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.
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→
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→
In every conversation, every glance your way, each test you take or act you perform, there will always be the nagging questions about your identity, purpose, power and value:
Who am I?
Why am I here?
Am I enough? Am I too much?
Does my life even matter?
These questions about our significance may be subtle and somewhat silent or they may consume us with their torment. The intensity of their demands for answers may ebb and flow, within certain seasons of our lives. Without a doubt, they are strongest when we are suffering with low self-esteem, but even on days when we highly-esteem ourselves, our nature is to solicit confirmation of our worth. Continue reading Do You Accept Rejection?→
With Texas facing such unfathomable devastation, I find it hard to blog about beauty today, but since the media is so concerned with Melania’s choice in shoes right now, I suppose it’s not too inappropriate to discus the topic.
It’s true, what we wear on our feet shows how committed we are to the activity or occasion we are preparing for. If you say you are going to the beach, yet you are wearing boots, I might not take you seriously. If you are going to play backyard tennis, you may get away with wearing any sneakers, but if you are serious about playing, you will wear tennis shoes.
Don’t wear any kind of sneakers, however, if you are going to the courthouse or you may be condemned by the judge. There are certain times when formality is expected.
Typically, formality is expected every day for the FLOTUS, (or for a model for that matter!)
Except when it is not–then she may be condemned for dressing up, even if she planned to dress-down before arriving at the disaster area.
A lot of beautiful women face this problem of being judged harshly for dressing up–especially Dramatic & Classic women, who tend to be more formal in nature. Personally, this is one of my hot buttons. I hurt for the girls who are criticized and snubbed because (ironically) the “mean girls” think the pretty girls are snobs. Of course, it does go the other way as well, and pretty girls can be mean, but everyone sees the wrong then. Doesn’t anyone see that some women are simply more confident and comfortable in stilettos? Continue reading Are you More Confident in Stilettos or Sneakers?→
Glance at a flower and it will amaze you with its beauty. Take a deep look at the details of each pedal, the leaves and it’s stem and you may not be as impressed. I mean really, what is this?
Flowers wilt; they fall over or break, and very often they have many deformities. No flower is perfect, yet only a fool would dare to criticize the details of that which was presented to them for sheer pleasure. I’m not saying that no one rejects the bouquet of flowers given them (Actually, I’ve personally witnessed an ungrateful critique insult the generosity of their flower-giver’s heart.). I am saying that those who are critical of beauty are foolish. Continue reading Making Peace with your Image→
If you have ever heard of the Proverbs 31 woman, you know she is amazing. She is someone we all want to be, she does it all, has it all, makes it all, and IS it all! She is the wise, ambitious, strong, organized woman of God who loves her husband, children, and servants. She honors, adores, and guards them and meets their every need- even if she has to get on a ship to get the good!. She puts others first, cares for the poor and supports the local merchants. She takes the time to dabble in real estate, plant vineyards and make fine tapestry. Not only that, but she eats right and stays in shape!
Oh, and one more thing.
She seeks wool and flax, and willing works with her hands. –Prov 31:13
How often we overlook that one…
We all want to be worth “far more than rubies” like her, don’t we? I mean, I want to plant a vineyard! I love grapevines. I want my husband to safely trust me, to lack nothing and to be well known in the “city gates.” I believe charm is deceitful and beauty is passing; I fear the Lord; I want to be praised!
I recently heard a recovering addict refer to herself as a dandelion: ugly and annoying to most but beautiful and useful to those who know her.
Her analogy has me thinking.
As the mother of an addict, I’m often baffled by the way my son returns to his drug of choice even though it makes his life so much more difficult in so many terrifying ways. I do not see him as ugly and annoying, but his behavior indicates that this is how he believes most see him. My new friend, however, recognizes that some people see her worth. She recognizes the stigma her past has put on her, but is beginning to shift her focus away from her shame and toward her worth.
Part of “recovering” from any ugly past is overcoming the stigma
As moms, we see our children as beautiful and useful–even when they mess up or become rebellious–because our hopes and dreams for them are strong. We believe in their potential. Unfortunately, it is hard to recognize your own beautiful potential when you are trapped in a lifestyle of ugly mistakes. The ramifications of bad choices make it hard to see what could be.
