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?
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?→
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→
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.
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.