True Beauty Comes From Within

Beauty is a funny thing… Whether you purposefully defy beauty ideals or are the first to jump on the latest trend, the vast majority of us spend a lot of time focused on our own external appearance – arguably, with the goal of looking more “beautiful.” But what does it really mean to be beautiful – and does primping and pampering and criticizing and altering our physical appearance really make us any more beautiful in the end?

While you may quickly argue that you look better in pictures when you’re dressed up and have your hair and makeup done – is that really what makes you beautiful?

So, I ask you this: what really does make someone beautiful?

I’ve asked this question to numerous friends, family members, women, men, celebrities, athletes and more over the last year. Not only as a part of my personal and ongoing journey to (hopefully, eventually) love myself exactly as I am, but also as part of The Beauty Bean’s On Real Beauty series (On Real Beauty Series) where, each week, I have the honor of asking well-known women questions about inner beauty, self-confidence and body image.

The first question I always ask is some variation on the question I just asked you: what do you think makes someone beautiful?

Never – not once – has anyone answered this question by referring to physical characteristics. It’s never been about almond-shaped eyes, straight noses, slender physiques or full lips. It’s never been about height, weight or clothing size. It’s never been about non-existent pores, wrinkle-free faces or long, blonde hair.

Rather, when I have asked anyone “what makes someone beautiful?” the answer is always about character, confidence, intellect, passion, kindness, personality, poise and soul. It’s always a reflection of inner beauty. It’s never about six-pack abs, lifted butts or BMIs. It’s about someone who is happy, confident and loving of themselves and others.

 So why, when trying to “boost our beauty,” if you will, do we spend time in front of the mirror, focusing on our external appearance? If beauty really does come from within – if beauty really is about happiness, confidence and self-love – wouldn’t our “beautifying” time be better spent doing things that make us happy, boost our confidence and make us love ourselves more?

This isn’t at all to say that we need to throw our beauty routines to the wind in order to let our Real Beauty shine. I love makeup and skincare products and all those goodies – but they don’t define me, they don’t determine my beauty and they don’t define you or your beauty. Your beauty really does come from within.

So, on those days when you’re fretting over an untimely breakout or bummed out that you’re having a bad hair day, focus on the things that really define your beauty (and trust me: it’s not a pimple or out-of-place hair). Step away from the mirror and instead do something that makes you happy, boosts your confidence and increases your self-love. It will do more for your beauty than another swipe of concealer or spray of hairspray ever will.

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Alexis Wolfer is Editor-in-Chief of and a Real Beauty activist and ambassador. Follow her on Twitter here .

  • Word 😉

  • Love this perspective!

  • Very well said…I had the same expereince when I held a session with some young women….all spoke about attitude, and how you treat someone as what makes them beautiful. It’s not about the physical – society places so much pressure on the physical, people go back to it all the time as what defines beauty. Hope more people read this post. I do have a book coming out on How to Stay Beautiful as a means to help people focus on what really matters. Thank you for writing this! I enjoyed reading it!:) Stay beautiful and do have a wonderful day!

  • Daniela

    Thank you, love it:)

  • Lea

    I’m glad to stumble upon this blog. It is the message I keep reminding myself and others around me each day. If more people thought this way, the world would be a much happier and accepting place!

  • Destiny

    I think everyone that states that beauty comes from within is lying. Yes your personality etc. makes you beautiful but the problem is we’ve been trained by society to place weight or emphasis on the physical or outward appearance. That is why we spend so much time primping ourselves. When you first meet someone the first thing they see is your outward appearance. They’re attraction to your outward appearance plays a large part in them taking the time to get to know the beauty that lies within you. The concept of people finding what lies within more beautiful will not work until society (i.e. The media) stops shoving down our throats what beauty is.

  • Helen Adodo

    Wow! I think Destiny’s comment is realist!

  • Great point Destiny…we have been “trained” by the media to focus on the physical. The physical makes that first statement I agree…but true and real beauty starts from within. And there are people out there who exemplify this. A physically beautiful person can be rude and inconsiderate and I believe that takes away from her beauty – but that’s my opinion. It’s important to groom yourself and look good – nothing wrong with that. We just need to ensure that we’re balancing it with the internal beauty. We do have a voice as a people – if we stop lapping up what the media gives or if we make an effort and try to balance it with the internal beauty – we can make a difference. We can provide the next gerneration with a balanced view on beauty:) Have a beautiful day ladies:)

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  • Hannah

    I know I’m really late on this discussion, but it’s been three years, and I’m just now reading this. I’m doing a speech on a person’s beauty. I think beauty comes from within but to many people judge because of the external appearance. I don’t know why people are the way they are. An in these three years since this was posted I believe it’s only gotten worse. I want people to truly understand beauty, not what someone looks like, because we all get old, we all get wrinkles, and we all just change over time, but what is inside you and inside your soul, that never goes away that’s what makes people who they are. Thanks for this I enjoyed reading it, it’s good to get other perception and points of views. Stay BEAUTIFUL!