Tag Archives: beauty battle

How Confidence and Beauty Intertwine

  • When a woman believes she looks beautiful, she feels confident.
  • When a woman is confident, she radiates beauty.

It really doesn’t matter which style she is nor how tall, slim or old she is. The color of her eyes, hair or skin do not change the fact, nor does her nationality, upbringing or experiences in life.

A woman’s beauty is far more about what she believes than what she wears.

  • A young, buff, high-fashioned, fully-serviced diva who is mean and rude is not beautiful at all.
  • An old, wrinkled, out of shape, compassionate woman of wisdom is absolutely lovely.
  • A supermodel who hates herself is not beautiful.
  • An abused and neglected woman with strength and hope is stunning and inspiring.

I’ve spent 30 years teaching women and girls how to accentuate their beauty–that’s easy. Guiding her through Image Issues is not–mostly because it is so rare that she wants to deal with the mirror and the soul at the same time.

  • A girl who feels ugly, unwanted, invisible and inadequate may strive to perfect her image, or she may loose all confidence of ever being beautiful.
  • A girl who feels her image is her worth may strive to keep her confidence with beauty which is never satisfied and constantly changing. Or she may hate the attention she attracts and the pain beauty causes.

These women either love me (as an image coach) or avoid me because beauty can be a painful and embarrassing topic.

Confident Beauty is not found in the mirror until it is settled in the soul.

It takes a brave and mature woman to Continue reading How Confidence and Beauty Intertwine

Does Beauty Embarrass You?

When dealing with a client, most professionals are taught to avoid talking about religion or politics, but there are two other topics that I believe make people even more uncomfortable: success and beauty. 

The real issue: vulnerability

Religion and politics make people squeamish because it’s difficult to have a heart-to-heart with someone for fear that there will be a disagreement in an area where there are deep convictions. Success and beauty can be just as personal. Sure, it’s fine to talk about any of these topics if we keep our opinion out of it, and yes, it is easier to have a general conversation about finances or image than it is elections or faith, but I guarantee that when an outward discussion (even if it’s general) is happening about the first two, there is also some personal self-talk going on.

Especially if the topic is beauty for a woman or success for a man.

I’m far from qualified to discuss a man’s point of view, but can we get personal for a moment about the woman’s heart? I know it’s uncomfortable, but hey, that’s why I like to write: you can read this all alone with no one looking you in the eye… or elsewhere.

The Beauty Battle

The emotional turmoil starts in early childhood when our little-girl-heart revealed its longing to be lovely. Maybe it was the day you danced before your daddy to show off your new dress, or perhaps the moment you were caught playing with your mom’s makeup… Most women can tell a story of a day she began to feel the Beauty Battle. At some point, we all recognize that there is something terribly vulnerable about a girl’s desire to be seen.

As with any emotional battle, each one of us will have our own interpretation of what we are feeling and how we should respond. Our experiences, personality, beliefs, and the responses we receive will always influence how we interpret anything we feel, but I believe their are two major problems with our interpretations of the Beauty Battle: Continue reading Does Beauty Embarrass You?

A Woman’s Right to be Beautiful

Boys want to be strong. This is a well known and accepted fact of life. It is socially appropriate to encourage a boy to develop his strength as he becomes a man. We don’t condemn a grown man for this core desire. In fact, we are wise women if we allow our husbands and boys opportunities to play their sports and have their competitions because using their strength brings out the best in them. If we deny them their physical activity we take away the outlet for their stress.

little girl playing dress upGirls want to be pretty. This is a well known fact that is not so acceptable. When a little girl wants to develop her beauty, we quince and tell her to stop being so self-centered. When grown women feel stressed and need an outlet, they long for a spa treatment. But do they go? Well, only her hairdresser knows for sure because even if she does pamper herself, she’s too embarrassed to tell you because of the guilt she feels.

