Beat the Beauty Blues

<i>W</i>, Cover April 2009
W, Cover April 2009

While I often feel “above” the media’s messages, the truth is that I’m only human. And while knowledge is power, this power doesn’t always grant me immunity to the media’s toxicity.

One of my many personal vices is my unwavering devotion to W magazine, which I’ve read since I was the all-too-young age of twelve. Once the magazine was in our possession, my sister and I would lay it flat on the living room floor and drool over all the colors and patterns until our eyes crossed.

Little did we know that these images would impact the way we viewed our own beauty–indefinitely.

To this day, I still squeal with delight every month when my W comes in the mail. Consequently, I still battle the inevitable self-doubt and borderline self-loathing that comes after two hours of staring at heroine chic models in $45,000 mini dresses and heels that threaten to break my ankles just looking at them.

Sometimes I have to take action against these insecurities, lest I sulk myself down to “unpretty” levels (yes…I’ve been listening to a lot of the group TLC lately). Here are some ways I counterbalance my media-induced funk, and my advice to you as well:

  • Step outside of your head…and home: Pull up a chair outside your favorite coffee shop and just watch the passers-by. Make note of how many variations of pretty walk past – you’ll be pleasantly surprised.
  • Walk it off: Set your headphones to your most empowering tunes and take a stroll. The physical activity alone will raise your endorphin levels while the music provides some much-needed catharsis.
  • Re-pretty-fy: If you’re a girlie-girl, get a little dolled up, meet up with some good friends and let their love and appreciation remind you of your beauty, both inside and out.

Each of these activities is a quick and easy way to remember what real-life beauty can consist of. What do you do to remind yourself of your beauty and worth? The About-Face community looks forward to hearing your thoughts and experiences, so please, share away!


Corinne Avganim is a freelance events and public relations manager with a passion for child and community development. Having grown up in the “Heart of Screenland” (Los Angeles), she immediately recognized the necessity of the About-Face mission and is honored to have joined such a dedicated team of beauty revolutionaries.

6 thoughts on “Beat the Beauty Blues

  1. For some reason I find that we, as women, have an automatic tendency to criticize ourselves or someone else at the first sight.
    Look at her hair! What is she wearing? Ugh, my thighs look like saddlebags.
    One thing I’ve learned to do is control my thoughts and change negative ones into positive ones. So whenever I see another woman, or my reflection, I ask, What do I like? This forces your mind to shift and focus on the positive, and thus you automatically see beauty, in yourself and everyone else.

  2. I love that suggestion! Rather than look at anyone with a critical eye I will always ask myself “What do I like?” from now on. I tend to look for the best in people and find something I like or appreciate about them, but reading you comment I realized that this doesn’t always transfer to physical appearance. I often fall into the trap of comparing my looks to other women (I try not to, but sometimes it just happens automatically!) even though I look for the best in their personality. Just the thought of approaching people this way is refreshing… I can’t wait to get out of the house and put it into practice. Thanks!

  3. Thank you for that article, it was refreshing. I think we all forget that no matter who you are or what you look like, every woman has insecurities. Positive thinking is definately the way forward!

  4. Liberating!
    I was the only marketing major in my women study class in college. Being taught to think about everything from one perspective for so long, it was not easy for me to face the criticisms from my fellow women warriors. Somehow, at the end of the semester, I was able to look beyond the pages of the magazines and understand the underlining messages presented to us, the female audience. From that moment on, I also become super appreciative for comments like yours.
    In a way, these “things” really prompt us to stand in front of the mirror and take a good look at what we are to the outside world. At the same time, more importantly, we realize how strong and beautiful we really are inside…

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