My Fair Lady, She’s All That, Clueless. All are reincarnations of the Pygmalion inspired story, where an “ugly duckling,” with major modifications in appearance and behavior, blossoms into a beautiful swan. As common as these scripts and story lines are, many of us refuse to apply the practices shown to our own beauty image. We only address superficial beauty, with new clothes or cosmetics, in a fleeting and shallow manner to improve beauty. Employing a whole picture method- considering how one looks, feels, and sounds- will give a complete beauty transformation and bring the wanted admiration of others.
Appearance is the first piece of information used to judge a person. What is the outfit, accessories, makeup, and body language trying to say? We should dream of an ideal persona, message, or look and make it a baseline for all attire decisions. A “What would Audrey Hepburn (or other celebrity) wear?” if you will. But don’t run out and buy an entire new wardrobe. Instead, slowly change purchase decisions and wearing habits to promote the new you. Stick with colors and cuts that flatter your natural shape. Ask a trusted friend or family member for honest feedback on your attire and work from the criticism into a positive new direction.
Touch is the next way information is acquired, and by extension of that sense, how something feels. Look at your hands, are they soft and smooth? No one desires to shake hands with sandpaper. Moisturized and cleanly manicured hands are more appealing than bright, unnatural nail polishes or dry, callused palms. Proper body carriage is paramount to confidence and holding a conversation. Standing tall takes strength in abdominal and back muscles, while slouching can cause back pain and later problems. Just as you build muscle strength with improved posture, the strength of character and confidence also shows. It is far easier for others to make eye contact with you if your head is up and alert instead of chin down and staring at the ground.
Smiles are the great equalizer for facial blemishes and preventing the company from feeling cold around you. Next time you meet someone new; take notice of what you can remember about the person’s appearance. Unless the person wore something bold or particularly unnatural, generally outside attire is forgettable. Introductions and meetings are so quick, most people capture a name, handshake, and notice if the person is smiling. Perfect teeth are not a requirement for the benefits of a smile. All smiles lighten up the facial features, and are a sign of warmth to the receiving individual. Humans are endeared to other happy and friendly humans in social situations.
Etiquette and speech patterns are the biggest social barriers to cross. A woman sporting Louis Vuitton and using improper English is far more undesirable than a woman without the expensive handbag speaking correctly. Beauty cannot simply be bought. Removing slang and expletives from vocabulary are not just a way to improve communication, but also to show respect for your company. This is also true for proper social etiquette, such as using appropriate names and “Yes, please” or “No, thank you” responses. Everyone enjoys treatment of the highest kind, and this is an inexpensive way to make others feel like royalty. Such behavior regularly receives repeat invitations meaning less Friday nights home alone.
Choose discussion subject matter carefully. Gossip and untactful negativity always reflect more poorly on the speaker than the subject slandered. Certainly, this is no reason to never have a negative comment about something or someone, just temper conversation with more positive than negative responses. Stay away from controversial or highly opinionated discussions until you have a close relationship with someone. Friendships may endure the disconnect of disagreement, but acquaintances rarely would.
Improving beauty, both real and simulated, takes a slow focused effort of changing habits. Just as in a reality television show, a transformation is rarely completed in one day, but takes weeks and weeks of work occasionally interrupted by commercial breaks. Don’t get discouraged by setbacks, and instead concentrate on where you can notice success. Looking and feeling beautiful is increasing the investment you make in yourself. Education, formal or informal, and practice are what concrete the beauty modification permanently. Take advantage of the many ways people absorb information to put your best foot forward. With these tips, turn heads as you walk in the room and captivate attentions with inviting personality and conversation.