The media encourages women to indulge in their core desire for beauty, but society does not. Our husbands would love us to be as cute as the girls in the commercials, but they don’t understand our need for spa time any more than we do their silly games. Yet most men go play their sports wether their wives like it or not–and they encourage each other to play as well. Women, on the other hand, must wrestle with shame in order to enjoy a facial, manicure or new outfit because we have believed the lie that beauty is selfishness. To make matters worse, we fan the flame of that confidence-consuming lie by denying that we care about looking lovely, leaving each of us feeling as if we are completely alone with our need for affirmation. Our greatest defense is to pretend none of it matters. Beauty is child’s play.

We are pressured to obtain beauty, but discouraged from developing it. I was recently asked to speak to a group of teens who were preparing for a formal event. I had very little time and there was no warm-up to prepare the girls for the sensitive topic of Confident Beauty. Their response was intense. When I told them that they were each beautiful, they literally got angry. “No, I’m not!” was proclaimed by many of them in unison, while others rolled their eyes, laughed or dropped their faces.

Obviously, they were battling with their heart’s desire.

After speaking to the girls, I was asked to address the boys in a separate room. The difference in their response was absolutely amazing to me, although I was far from shocked since this is what I deal with on a regular basis. At first the boys were laid back and a bit board, but they suddenly became extremely interested. In fact, they had many questions and even wanted to know their Image Identity. I loved it!

The transition in their interest happened when I told them what I just communicated to you in the first two paragraphs of this blog. Several jaws dropped while they listened. This was something they had never considered before. “Think about it,” I challenged them, “if a girl puts in no effort to be beautiful, what are they? Ugly? And if they put in any effort to be beautiful, what are they? Vain? It’s not an easy thing for girls to find the balance. Cut them a break and don’t make them feel bad while they try to work it out.”

I wasn’t able to help the girls find the balance of Confident Beauty that day. In fact, I really only touched the raw wounds that they are still learning how to guard. It breaks my heart to know that most of them will end up hating, hiding or being hung up on their appearance.  I can only hope that the boys they hang around now understand them a little more and will begin to give them permission to BE who they were designed to be. If not, I’m sure they will find a way to pretend it’s no big deal, just like the rest of us.

Perhaps the next women’s rights movement should liberate us to enjoy beauty. Imagine a world where women no longer felt guilty about taking care of themselves and little girls were longer squelched from twirling their dresses and asking for attention. I wonder if the teens in that world would be comfortable with who they are? I wonder if grown women would allow aging to be a part of their beauty and no longer be afraid of it. I doubt any of this will ever happen until we accept that the longing for beauty is not selfish. It is our outlet.

Of course, if we start letting each other enjoy beauty, we should probably start letting our men enjoy their sports, too.

Just saying.

*****

Catrina Welch, Author, Speaker: “I’m an Image consultant without the shopping obsession. I help women and girls overcome confidence conflicts by unveiling the power and purpose of their personal Image Identity (Img.ID) and teaching them to accentuate their authentic beauty so they can forget about their appearance and think about others.” Please consider me as a speaker for your next event. You can find my website at www.CatrinaWelch.com or follow me on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Linked In, YoutubeGoodreads.

Don’t Let Christmas Kill your Confidence

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas.

Everywhere we go silver bells and mistletoes are setting the mood to start shopping. Yesterday I stood in line at a local department store for more than 20 minutes! I love shopping, but before giving in to all the pressure to spend my time and money on getting and giving, I want to remember to be thankful.

They say Christmas is “the most wonderful time of the year” but this is only true if Thanksgiving comes first.

Forgetting to be thankful only sets us up to fail when marketing bombards us with the temptation to focus on our wishes and wants. Of course, this is Continue reading Don’t Let Christmas Kill your Confidence

Morning Makeover Meditation

As a hairdresser, I have had many women sit in my chair and request a completely new style. I look at them, with their hair soaking wet and at its worst and see in my mind all sorts of options. But that’s my gift. They look in the mirror and see a mess and all too often, along with this desire to change comes a list of things they do not like about their beauty.

