Finding Your Most Attractive Self

love-mirrorFortunately for most of us, we are not judged simply on our physical attractiveness. In fact, it is often the non-physical aspects of our being, our character, personality, and yes, our very humanity, that makes us attractive to those around us.

An old proverb that originated in England in the 17th century says it best. Beauty is only skin deep. The writer, Sir Thomas Overbury, was commenting on the physical beauty of his own wife. In present-day usage, the phrase indicates something that is shallow or common.

To be truly attractive to others involves much more than a special haircut, clothes, or makeup. Attractiveness wells up from inner beauty, a good soul, and a kind heart. Men and women are at first attracted to a person’s exterior. This is true throughout the animal kingdom where it is often the male of a species that is the more colorful, vibrant, and physically attractive.

And while there are many beautiful people in the world, people of substance whose inner beauty matches or even exceeds the appeal of their fragile exteriors, these people are the exceptions to the rule. In the real world, most of us are quite ordinary-looking. What makes us attractive to others is what we are about on the inside. To know us is to love us.

There’s Nothing Wrong with Average

Whether we intend it to be so or not, we are all pretty average people. Yet each of as an individual is in complete control of who we are and how we appear to others. Researchers have determined that it is our not our good looks but our personalities that will influence if others view us as attractive or not. To be our most attractive selves, we need to build our confidence as well as our social skills.

Psychologists believe that we are most often judged by our personalities. A sparkling and vibrant personality can cause attraction in others and spark passion and intrigue in potential lovers. All the rest, these analysts claim, is so much window dressing.

Developing a good personality isn’t always easy, but well worth the effort and, unlike makeup, a personality won’t wear off during the evening or start running down your face in the rain. To be more attractive to your peers, you should work on being more outgoing, positive, and agreeable.

Hard workers are also deemed as more attractive. Other personality traits that most adults find attractive are honesty and an authentic respect for others. Men and women both seek out mates who are stable and have a positive outlook. Being open to new experiences is also high on the list of attractive qualities for potential mates.

Experts advise daters to take things slowly. It’s important to allow a potential partner to get to know the real you. Once your personality begins to shine through, you will even be perceived to be more physically attractive and certainly more appealing overall. It’s of the utmost importance to remain positive, especially during the more tenuous beginnings of a relationship.

When Beauty Is Only Skin Deep

Supermarket checkout stands are loaded with books, journals, and magazines that pander to men and women who wish to achieve some level of physical perfection. As one example, in a recent issue of Self Magazine, the lead article http://www.self.com/beauty/2007/04/your-most-beautiful-self-tips gives women 22 tips on how to be at their most beautiful. That’s 22 different beauty tips for what Self Magazine considers to be woman’s five most critical areas: her skin, hair, make-up (face), hands, and feet.

If you really want to look your best, the magazine admonishes, you’ll follow these almost two dozen handy editors’ tips to become a more beautiful you. The article claims that following these simple rules will save hours in front of a mirror, but we can’t figure out how any time might be saved at all by incorporating all 22 beauty secrets into someone’s daily routine. If we had to do all of these things every day, we’d never get to work!

We’ve been told that we don’t understand these things because we’re not women. We’ve seen similar and even more convoluted routines aimed at the men folk too. And, once again, after all the work is done and a body is properly coifed, bathed, lotioned, scented, trimmed, painted, etc., what is the point?

The beauty achieved in these cases is the very definition of skin deep: illusory and temporary. It smacks of Photoshop; artificially enhanced images with no lasting effects. Once the regimen is completed, you may dazzle for a moment, but that moment will end quickly. Real attractiveness implies staying power.

An attractive person can be as alluring in a rumpled suit sans makeup as the beauty queen who has just emerged from a full-day treatment at the spa. One needs only to look at the inner spirit, what lies beneath the well-worn frock and half-bitten nails, to find a captivating, alluring, and charming man or woman.