Monthly Archives: June 2017

Pursuit of Beauty

During my commute to Manhattan on the Express Bus one morning, I had the company and pleasure of reading the March issue of Allure magazine. I began by reading the Letter from the Editor Linda Wells and stumped upon this striking catch phrase, the “pursuit of beauty”. Linda explains this phenomenon to be much like the pursuit of the American Dream. It is “a right to determine and improve our essential selves, psychologically and physically…that transcends gender, class, race, age and sexual orientation.” I thought to myself, “this is so true!” What person today does not want to be and feel beautiful? There is no doubt, that we as human beings are acutely sensitive to our physical appearances and will do anything to gain or to maintain our personal beauty. Our insatiable need for all things “beauty” proves that we are all in full pursuit and unapologetically so.

According to dictionary.com beauty is “the quality present in a thing or person that gives intense pleasure or gives deep satisfaction to the mind.” This emotional bond to pleasure explains why beauty plays such a significant part in our lives. We can’t help ourselves in the presence of things or persons that call to our sensibilities. Physical beauty, though a matter of taste and opinion is also characterized by society’s views. In most cultures, the existence of symmetry or balance is a determining factor of beauty because it suggests the absence of “flaws” or “defects”. Facial balance, complexion, body shape and size, as well as youthfulness are all standardizations of beauty. The characterization of beauty however, cannot be understood without also realizing that beauty has another side to it – One that is not so physical, but rather metaphysical (a more intangible element ). We cannot necessarily see or touch it, yet its presence is undeniable. With that being said, we cannot exclude psychological factors such as personality, intelligence, politeness, elegance or charisma as determining factors in recognizing beauty.

As I researched more into this beauty craze, I stumbled upon some very interesting findings. To my surprise, (ok maybe not so surprised) researchers have found that possessing physical attractiveness can be quite influential in a persons life. Someone who is considered to be beautiful is likely to get higher grades, receive better care from their doctors, receive lighter prison sentences and earn more money. As if we don’t have enough problems in the world today, now we know that uncontrollable factors like our God-given beauty or “lack thereof”, is just another social barrier to add to our list. Whether we acknowledge it or not, and whether we do this consciously or unconsciously, this type of “lookism” has plagued our society for years and can shed some light on the depth of shallowness that exists in our world today.

This daunting truth certainly affects how we perceive ourselves as well as others. The images we see on tv also determine what we consider to be beautiful and is the driving force towards this search for perfection. We spend thousands of dollars and insurmountable time shopping online or at the malls, purchasing all sorts of beauty products, making nail, hair, facial and botox appointments, reading fashion magazines and taking particular note of what our favorite celebrities are wearing, doing and using to stay slim, youthful and yes, beautiful.

Let’s not forget, that there was once a time when we were all mystified by the beautiful models and celebrities, who flawlessly walked the red carpets and flanked the covers of magazines effortlessly, or at least so it seemed. We dreamed about being them and looking like them, thinking they were born perfectly that way. Thanks to our growing obsession with celebrity-life, the shameless and countless invasions of privacy through reality tv, the social networks and the “tell-all” craze, we now not only have the information and the knowledge but also access to the once “top secret” sometimes extreme, physical enhancers.

Don’t get me wrong, the “pursuit of beauty” doesn’t have to mean a trip to a plastic surgeon, nor is it an elusive commodity accessible to only to the rich and famous. We can all be physically beautiful! The multi-billion dollar beauty industry has made sure to fulfill our every beauty need by bombarding us with a plethora of products and services geared towards making us feel and look younger and more beautiful.The opportunities and resources available to us are endless in this department. We have products that make us look younger, products that make our skin smoother, products that make our stomachs flat, products that make our lips plumper, products that give us fuller hair, products that make our lashes longer and thicker, stylists, eyebrow threaders, makeup artists, fashion trends that change every season, adornments like earrings, necklaces, tattoos, hats etc we all use these things to enhance our personal beauty and attractiveness in some way.

The truth is however, our pursuit of beauty is not just about exploiting our “sexual capital”. It’s not just the physical aspect of beauty that enamors us. We are in search of a combination between the seen and the unseen – The physical (outer) and the psychological (inner) because they both thrive off each other. I like many, believe that true beauty comes from within. Inner beauty in my definition, is that undeniable, profound light that shines from you and onto the world. It is your aura, your spirit, the stamp you leave behind after someone meets you for the first time. My father likes to refer to this intangible, spiritual side of our human nature as the “inner man” or “woman”. Though this “inside beauty” may come easier to some than others, it is the beginning stages to fulfilling this intrinsic desire for physical satisfaction or happiness.