“I hate my …” “can you hide my …?”

Image Issues–we all have them. Yea, maybe “only our hairdresser knows for sure” but think about it, how many other people really see you at your worst? The rest of your world, with the exception of those you live with, see you after the bedhead has been dealt with and the makeup has been applied.

We are our own worst critics.
You and I look our true-self in the face every morning and yet too often, no matter how Continue reading Morning Makeover Meditation

When Words Crush Your Spirit

“Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.”

Injuries can crush the body.

When someone strikes us, we hurt. The stronger our physical body, the less likely the damage, of course, but there is no question that sticks and stones can break our bones. And when we are injured, no one ever questions our need to take care of ourselves or to get the help we need. In fact, even strangers may jump up to assist the wounded with something that is obviously challenging (like opening a door for someone on crutches). Good people don’t treat an injured person like a weakling or misfit. They see our cast, bandage or sling and it’s obvious  we have been hurt, but seldom will they label us a “reject,” “basket case,” “disturbed,” or “emo” like they do when words (or actions) inflict our heart and leaves us  emotionally wounded.

Broken bones seldom become a person’s identity because we all know these injuries don’t last forever. Emotional wounds, however can easily become our identity because we are less apt to nurture them into healing properly and they become an intricate part of who we are.

It is foolish to keep doing things that intensify any injury (or sickness), whether it is physical or emotional. Yet most of us tend to care for a physical wound with love and attention while we dismiss emotional wounds as if they are shallow, immature or self-centered. Any wound  that is well cared for will heal far better than one neglected or provoked, yet we easily accept our broken heart as our new identification.

When I broke my back in 1999 I had two small children at home and often felt it was “necessary” to do what the doctor had ordered me not to (like lifting my toddler), and when I did, it set back my healing. That’s the thing with a physical injury: it doesn’t go away, it “speaks up” and makes us deal with it no matter how hard we try to deny that it hurts.

Emotional wounds “speak up,” too.

My physical injury happened only six weeks after my daughter’s death. I had not healed from the emotional injury that grief had inflicted on my heart. For awhile I was pretty much bedridden and dependent on others. It was very difficult to be so needy, but the physical rest was part of my emotional healing. Instead of staying busy and avoiding the issues of my heart I was restricted with lots of time to think, cry and pray. My physical neediness also gave others reason to come and help me and that, too, brought healing to my heart.

Words can crush the spirit.

Emotional wounds aren’t always as intense as grief (just as physical wounds may be as simple as a paper cut) but they still need to be dealt with. Perhaps you have been called fat, ugly, stupid, slow, (or whatever!) and you feel embarrassed that such a simple thing hurt you.

Even small insults, like paper cuts, need to be washed, or they may get infected.

IMG_1563.JPGWhen someone hurts us as children we run to mom and cry on her shoulder. She hugs us and tells us the words are wrong and that she loves us just the way we are. And she means it, because we are a part of her. So we believe her words over the insults and our heart survives. Of course, if she does not have a healthy self-image, she may not be capable of helping us with our’s and if we have no one to help us wash the wound, we may accept those words as truth.

My mom helped me a lot in 1999 as did all of my (and my husband’s) family of origin as well as our family of faith. They made meals, did errands, changed diapers and, most of all, they cared. Even when their words were awkward, their actions helped me believe the Word of God, and that was the key to the survival of my crushed spirit.

If you feel wounded or crushed, I encourage you to take some time to heal. You are not alone. Let others help you and let their concern (even if it’s awkward) speak to your heart. Most of all, cast all your cares on the One who cares for you. Tell God how you feel and ask Him what He thinks of you. Don’t get distracted by the “necessary” until you have heard His answer and then believe His Word over anyone else’s because you were created in His image and there is no greater love than His. 

What’s Your Self-Worth?