It’s hard to imagine a field full of beautiful flowers when at the time all it boasts is ugly and annoying weeds.
People are compelled by convictions.
When we mess up, we often allow our experience to form our opinion of ourselves. We experience a divorce and take the identity of a” divorcee” and a struggle with addiction names you an “addict.” I have a hard time with that, but really, when we get married we become a “wife”; when we restrict our diet we become a “vegetarian” (or such). I just hate this epidemic of people restricted by the stigmatism that their ugly mistakes have made.
What we experience does form our identity, and therefore we act according to who we are–in most cases it would be wrong not to. If you don’t act according to your marital status, its a moral issue. Your choice of diet, on the other hand, may or may not be a strong conviction, but each of us should BE true to who we believe we are.
Unless, of course, we are believing a lie.
A vegetarian who eats meat totally contradicts who she says she is. If she had no conviction about the matter, then her change in diet is not much of a concern. We might ask her what changed her mind, but it’s really not any of our business how someone else eats, right? If, however, she had strong beliefs on the matter and suddenly she was straying, I would try to encourage her to “remain true to herself,” wouldn’t you?
The only thing truly ugly and annoying about someones identity is hypocrisy.
It is upsetting to witness someone take on an identity that contradicts who they really are. I may never really understand why does my son keeps going back to drugs, but this one thing I am sure of: I still believe in him, but my convictions will never change his identity, only his will.
Dandelions have the potential to be beautiful or destructive.
As a little girl, my daughter loved to pick the bright yellow dandelions in our back yard. When their season of bright beauty past, and they turned to seed, she loved to blow the beautiful puff off into the wind. They started multiplying like crazy! When we told her that the flowers were actually weeds, I think we broke her heart, but once she understood the truth, she stopped the behavior that was causing an epidemic in our lawn.
Are you a dandelion?
Yes, the beautiful flowers are weeds, but they have worth. I hear you can even eat them! They are adaptable and able to grow even in cracks of pavement where their is very little soul. Try to pull them up and you will learn that they are extremely strong. Unless you succeed at pulling out the whole root, they will likely grow back. Most of all, dandelions are highly influential. They may go through an ugly season, but their beauty only multiplies as they fully recover and start all over. Why? Because they were designed with the potential to experience a Supreme MakeOver.
So were you.
Don’t you realize that you become the slave of whatever you choose to obey? You can be a slave to sin, which leads to death, or you can choose to obey God, which leads to righteous living. -Romans 6: 16 NLT
Do you see yourself as ugly and annoying or beautiful and useful? Recovering from an ugly past is a process, but it is a possibility. There is a Supreme Stylist–God, your Creator, who can make you completely new again if you simply ask. It is what He does. It’s what He loves to do.
Don’t let your mistakes–or the stigma they have caused–define you. BE who you were designed to be: Strong, adaptable, highly influential, beautiful and useful. After all, weeds may go through an ugly season, but they multiply a lot faster than other flowers do!
As an author and speaker, my passion is in helping women and girls overcome confidence conflicts, especially those involving rejection, betrayal and loss. After 30 years in the beauty industry as both a cosmetologist and an image consultant, I love to use my profession, along with my experiences and training as a Biblical life-coach to help others struggling. If you want to make difference, too, would you become part of this movement and connect with me on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Linked In, Goodreads or consider having me speak at your next event. Visit http://catrinawelch.com for more information.
This could be a story about you. Perhaps your losing your hair, have a major skin problem, are cross-eyed or confined to a wheelchair. This could be a story about a friend or family member, who’s Image Issue is not outwardly apparent to most, but is weighing on your heart because you know about her eating disorder, gender confusion, substance abuse, self-loathing.
Image Issues are uncomfortable.
Any identity crisis is personal and often very painful–especially while the crisis is active. Difficult times are easier to talk about when they are in the past. In truth, most battles become glamorous stories once time passes and pain subsides. Isn’t this why women tell labor stories when they are around a pregnant woman?
Painful pasts have powerful potential.
Stories of overcoming difficult times are usually helpful to those potentially facing the same problem, but we need to be sensitive about our timing for those actively in the emotional battle.