If psychologically we can find the power and confidence to see ourselves as beautiful no matter what, then the world would have no choice but to view us that way. Any physical imperfections that we may think we possess can disappear. Possessing internal beauty is the foundation of the pursuit of beauty. After all, we know that with age physical beauty disappears and there are many uncontrollable forces that can easily take away or lessen our physical beauty, like a severe accident or disease for example. Inner beauty comes from a deeper place. It oozes from your heart and soul and serves as a complimentary component to physical beauty.

So why this urgency to want to be beautiful? What lies beneath this so-called pursuit? What is it that moves us into the hunt for near perfection? The truth is, the pursuit of beauty is in fact the pursuit of happiness – they are one in the same. Though Linda refers to this pursuit as being “distinctly American”, to me, it is more so, undeniably human. Whether it is a physical or psychological improvement to ourselves, we are all in search for this completeness. It is a calling to being someone bigger and better than we’ve ever been. It’s about walking out your door everyday feeling like a ray of sunshine, confident with every step you take. It is a goal, a standard to set, that once achieved, is rewarded with a lifetime of confidence, self assurance, pride, grace, poise and enthusiasm for life.

We therefore cannot deny that we are in a new era, where beauty and the acquisition of it, is no longer an enigmatic, perplexing phenomenon, but rather an expression of one’s pride and self esteem. Beauty has now become a lifestyle, and we have learned that physical beauty cannot stand on its own, we can only enhance it. It is only when there is complete synergy between the physical (outer beauty) and the psychological (inner beauty) working in complete balance with each other like yin and yang, can we safely say we’ve achieved our goal in this pursuit of beauty and ultimately happiness.

Science Of Beauty

It is without doubt that people desire physical beauty. But wisdom says that we should not define beauty by only what we see on the outside. It says that true beauty comes from the heart. If someone is pretty on the outside but has an ugly heart, then that person is equally not beautiful. But we are also told that beauty is in the eye of the beholder. What this implies is that beauty is relative. What may appear beautiful to one person may not necessarily be beautiful to another person. Beauty is whatever pleases you as an individual.

There are other intellectuals who have the idea that beauty is inconsequential. According to them, beauty does not solve anything, explain anything and it teaches us nothing. They feel like the whole debate about beauty is a waste of time and it should not even have a place in intellectual discourse. But it is so hard to agree with these intellectuals especially in the era we are living in right now. Outside the realm of ideas, beauty rules. The debates on what is beautiful and what is not are dominant on media platforms everywhere. Some people associate beauty with the color of the skin, some with the intellectual capability, some with the shape of the body and so on.

Even with endless campaigns to try and redefine what people term as beautiful, for instance the Say No To Racism Campaign, people have never stopped debating about beauty. Stories about people lightening their skin because they consider white to be beautiful are many. Some are not contend with the size of their lips, so they will go ahead to use lip enlargement procedures that will enable them to have fuller lips. Other people are going on crazy diets to lose weight so that they can achieve a slimmer figure since that is what they consider to be beautiful.

We cannot therefore turn a cold eye to beauty especially with many things that people are doing around the world in the name of wanting to be more beautiful. It will be like quelling a physical desire or responding with indifference to a cry from a baby. We can say that beauty is inconsequential, but what that really does is only widen the gap between the real world and our understanding of what beauty really is. People are doing extreme things in the name of beauty, some which literally put their lives at risk. You would think that their lives depended on it.

But we cannot judge the people that are investing so much of their resources to become more beautiful. Some of them are simply doing that to attain what the world assumes to be beautiful. We are always sizing up other people’s looks. The visible self of a person seems to be more important that the inner self in most cases. Even though it is in no way a fair assumption, that is what we have been made to think. The passionate pursuit of beauty reflects the workings of a basic instinct. That is why people always judge appearances as though an ideal beauty of the human form exists somewhere in their minds.

Personal Power of Beauty

Beauty is Infinite, Beauty is Health, Beauty is Truth, Beauty is Power

What is the Personal Power of Beauty?