Read any article on beauty and you are bound to find the word “confidence” somewhere. 
Without a doubt, as women we feel better about our self-worth when we feel good about our appearance. Although it is certainly a catch 22, a more effective approach to satisfying this innate longing for beauty is to focus more on becoming confident. A beautiful woman radiates confidence, but a confident woman radiates beauty–no matter what her appearance.

Ask any guy and he will tell you that women put too much work into beauty. It does take a lot of time to do treatments, applications and accentuations, but beauty takes a lot less work than building confidence does.
Confidence is especially hard to build when we have had our hearts wounded. 
When we experience a traumatic event in our lives, whether it is directly related to our image or not, it makes us question our self-worth. We begin to think that if only we were more valuable we would not have been hurt. It is easy to conclude that our painful experience is because we deserve it or that we are not loved. Sometimes we internalize our belief with shyness, defensiveness or even humor. Other times we wear our heart on our sleeve with desolate or destructive behavior.

When we believe that, “no one cares” we dress accordingly by:girl-829558_640

  • Dressing for approval
  • Attempting to push others away with outrageous style
  • Devaluing or become unconcerned with our appearance
  • Attempting to overcome our inner beliefs with “happy talk”

It is not until we learn that our true value is not based either on what others think about us or what we think about ourselves that we become women of Confident Beauty.
I believe the secret to truly understanding our value is in knowing that we were created in the image of God and in having a relationship with Him. 
You are valuable. I am valuable. It is not because we are beautiful; it is because we are chosen. It is not because of who we are, it is because of Whose we are. It doesn’t matter that others have condemned our imperfections; we are not required to be perfect.

Though it hurts when others do not like us, we can still believe we are of value because we are loved unconditionally. Even when we fail completely and the ones we hurt refuse to forgive our apologies, we can be confident that we are forgiven by the Righteous Judge.
You and I are intrinsically valuable regardless of how we feel, how we are treated or what we have done or experienced.

If you are having trouble believing in yourself today, I encourage you to test your faith. Does your belief system cause you to HATE, HIDE or get HUNG UP on your self-worth at all? Instead of outfit shopping, perhaps it’s time to try on a new belief system. 

Don’t let your past define you anymore. The God of the universe died for your freedom, what could make you more valuable than that? 

But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:8

for more information, visit me at www.CatrinaWelch.com

 

The Overlooked Cause of Acne

When acne flairs up a girl’s confidence deflates.
Google how to treat this common skin condition and you might find an ad promoting a suicide hotline. Not only does acne cause a huge conflict with our confidence, but it has a way of rearing it’s ugly head in times when our self-worth is so crucial. I’m not just talking teen age years. How many times have you woken up the day of an important event ( your wedding, a recital, concert, ceremony or basically any time you have to be in front of a camera or crowd) and found a huge blemish taunting you in the mirror?
Why is that?
Some say it’s emotional: our nervousness causes the oil gland to be more active, perhaps a way of keeping us humble.
Some say it’s physical: hormones, diets, habits and genetics.
Others say it’s a cycle of life and we should just let it run it’s course.
clear skin mom & daghterBut it doesn’t happen only in adolescence.
And it doesn’t happen only on our face.
Acne happens anywhere, and for any reason, that the sebaceous glands in our skin become clogged, infected or inflamed. Getting to the root of the reason may require professional help, but before booking your appointment with a dermatologist, you would be wise to start with the basics.
Perhaps there is a simple reason your pores are being blocked, like the products you use. And I’m not talking about your skin care or makeup because most girls who struggle with acne make sure that anything they put on their face is noncomedogenic. (If not, by all means, start there to find your solution.) I am talking about the conditioner that runs down your back and face when you rinse it off, and the hairspray that doesn’t restrict itself to landing only on your lovely locks. Many women struggle with face, shoulder and back breakouts simply because their hair product is blocking their pores causing the oils in their glands to build up.
If this is a possibility for you, and you don’t want to stop using or change your products, I recommend you change your routine:
  • Most conditioners should be left on awhile in order to penetrate the hair and do their work. Therefore, you may be in the habit of rinsing it out just before stepping out of the shower. I suggest you lather up your body and wash your face after rinsing out your conditioner. That way all residue is off of your skin and only on your hair.
  • Most women finish styling their hair after doing their makeup and then set their style in place with a sticky, pore-blocking spray. I suggest you finish your hair before washing and making up your face (and remember, your face includes your décolletage). This can be tricky with some styles but where there’s a will, there’s a way and if holding your bangs back illuminates your acne you may find it worth the effort.
By no means do I suggest that these simple solutions will fix every cause of acne, but too often in life we overlook the simple things that create big problems. Acne, like so many Confidence Conflicts, can flair up almost instantaneously. One pore gets blocked; one word, thought or deed blocks our confidence and our self-esteem is rocked. And it takes time to heal once there’s an infection or irritation but unless a change is made no healing will begin and the problem will only persist.
If you are struggling with acne or any other kind of confidence conflict, I encourage you to consider the root or the reason and then get back to the basics of taking care of yourself so that your skin and your confidence are clear, clean, strong and healthy.for more information, visit me at www.CatrinaWelch.com

