“Beauty is skin deep,” as the saying goes.

According to a Global Advisor Study done by 18,000 participants across 27 countries in 2019, the top five attributes of beauty included confidence, kindness, happiness, dignity, and intelligence. These attributes are attractive to the same and opposite sex, according to this study.

We all know someone who is striking in their appearance, but their attitude toward people and life around them is angry, haughty, and full of disdain. Those physical characteristics of beauty soon take a back seat to the demeanor that person shines forth toward humanity. The same can be said for someone who is not the most physically attractive to the eye but when they are kind, gentle, honest, and intelligent, they glow with a deep beauty that pervades their body and face, and we are drawn to them.

When we first meet someone, yes, it is the exterior that we are taking in and evaluating, if you will, in a very detached, uninvolved way that we have internally set up over the course of our lives without even realizing it. For example, you might find that you are taken with red heads so you can spot them a mile away or that you appreciate dark eyes in people because you relate this to deep intelligence and a contemplative spirit. I have an acquaintance who beauty only registers to him if a woman is over 5’8”. He is a very tall man, so that has become part of his internal checklist for beauty. These are fleeting and momentary observations though—the first 1- 5 seconds, tops. What keeps someone looking beautiful in our eyes is intrinsic. It is those things that we contemplate for more than those first 1—5 seconds. It’s the way a person makes us laugh or smile to ourselves when we think of something funny they said as we appreciate their wit. It’s the way they held our gaze when they shared something deep and meaningful to them that told us they were being authentic with us. One is more immediate and intuitive to us, and the other is longer lasting.

Beauty is the quality or aggregate of qualities in a person or thing that gives pleasure to the senses or pleasurably exalts the mind and spirit. As we are within, the outward appearance will exude. Remember to invest in yourself. Things I have learned to help me are: Remember that I am made in the image of God so there is a high expectation. Get to the root of things that are holding me back and tackle them. Taking time to be quiet and reflective so that I know myself and what needs to go and what needs to stay and be purified. Being gentle with myself. Loving myself and loving others. Be generous with others. Be authentic and honest with myself. Forgiving myself and others because humanity is not perfect…ever.

I wish you peace and inner beauty!