Dr. Adam Sheck is a psychologist in Los Angeles with a 19-year-old daughter, and it hasn’t escaped his attention that beauty is a BIG deal.
The global beauty industry is worth over $500 billion. The pressure to look good has never been higher.
It’s no longer enough to look good for your age. Now you’ve got to look good through the lens of a camera, which is unforgiving and often downright cruel.
The people who know us and love us don’t care whether we wear makeup or not.
They’re not going to stop loving us just because we’ve put on weight or are going gray.
When they look at us, they see WHO WE ARE.
They see what we can’t see. They see us in action. They see us laughing, talking, thinking, listening. They see us through the lens of all the memories they’ve made with us.
And THAT is the alchemy that makes a woman beautiful.
There’s No Beauty in the Absence of an Observer
Dr. Sheck explains:
A woman is not beautiful in a vacuum. There is always an observer who interprets that beauty, even if it is the woman herself.”
The objective facts of your appearance matter less than the meaning someone gives them.
You dislike your weight; he loves it. You see the wrinkles around your eyes; he sees the depth in them.
What Dr. Sheck is interested in is the role of the observer when that observer is a man in love. He writes:
[A] man creates beauty through his perception of a woman… When I truly love a woman and love her beautiful way of being, she becomes beautiful in my mind and in my soul, and then in my eyes.”
In other words…
You are beautiful when you are seen by someone who loves you.
How You Become Beautiful
Which leads to a surprising conclusion…
The best way to become beautiful to a man is to spend as much time as you can together.
Talking to him. Listening to him. Being with him. (Not on a device—it has to be in person.)
The more time you spend with a man, the more he sees the real you.
He doesn’t even notice your hair and makeup and outfit. He just sees YOU.
He gets to know your personality and what makes you tick.
You end up with running jokes that make you both laugh.
When he looks at you, he sees things like:
- The time you did something so ridiculous and silly that you can’t think of it without blushing, or
- The time you listened to him when he was upset, or
- The time you two did something incredible together.
He doesn’t see you as you look today, with a breakout and bad hair.
He sees you as you’ve always looked to him. You just look like YOU.
Test This Yourself
Think about a friend you’ve had for ages. Picture her in your mind’s eye.
Now try to remember what she used to look like 5 years ago, or 10 years ago.
Can you do it?
I know, for example, that my best friend decided to stop dying her hair and go gray 5 years ago, but for the life of me I can’t remember what she looked like before that. It seems to me she’s always looked like this.
The people I know never seem to change, even when I know they HAVE changed.
Whether they gain weight, lose weight, dye their hair, get older, they always just look like themselves.
As a result, I can’t always see it when my friends complain that they’re putting on weight or looking older. I suppose I know objectively that they look a little different, but it doesn’t change how they look to me.
All my friends are beautiful. Whether they know it or not.
Love + A Long History = Beauty
The more affection we feel towards someone, the more beautiful they are to us.
Regardless of whether they fit the beauty mold or not.
Yes, we can all agree that some people are objectively attractive while others aren’t. Attractiveness is one of the first things we notice about people.
But attractiveness isn’t beauty.
Emotionally intelligent singles look for an attractiveness that’s more than skin deep. They want an emotional connection. They want to be with someone who finds the same things funny. They want to be with someone they can talk to for ages.
Isn’t that you?
I don’t care what you look like. Your face is like a history book he could read for hours. It’s a beautiful mystery that hides what’s going on in that fascinating mind of yours.
So stop beating up on yourself.
Stop wishing your skin was better and your body was better and the camera loved you.
He loves you.
And THAT is what makes you beautiful.
More Body Confidence Advice
- Your Beautiful Body Challenge
- Why It’s So Darn HARD to Love Your Body
- 3 Tips for Better Body Confidence