Noir Indulgence intimate portrait style by rachel vogeleisen

Feeling confident is the best beauty cream you can ever wear – celebrate YOU now

Have you ever felt the need to be someone else in order to feel beautiful? I know this feeling all too well. When I was a teen, I desperately wanted to look like a waif and starved myself trying to attain that goal. Needless to say that it didn’t work out! I’ve learned that happiness and confidence is what makes beautiful not trying to be someone else.

“The true meaning of beauty is to be yourself, not what society tells you that you should look like.
The only way to find your true self is by looking past the superficial aspects and being who you want to be.”

The true meaning of beauty is who you are, not what you look like. I know this because as a teen I was so hungry and tried to starve myself to be flat-chested with size XS clothes floating around my body- needless to say, it didn’t work! But it taught me the importance of learning how to see yourself for who you are and not just on appearance.

I finally accepted that I would never look like Kate Moss, but it didn’t stop me from believing that if only I lost 10kg, and became more slender with a tan, all the love I wanted would be mine. It’s easy to lose weight in your twenties (until you hit your forties!), but then there’s always this other price you have to pay later. I’ve spent more than two decades with my weight yo-yoing, between 5-10 kg. I was obsessed with losing weight and worried about everything I was putting in my mouth each time I sat at the dinner table. It was madness.

You never realise how beautiful you are in your 20s until you scroll through old photos. You see then that the years of not loving yourself, always wanting to look like the friend who attracted all the attention and unhappy in your skin have caught up with you.

This is a secret I’ll tell you now. I realised that the friends I wanted to look like, were not attractive, because they’re beautiful but because they felt terrific in their skin and confident enough to go out into the world whatever others thought of them. I wish I had known that confidence was their secret! What I wanted was to feel confident as they were not to look like them!

So however old you are, celebrate YOU now, this moment in time– your face, your body. Stop comparing yourself and enjoy your gifts. You can always think that life would be so much better if you looked like Penelope Cruz but you’re not Penelope! So who cares because Penelope will never be you and have the gifts that life has given you?

Five years ago, I worked on a photography project with women who served during WWII. These women were in their early 90s and taught me a wonderful lesson: they looked beautiful, you know why? Because they had stopped comparing themselves, they accepted who they were-despite thinking about being too old to be photographed—they felt proud of their life and confident in front of the camera.

Building self-love is the best way to ensure that you are happy. It can be tough, but it’s worth the work. If you have always felt like there was something missing in your life and no matter what you did it didn’t make a difference; then maybe this is for you. It’s time to start building love from within – not just for others, but also for yourself!

You are already a superstar, even if you don’t feel like one. You’ve done hard things that no one else has seen before and can take pride in them. Make a list of all the hard things you have done and then look at it again with new eyes to see how amazing you really are.

To shine on the outside, you need to feed your inner fire with love and believe that whatever happens, you’ve got this!

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Whatever it is, the way you tell your story online can make all the difference.
— Tailor Swift