Beauty is the power of radiance, and your personal beauty has the power to illuminate your world to a more radiant and bountiful experience. There is abundance, joy, passion, sensuality and pleasure to be had in your beautiful life, and working with your personal power of beauty is a strategy for claiming even more. Your personal power of beauty is a treasure to behold, a way to be bold and a powerful journey for you to unfold. Beneath the surface of your skin is the story of your beauty, and this is the story that is meant to be told.

The personal power of beauty is a magical tool that enhances all aspects of your existence to a more majestic and magnificent experience. Beauty is the source of your personal magic; it is the essence of who you are, it connects you to others and to the plenty of this planet.

What is beauty? Where does it come from? Who has it?
When you think of beauty is it something you know you have within you? Or does beauty seem like something elusive and outside of you?

All people are beautiful, and it is our essential nature to radiate this beautiful truth.

The Beauty is on the Inside

Years ago, I saw an ad that I loved for Burt’s Bee’s products. The photo was of a group of Harley-type bikers, you know, heavy set men, grimacing, hairy and looking kind of scary. The caption on the ad said “The Beauty is on the Inside”. It couldn’t be clearer, beneath the packaging is where you will find true Beauty, it’s on the Inside. This ad cracked me up, just thinking about it still makes me smile; the message was so clear, powerful and beautifully stated. Beauty comes from within, it emanates through the skin and vibrates around us.

Each of us has our own personal beauty, it is the unique essence of who we are, like our signature or thumb print, it is exclusively our own. Our personal beauty or inner beauty stems from the heart, our center of love. Our center of love is the vital force of our spirit, and the vital force of our spirits spring from the source of all life: Whether it be God, Goddess, Great Spirit, Energy, Vibration, the Creator, Nature, the Divine or the Force it is all the same source. Whatever you believe to be the divine spark of life within you; whatever you equate to the magic of your existence; however you understand life with its complexities and perfections and which ever way you account for the air that is your breath and the fire of your spirit all stems from the source of life, and the beauty within you is a part of the package. Our beauty is a divine light that sparks through each cell of our being. You truly can never be anything but beautiful, for you are life and life itself is beauty.

When you understand the source of beauty within you, you then have access to its potential for your greater abundance, power and ability to manifest change. The power of your beauty is already embedded in your essence, ready to glow. However, it is harnessed through your beliefs about yourself and the actions you take in the name of truth, beauty and love. You are born with the tools to become a channel for this very compelling and influential vibration. You are the vehicle for this sacred source to shimmer and shine.

Beauty is Truth, Truth Beauty

“Beauty is truth, truth beauty. That is all ye know on Earth, and all ye need to know.” -John Keats.
We live in a world where our concepts of beauty are decided by the collective consciousness, the standards of our society. Many of us, especially women, are victims of what is known as the ‘beauty myth’. A world where fashion rules, perfect body types are most desired and our ways of looking and being are all meant to sell or consume products: beauty products, fragrances, diet pills, hair color, fashion magazines, douches etc. But that is not what true beauty is made of. The truth is we are already whole and complete beings, we are all perfect because we are each perfectly ourselves. What is true is that beauty is everywhere and within everything. For everything on earth and in the universe is of the divine source. Unfortunately, many of us were not taught to honor our own beauty in this way. We were warned against being too conceited or told we were not beautiful enough and sadly so many beautiful people have never had their own precious nature reflected back to them. We hide our beauty in the shadows, even the super models complain about places within themselves that they find hideous. In subtle and not so subtle ways we have been disempowered and misdirected by the media to seeing ourselves as less than the ideal of beauty. Every commercial on television is an assault, telling us what we need to do to be better, happier and more beautiful. This is the beauty myth and it can destroy our sense of self-esteem and even destroy the joy in our lives, it already has for so many people.

As adults, we need to re-teach ourselves where true beauty comes from. We need to re-connect to the radiant source of life within us and teach this to our children. True beauty comes from the heart and soul and spirit of who you truly are, it is your divine right to resonate with self-love and allow your beauty to take the stage. Your authenticity is buzzing with beauty. Life is love, love is truth and truth is beauty. All of life is sacred and all of life is beautiful. Beauty and truth are hand in hand, one does not exist without the other.

Elizabeth Stahl B.A., N.H.C., is the creator and facilitator of “My Goddess Party”, Star of Aphrodite Mentoring and Life Coaching, Girls of Power and The Girls and Goddesses Parties – for girls ages 10 and up.