Broken beauty is still lovely
As an image consultant, I try to make it a point to recognize when a girl or woman may need to hear how beautiful they are. It’s what I do. A direct compliment can be awkward to receive and hearing “you are beautiful!” can throw any woman off-guard. I recently Continue reading Encouragement in an Identity Crisis→
Most women HATE, HIDE or get HUNG UP on their appearance. Who doesn’t hate certain parts and pieces of how they look? This is why so many of us hide under big, baggy sweatshirts, heavy makeup or hair coloring.
Some women love their appearance–or at least they have a way of persuading their audience that they love how they look. In reality, those who are hung up on looking good may very well hate themselves even more than those hiding.
Why is beauty such an emotion battle for so many of us? Wait, before you tell me that you have no emotional struggle over beauty, take a moment to search your soul.
How do you feel when you see a young girl hiding?
What are your thoughts toward girls who put too much emphasis on the way they look?
Think about it. Girls are condemned if they do cate about their image, and disgraced if they don’t. It’s not us the public eye, or the men in our lives, either. It’s us. We are the ones so hard on each other and on ourselves.
The way you treat your beauty (wether you hide it or strive to attain it) is a big indicator of your Img.ID:C: Seldom STRIVE or HIDE; image is just a part of being professional.N: Seldom STRIVE or HIDE; I prefer comfort over beauty.D: More apt to STRIVE; I love to make things beautiful.I: I prefer to HIDE from attention, but I often STRIVE to look stronger.R: I love beauty, but tend to HIDE my own; when I STRIVE for it, I get hurt.G: It’s not a big deal; I dress how I want when I want.Click the letter to learn more about that Image Identity, including What2Wear.
We hide things we do not value.
If you are hiding your beauty there is a good chance you have not yet discovered your self-worth. Perhaps you have always felt ashamed, unwanted, uncared for. Your reason for feeling this way could be real or imagined, either way, emotions are often the driving force behind the way we represent ourselves. If you were teased for your height or weight, there’s a good chance you still feel foolish about that physical attribute. The truth is, beauty is not confined to you fitting into a popular height, weight, or any other attribute. Not everyone will appreciate your qualities, but your value is not negotiated by their opinion; don’t let it pull your confidence down.
We get hung up on things we overvalue.
If you are hung up on your appearance, there is a good chance you are striving for someone else’s approval. I know. I’ve been there. It’s human nature to long to belong, but showing off something does not give it greater value. In fact, showing off turns people away. No doubt you have personally witnessed an adorable girl who knows how cute she is. It’s only cute for a little while before it becomes too much. People are easily turned off by a hangup, so don’t depend on great qualities to pull your confidence up.
We do not hate that which we we know is deeply loved.
If you hate the way you look, there’s a good chance you do not believe you have something beautiful to offer. You are wrong. Everyone has something worth sharing, but you will never be at peace about it until you decide to get off the sea-saw and find Beauty in Balance. I believe the secret to finding that peace is in understanding the depth of God’s love for you. When you believe that the Creator of the universe carefully choose each of your attributes with a purpose and a plan, you will feel differently about yourself. You’re not just any woman, you were made by the high-fashion Designer!
If you are struggling with the idea that you were lovingly formed by God, I encourage you to find a Bible and really search for answers. The thing is, once you believe that you have a “designer label,” you begin to notice how carefully designed all the other people around you are as well. Suddenly “average” seems silly and you see the beauty in the crazy-unordinary physical attributes.
What a creative God we have!
With this realization, you no longer feel the need to hide or to strive. Instead you have Beauty in Balance. That’s when you experience true confidence.That’s when you become a Confident Beauty.
As an author and speaker, Catrina’s passion is in helping women and girls overcome confidence conflicts, especially those involving rejection, betrayal and loss. After 30 years in the beauty industry as both a cosmetologist and an image consultant, Catrina now uses her profession, her own powerful stories and her training as a Biblical life-coach to reach the heart in a way that is relatable, encouraging and inspiring. Her message is balanced with both fashion and faith and is making a difference in the lives of women and girls all over! To be part of this movement, connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Linked In, Goodreads and consider having her speak at your next event. Visit http://catrinawelch.com for more information.