Removing the Tags from the Garments of Your Identity

IMG_1363“A rose by any other name would smell as sweet”

The blind passion between Romeo and Juliet may have lead to tragedy, but this famous quote from William Shakespeare’s beautiful play made a valid point.

Yes, we may be a product or our heritage, highly influenced by our environment and persuaded by our temperament, but the truth is: there are times in life when it is appropriate to remove the tags from the garments of our identity.

While it is wise to read the label on a blouse you wish to purchase, once you Continue reading Removing the Tags from the Garments of Your Identity

Our Chaotic Responses to Compliments

“YOU are ADORABLE!”

These are the words we hear as little girls. Or new brides.  And perhaps again when we are pregnant and “glowing” or dressed up for a special occasion.

“Thank you” would be the proper response, but tell us we look good when we don’t feel lovely and an inner struggle emerges. We may try to act confident–and end up something prideful or arrogant; or we may reject your words rudely… or ever so politely.

Violinist in ViolaceousI was pregnant and alone when I received the most compliments in my life. Talk about chaotic responses! I desperately wanted to receive the encouragement being offered but, instead, the rejection that had wounded my heart was screaming out words far more believable. “If I were really that adorable, my husband wouldn’t have thrown me away like a used rag.” “They are just saying that because they know I am a pathetic looser.”

I cringe to write those statements, because I now understand that no child of God should bash herself just because someone else’s humanity injured her. No insults or rejections of an imperfect people should have the authority to form our identity! But we let them.

It took me a long time to find my worth after facing broken vows. I still struggle to believe I am valued; who doesn’t? But just as one rejection caused me to throw out the confidence that good parents had instilled in me, it also only took one affirmation to bring it back.

No, it wasn’t my next husband’s.

Although he is a wonderful man and I wouldn’t change him for the world, I have learned (well, am learning) not to give man the authority to form my identity. No human is a good mirror. We were designed to reflect the One who created us and only His opinion has the authority to give us true confidence.

Romans 8:38-39 For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

If you are longing to move on from the hurts from your past and be released from the struggle for your identity, I encourage you to simply ask God what He thinks of you. If you will watch, wait and listen, He will answer, and when He does, trust His opinion, value it over all others, and allow it to be your source of confidence and beauty.

*****

Catrina Welch is an inspirational author and speaker whose personal experience with overcoming rejection, betrayal and loss–as well as her expertise as a cosmetologist, image consultant and Biblical life-coach–is empowering women to BE and LET BE.

Her latest book, CONFIDENT BEAUTY: Reflecting the One Who Made You, with the Images in your Mirror and in your Soul, is now available in your favorite bookstores. Autographed copies of all her books are available on her website at www.CatrinaWelch.com