If I had any doubt in Dior’s assertion before, the Beauty of A Woman Blog-Festers wiped it full out. I can’t express how grateful I am to everyone who participated. Your stories, remarks, interaction and exponential, far-reaching support lit up the blogosphere, inspiring thousands. If you haven’t yet done so, please give yourself a huge hug, tell yourself how freaking beautiful you are and know that you done GOOD! I hope you enjoyed it at least a tenth as much as I did.
Before the fest, I shared thoughts on Miss Representation, a powerful documentary that explores the media’s portrayal of women. The starting statistics I posted struck me as sad, eye-opening and motivating. We can’t make positive changes if we fail to recognize the problems, or take pride in the differences we’re making (by for example, telling stories) if we’re unaware of their significance.
Fueled up with gratitude, I’ve decided to highlight positive facts regarding beauty today. Rather than see the glass as half full or empty, I prefer to consider it no longer empty, and rich with potential. Focusing on uplifting facts and positive changes underway instills hope. Without hope, there’s no glass at all.
5 Empowering Facts About Inner/Outer Beauty
1. Happiness breeds beauty. Happiness makes us vibrant inside and out. “When you’re happy your skin will appear healthier, and your hair and nails can actually grow faster,” says dermatologist Richard Fried, M.D., Ph.D. Positive folks also tend to stand taller, he says, and take greater measures of self-care. Studies have also shown that emotional fulfillment and confidence make us more attractive to ourselves and others. So happy people are not only more kind, energetic and grateful, but hot!
2. R&R beautifies. Spa days, vacations and therapy arguably go further than makeup or chic clothes in terms of beautifying. Stress contributes to everything from low-moods and relationship turmoil to skin problems and unhealthy weight shifts (gains and losses). Real beauty, as so many blog-festers pointed out, relates to personal spirit, gratitude and inviduality. Don’t let stress taint those.
3. Self-acceptance increases sexual satisfaction, making way for increased attractiveness. Multiple studies indicate that embracing our bodies as they are enhances sexual desire, ability and pleasure. A happy sex life facilitates inner and outer beauty in various ways, by reducing stress, increasing that healthy post-sex “glow,” boosting energy and improving hormone levels.
4. Smiling helps us feel and appear lovelier. “When you smile, even if you’re upset, it feeds the brain signals that make you feel more positive,” explains Sonja Lyubomirsky, Ph.D., a happiness researcher at the University of California, Riverside. People who appear happy are more likely to be perceived as beautiful by others, according to her research, and exhibit happiness physically, which cultivates more of both.
5. People are standing up for real beauty and speaking out against demeaning media. And there’s tremendous power in numbers. Over 87,500 people have signed the Miss Representation pledge, supporting fair, empowering media. All over the world, people are tweeting harmful media, using the hashtag #NOTBUYINGIT—and you can, too. Our voices can be heard. What’s yours saying?
Last but not least, the winner of a Kindle Fire or Amazon equivalent gift card is…. *drum roll* Jess Witkins! If you missed her uplifting post on what makes a woman “REDHOT,” be sure to check it out. Congratulations, Jess!
How do you celebrate or perpetuate inner beauty? What makes you feel beautiful inside and out? Any highlights or thoughts to share on the fest? I love hearing from you, and am crazy grateful for your support. ♥
Amber West says
Congrats to Jess – and to everyone who participated!!
Congrats–and what a terrific post. I missed several since I was out of town but will try to catch up this week. Sounds fabulous!
August McLaughlin says
So glad the stories and links are there for all to enjoy any ‘ol time–me included! Thanks for the support, Amy!
Kathryn Chastain Treat says
Congratulations to Jess. I truly have enjoyed the BOAW and look forward to participating again next year.
August McLaughlin says
It’s been a joy having you, Kathryn. Please stay well and in touch. I’d love to have you back in ’14!
Reese Ryan, Novelist says
Lovely post! As a person who has been accused of “smiling too much” on more than one occasion, I especially appreciated the reminder that “Smiling helps us feel and appear lovelier.” Thanks August and congrats to Jess.
August McLaughlin says
I’d say that’s an excess worth boasting! Thanks again for joining us.
