

Most of us question our identity throughout our lives. We begin by roleplaying with our Barbie dolls and continue testing and attempting various attitudes and approaches throughout adolescence. As we try various sports, arts, hobbies and studies. Slowly we discover our likes and dislikes.

As we mature, we learn to relate to others  and begin to solidify our opinions and interests, but many of us continue to “play house” well into the season of managing one for real, because we still have not found peace with our true self. Continue reading Making Peace with your Style

Changing Emotional Outfits

I love to people watch this time of year. It’s easy to tell who is holding onto Summer and who is enjoying the Fall. It’s especially fun to see those who are eager for Winter–I saw “one of those” last night, in her high boots and thick sweater. I let out a little chuckle when she walked by. It hit me funny since I had been walking barefoot on the beach in shorts and a tank top just a few hours earlier. As I looked around at all the other people who were wishing they had prepared for the temperature drop. I was glad I had changed!

Changing outfits

Does this fluctuating weather represent your life like it does mine? One minute it I feel the warmth of all the wonderful things that are happening. The next moment I’m chilled to the bone with the difficulties that I am facing. I’ve been here before. In fact, I’ve been facing the challenges of my son’s addiction for many years now. Continue reading Changing Emotional Outfits

7 Ways to Save Money on Clothing

Autumn is officially upon us and once again we New Englanders find ourselves pulling out last year’s sweaters and boots and squeezing them into our closet full of summer clothing, which we are not yet ready to put away. (After all, this dreadful weather is going to calm and Sunday will be beautiful again!)

Crowded closets cause stress

When clothing is stuffed into small spaces, we are apt to complain that we can’t find anything to wear. For some reason we think that mean we don’t have enough, but in most situations, less would be more. Too many options can overwhelm us; it is far easier to choose from five outfits then from twenty. Continue reading 7 Ways to Save Money on Clothing

Are you Influential?

Ambitious. Hard-working. Multi-tasking–these words describe most  women in today’s culture. Dreamers, with great desires for ourselves and our families. We are strong and courageous and are willing to give up so that others can get.

Women are influential

As emotional and relational beings, our mood sets the atmosphere around us. When we are peaceful, others relax. When we are joyful, others enjoy themselves. We should not underestimate the power of our presence because, when we recognize our influence,  we can make a difference in our world.

We have the ability to  create a beautiful environment in our homes for our marriage to flourish and our children to blossom. We have it in us to become self-disciplined, and to discipline our children well and train them in the way they should go. When we build on our strengths and overcome our weaknesses, we increase our sphere of influence (as big or small as that may be) because women who are confident enough to bless others are women who people want to be around. Continue reading Are you Influential?