Being beautiful is all about having the right attitude! It’s not about how you look, it’s about how you feel. Smile! When you look happy, you look beautiful! Beauty is a state of mind.
Statements about beauty as an attitude are so popular, a woman might get the impression that she can think herself onto a Victoria’s Secret runway, if only she focuses on being super, super positive. And puts her shoulders back.
A lot of this advice is well-meaning, I’ll give it that. It’s sort of sweet and hopeful on the surface, and I think that often the people who say these things mean “beauty is complicated. It’s not just about fitting into some restrictive standard, it’s about who you are, as a person.” I love that. I spend a lot of time, after all, encouraging girls and women to feel good about the way they look, right now, for their uniquenesses as well as the ways they fit into common definitions of attractiveness. Own it! Rock it! You are gorgeous just the way you are!
Yes. Definitely yes.
But it is also true that no amount of grinning is going to turn you into Adriana Lima, unless you are already Adriana Lima, and, beyond that, there is something that just keeps bothering me about the idea of feeling good=looking good.
(she rarely seems to smile herself in the pictures of her… source)
My mind kept snagging on it. So I told myself that it’s entirely possible that I think about this stuff too much, and then I just put it aside and ate my dinner and read some pop science. But I think I’ve figured it out, finally: the problem with the “beauty is an attitude” logic is that it places all the blame and responsibility on women.