KM Huber says
Always enjoy the BOAW blog fest. Once again, this year’s was exceptional. Thanks, August!
Congratulations Jess! Sorry to miss. Next year I am sure I’ll be in town. The posts I did read didn’t take my comment since my internet was so bad!
Steve (extension 128) says
Under R&R Beautifies, I’d add a sub-category of exercise. Stir that endorphin pot!!! The fact that my dating life pciked up tremendously coincided when I made working out and eating better a regular part of my life. Seeing positive, healthy changes in one’s body is very uplifting in so many areas of life.
David N. Walker says
I enjoyed contributing and reading the contributions of others. Thanks for letting me participate.
Lena Corazon says
This was such a fantastic blogfest, August! I’m still reading through all of the stories, and each one gives me ALL the feels. Congrats to Jess and everyone who participated!
My Inner Chick says
I agree. Beauty is SO much more than outside appearance. Without kindness, brilliance, imagination, & passion, one can be quite boooooring & blahhhhh.
Kassandra Lamb says
August, I said it before, but it bears repeating, you are the most beautiful person, inside and out! Thanks for making the fest happen!!
Karen McFarland says
Congratulations to Jess! What a generous prize! But then again, you are a very generous person August. It takes a lot of work to put something like this together each year. It is your forte’ girl! Thank you so much! Oh how I cannot wait to finally meet you! See you soon!
Kate Wood says
August, you are truly an inspiration, thank YOU!
Coleen Patrick says
Congrats to Jess! And this fest was really so, so awesome. Thanks again, August.
Debra Eve says
Had such a great time participating! Thanks again, August. And I keep forgetting to tell you, I love your header with our city’s beautiful skyline.
Jess Witkins says
OMG! Seriously?! I am beyond pumped about this, August! I learned so much and met so many awesome bloggers through the BOAW festival! Thank you truly, madly, deeply for hosting it and sharing with us all the mind and body health tips in celebrating and feeding our souls/beauty! You are phenomenal and so is the crowd I met at the festival! Thank you!
Debra Kristi says
Congratulations to Jess. So many great posts in this year’s BOAW. All the amazing reads were overwhelming. Thank you for pulling this all together, August.
August, I’m still going thru all the lovely posts of BOAW and so thrilled to be a part of it. I love this post here too and especially this: Smiling helps us feel and appear lovelier. My mom always would say ‘Turn that frown upside down’ and let me know that it takes so many more muscles to make a frown than a smile. If that’s true than it takes so much less energy to be happy than angry – right? Thanks for a fabulous BOAW fest!
Thank you for this wonderful post! I’ll be sharing this with the community at Revolution Gray, a site dedicated to women who have decided to go gray. There’s really a need to shift the beauty paradigm in this country. Thanks for contributing to this movement!
Job well done, August! Thank you for continuing the BOAW. I can’t wait until the next one! Congratulations to Jess and to everyone else who participated. It’s taking me a while to get through all the posts but I don’t want to miss one of the awesome missives!
Kourtney Heintz says
August, thank you for bringing together so many beautiful and talented bloggers. I’ve been making my way down the list, savoring each post and feasting on all the great takeaways.
Catherine Johnson says
Congrats Jess, your post was terrific!
Kim Jorgensen Gane says
I LOVE your pictograph on the glass half full with progress, and full to the top in the future, August. This Blog Fest has been one of the most gratifying things I’ve been a part of as a new writer, and I can’t wait to do it again. It depicted everything I believe in and promote on WestCoastPosse.com and through my writing, about lifting women up, being supportive of, and appreciating one another. I feel I made many new friends through all the amazing woman power, too, not the least of whom is you, our amazingly beautiful and inspiring leader. Congratulations to Jess, and to everyone who contributed.
I had fun participating in the Blog Fest and look forward to next year! It was so much fun. Reading everyone’s posts was inspiring.
Stella Wilson says
Very nice information that will be very helpful for all of us. And August, its the first time i read your stuff and would like to say that you are an amazing writer with lot of depth knowledge. Would like to touch in with you for next updates. Thanks a tone.