Elizabeth has 16 years of experience in the Natural Health Field specializing in Women’s Health and Wellness. She combines her practice as a Natural Health Consultant (NHC), with her Life Coaching practice, Goddess Parties and Sacred Women’s Circles. Elizabeth infuses Girls and Women with the essence of their divine feminine spirit and encourages their growth towards the women they want to be.

She is available for private sessions, group work, classes and Virtual Goddess Parties.

Most Beautiful Woman in the World Award

My adoration for women is actually a rather innocent one if I am allowed to judge myself. I will be more than happy to outline my criteria that define my own judgment, because it’s not righteous to be one’s own judge. But, I think I will let my results speak for themselves.

The most beautiful woman in the world, for most exotic beauty, goes to Jennifer Connelly. I cannot get her hair out my head from the movie Blood Diamond. Of course, she’s in the bushes in West Africa following the story of conflict diamonds and doesn’t have time to setup an appointment with a hairdresser. But when someone can be that gorgeous even under those circumstances, that’s what drives me wild. Forget the fact that I’ve been in love with her since I first saw her in Labyrinth and I’ve followed her career throughout some of my most favorite movies including House of Sand and FogDark Water, and He’s Just Not That Into You. Jennifer Connelly steals away with the most beautiful woman in the world for most exotic beauty.

The most beautiful woman in the world, for being an unexpected hottie, goes to Jenna Fischer. I started watching The Office when it first came out in 2005 and I noticed the cute receptionist behind the desk. I loved the way she flirted with Jim and dealt with Michael. I was actually rooting for Jim and now he finally is with her, with a child and the whole nine yards. But then, I saw her on the cover of Shape in November 2009. It seriously was one of those Wow moments. Who in the world is that? The hottest little hottie to grace the cover of Shape, and I had no idea that the cool, cute receptionist from The Office was that gorgeous. Jenna Fischer takes by a landslide the most beautiful woman in the world for being an unexpected hottie.

The most beautiful woman in the world, for absolute adorability, goes to Jennifer Aniston. Bursting onto the scene in Friends, she caught everyone’s attention with her rich-girl innocence and her amazing beauty. The Rachel hairdo became a national hit. Millions of girls tuned in every week just to see what she was wearing. Even though she couldn’t miss no matter what she wore, she had some of the most famous outfits including the green dress in TOW No One’s Ready, the yellow dress in TOW All The Kissing, and the black dress in TOW Monica’s Thunder. Rachel Green owned that show and Jennifer Aniston went on to star in such favorites as Office SpaceAlong Came Polly, and The Break-Up. Jennifer Aniston sweeps the votes for the most beautiful woman in the world for absolute adorability.

The most beautiful woman in the world, for pure loveliness, goes to Angela Kinsey. Another unexpected beauty comes from The Office in the form of Angela Martin. She plays the straight-laced accountant who can’t stand inappropriate behavior, excessive indulgence or frivolous activities. However, she goes on to have an affair with both Dwight and Andy at the same time showing us that she too is human and not above temptation. But then, I saw Angela Kinsey sport a turquoise blouse with black shorts, high heels and straight blonde hair. That’s when I realized how perfectly gorgeous she really was. That was just the first of many enjoyable other-thanThe Office sightings including the red bikini top and cut off shorts on a day at the beach with her daughter, the blue dress at the premiere of “Meskada” after party, and a slew of red carpet outfits that knock me dead every time I see her. Angel Kinsey blasts the competition away for the most beautiful woman in the world for pure loveliness.

The most beautiful woman in the world, for stunning angel, goes to Emily Procter. Of course, I first noticed her as Calleigh Duquesne in CSI: Miami, a beautiful detective who was nice to everyone, but stern at times when the situation called for it. The first episode I watched was when a new officer was being introduced to the force and one of his first duties was as an observer of everything Calleigh was doing. She explained a few things to get him up to speed and then she welcomed him to the Miami Dade Police Department. Her eyes stayed fixed for what seemed like eternity and she flashed that smile that would haunt me for years. Emily Procter triumphs as the most beautiful woman in the world for stunning angel.

The most beautiful woman in the world, for sheer elegance, goes to Sasha Alexander. She hit the scene in her first memorable performance as Gretchen, Pacey’s older sister, in the wildly conflicted, overly dramatic, idealistic world of Dawson’s Creek. She and Dawson share a romance that is encumbered with too much thinking and not enough spontaneity, even though once in awhile you see sparks of an actual relationship in there somewhere. She immediately became one of the actresses who holds the status, “If she is in it, I will watch it.” Hence, my attention turned to NCIS when I saw her pure gorgeousness grace the show as the big sister type to the team. Obviously, I was heartbroken when she was murdered by Ari. But, Rizzoli & Isles have become the balm that soothes all ails. Sasha Alexander gallops away with the most beautiful woman in the world for sheer elegance.

The most beautiful woman in the world, for unmatched brilliance, goes to Beth Riesgraf. Repelling into my life as Parker in Leverage, she is a bit naïve about certain facts of life even though she is remarkably skilled in cracking safes, scaling buildings and gaining entrance whether legally or illegally. It’s the stern look that comes across her face when she is thinking about something as deep as she can, but her smile is mesmerizing. You melt when you see her fifty gorgeous expressions. Where has she been all my life? She pulls off beautifully the rock and roll blonde, the straight hair formal and the runway yellow dress with designer pocketbook to match. Beth Riesgraf lifts the most beautiful woman in the world for unmatched brilliance.

The most beautiful woman in the world, for stealing the show, goes to Natalie Portman. Of course, she had been in Anywhere But Here and Beautiful Girls along with a slew of other huge hits. But, I didn’t sit up and notice her until a pregnant girl with no shoes is abandoned at America’s department store in Where the Heart Is. Adopted by a crazy couple, she grew from a childish teenager into a professional lady who finally learns how to trust her heart again. From then on, I have not been able to take my eyes off of her. She rocks the innocent look in Sesame Street while dominating sexy in such works as Black Swan and No Strings Attached. Natalie Portman is hands down the most beautiful woman in the world for stealing the show.

The most beautiful woman in the world, for total whiplash head turner, goes to Katherine Heigl. When you see her smile from the side in that infamous “sucker” scene in The Ugly Truth, your heart passionately screams, “I want to be in that guy’s shoes.” She’s down to earth playful, seriously red carpet hot and even pulls off the bad hair day with beauty most runway models would die to embody. I think I love her most when she’s facing her own mortality in Grey’s Anatomy “Good Mourning” or facing someone else’s in “Dream a Little Dream.” It’s in those deadly serious moments that you find her true beauty glowing from within. Katherine Heigl rules the most beautiful woman in the world for total whiplash head turner.

The most beautiful woman in the world, for dripping hot sexy, goes to Charlize Theron. When she caught my attention in The Devil’s Advocate, I thought to myself that someone would literally have to be daft to drift away from her into a meaningless marriage. But, that was written into the script. Just look at how she rocked Mighty Joe YoungReindeer GamesThe Italian Job and Hancock. She even made a serial killer seem likable in Monster. But to really understand the jaw dropping, massive coronary, stand-there-with-nothing-to-say pure sexiness Charlize exudes, all you have to do is witness her raw amour as she walks down the hallway leaving layers of clothing behind in the renowned Dior J’Adore commercial. Charlize Theron demands the most beautiful woman in the world for dripping hot sexy.

The most beautiful woman in the world, for pure enchantment, goes to Christi Paul. The CNN’s Headline News anchor as well as for In Session on truTV. She is the ultimate girl next door with the prom queen beauty. But, there were some Miss America aspirations that could have come true as witnessed by her climb from Miss Mansfield to Miss Greater Cleveland as she worked her way up to running for Miss Ohio in 1993. WDTV was smart to hire her as broadcast journalism just seems to be in her blood. And now you know where I get my news spoon fed from everyday. Christi Paul wears the most beautiful woman in the world crown for pure enchantment.

Robin Meade certainly shares the title of pure enchantment along with Christi Paul. With her adorable laugh and the new style she has brought to the news, I stay on top of what’s going on in the world today and it’s easy to figure out why. Plus, Robin’s song Welcome Home is a touching tribute to the troops who are fighting overseas and that means a lot to a veteran like me. But, the reason why I step out of protocol and share a title between these two gorgeous anchors from CNN is because their lives are so totally similar. Robin Meade was born in Ohio in 1969. However, she went on to become Miss Ohio in 1992 and was one of the top ten finalists in the 1993 Miss America Beauty Pageant. They both are married with children and living in Georgia. So, I tap Robin Meade to share the most beautiful woman in the world for pure enchantment with Christi Paul. It’s the most beautiful woman in the world for crying out loud! I’m sure they don’t have a problem sharing it.