Beauty Defined – Seeing Beyond the Physical Looks

by Zofia, Asia


When I’ve asked guys about what it is they actually love about a woman, one they are perhaps dating or otherwise, the response is usually to do with any of the following…

  • Having nice or big eyes
  • Good skin or body
  • Long hair
  • Good dress sense
  • Perfume
  • Being a good laugh, funny
  • Confidence

But WHAT ELSE captures a guy’s interest apart from the physical look of a woman or her personality traits?

I know that in the past and measuring myself up against such physical attributes would confirm to me that I was ‘beautiful’ and hence ‘dateable’, even though inside was the feeling of

  • Being misunderstood
  • That the guy I dated never really ‘got’ me
  • That he never really ‘saw the real-me’ or
  • That a deeper connection (I was looking for) felt missing, was absent


For men, a woman’s physical look is more often the draw as it is a visual checklist, whilst for women, our checklists tend to be about his type of JOB or PROFESSION, how successful he might be (SECURITY and MONEY), his age (typically OLDER), his background or past, and so a picture of what the future together might look like…

Such checklists of both sexes centre attention and focus on an outer and tangible reality providing reasonable rationale or sense as to why 2 people are with each other – “the successful guy gets the beautiful girl…”


‘Beauty is in the eye of the beholder’

Surely! But what EXACTLY is Beauty?

  • Can one develop and become MORE BEAUTIFUL?
  • Could a woman who does not have symmetrical features, youth, good looks, skin, hair and teeth, be regarded as ‘being beautiful’ in the traditional sense?

There are so many myths and conditions that surround what Beauty looks like.


The recent Dove viral video has received countless hits which expose the societal belief that we women have a hard time realising or seeing our own beauty, i.e. that others see our own beauty more than we ourselves do. True. It illustrates that OUR DEFAULT POSITION IS FOCUSSED ON THE NEGATIVE or being CRITICAL OF OURSELVES, and that we never really centre on the positive aspects. True again.

In the viral, an artist behind a screen paints a woman based on questions he asks about her own physicality, and then asks those same questions of another woman about that same lady. The resulting 2 pictures are drawn differently, hence are shown to highlight the above held perceptions and beliefs, with the second lady being far more appreciative of the other’s beauty than the woman can manage herself, thus confirming “you are more beautiful than you think”.

And whilst this default position of being self-critical and blocking our own beauty from being seen may be a sad fact in our society – that’s appreciatively being noted via this video – the viral itself really only further cements the more deeply-ingrained and already held societal belief and perception that what we look like, our outer appearance and physical look, is what gets us noticed and makes us worthy of appreciation… thus compounding the notion of ‘our looks’ being  ‘of importance’, and affirming to women and others that the level of one’s beauty is being both determined and MEASURED not just by ourselves (our own worst enemy), but also by others. In every moment


Beauty is not a measurable yardstick, and it (beauty) is only ‘skin-deep’. And for some people side-stepping the superficiality of looks, a person’s job, or the amount of money or time they give away to other people or to charities, may qualify them as being ‘a beautiful person’.

Though looks, money and the nature of our jobs alone do not make a person beautiful!

There are countless very physically beautiful and well turned-out people, models, celebrities etc. with lots of money (and time) to support them in this image of ‘beauty’ they demonstrate. Though, and as can often be the case, the person’s eyes may tell a very different (and opposite) story to what their beautiful-looking outer is portraying by the way they might be conducting, behaving, or treating themselves and also others – that is far from being full of beauty!

So back to the Dove viral video: what if the artist had asked these women to share a time or experience they enjoyed AND THEN related that back to the physical features?

For example;

  • A time when they enjoyed a stroll on a bright sunny day – how did their face look?
  • Or held a new born baby – how did their cheeks feel?
  • An occasion where they put on make-up for a special event – how did their eyes ‘speak’?
  • Wearing something they felt gorgeous and lovely in – how did their hips move; how did they enter the room?

And THEN draw the woman?!

Perhaps then we might get to see a woman’s real beauty there shining. And that it’s been present in all those things she’s enjoyed doing, or felt a joy and naturalness with…

And perhaps even connecting to such examples of joy may help unearth and highlight the beauty she does in fact already have WITHIN HERSELF – so that she needs not ask another to value or mark her own beauty since she’s able to FEEL and then SEE this quality being reflected back to her in the drawing…


So could one’s choices that lead to activities or a physical movement of the body, reflect or emanate our beauty-fullness?

Our face, jawline, eyes or complexion can all show when life is being lived with busyness, exhaustion, angst, stress, depression etc. and so too when it’s being lived the opposite with balance, love, joy and sparkle…

Hence, BEAUTY IS ABOUT QUALITY – i.e. the quality we live (our lives) in.

Beauty is an intangible inner-quality that can be felt, in spite of one’s looks, money or profession. This (inner) quality, or beauty, becomes tangible into ‘visible sight’ to others by our ability to make quality choices that are intentional and IN RESPECT OF ONE’S PHYSICAL frame/BODY. This choice (to include the body and how it feels) then affects its natural movement and expression or actions such as the way we sit, walk, stand, eat, speak or interact etc. This choice is one that is also intentional and confirms that BEAUTY actually arises from an INTENDED QUALITY that precedes any action or expression. This intended quality creates ‘A WAY OF BEING’ – one that is NATURAL to the body. In this naturalness lies THE way of being which forms the foundation for what comes next…

Hence, Beauty is AN EASE and NATURALNESS that is easily seen from the way we are living. This naturalness gives way to true confidence.

Just as the ‘way of being’ of someone who’s stressed and another who’s balanced may be very different, we might also see this reflected in how they both look physically.


So Beauty can be developed via connecting to feeling that we have ‘a quality’ that can be our guiding and living truth, becoming the ‘way of being and also living’ for us. for example, our body responds with tenderness when we see and hold a new-born and our eyes may automatically shine joy; this then confirms the beauty we feel inside ourselves which we see being reflected by the baby. So then to encourage such reflections in life that may affirm our own and already PRESENT beauty.


By learning and getting to feel our own beauty, others get to see it too: no longer is the need for others to state “you are more beautiful than you think” (as per the Dove viral video). Because we don’t think, instead we KNOW it because we can FEEL it in our QUALITY of natural being.

126 thoughts on “Beauty Defined – Seeing Beyond the Physical Looks

  1. Inner beauty is a quality that we feel when we connect to the preciousness of who we are and this is felt by others no matter what age or the outer physical features.

  2. To know we are innately beautiful and express it in our movements means we have defied all outer influences and attempts to reduce us to think we’re just physical bodies.

  3. I love this, how in fact our beauty is not our looks at all, but what animates those looks the quality in us, which is there (sometimes dormant), but which can be activated through our lived way. Beautiful.

  4. If we rely on what we think is being beautiful then we will always be left short changed. Whenever I connect to my body then there is an endless amount of beauty regardless of how I look. Connection is beautiful and sexy.

  5. Being attracted to someone based purely on looks is super shallow, when we feel our own sensitivity and that of another we feel and see beyond what is physical.
    The beauty of God is always there to be seen if we so allow it.

  6. you are asking very important questions here – when we simply fulfil our tick boxes, we are not truly meeting a person and connecting with who they, and so it becomes more of a contract on arrangement than a true relationship

  7. Yes.. true beauty is a quality that is actually felt. One can look very beautiful physically but if there’s no joy and no life in that body, it’s kind of missing the point, and empty feeling. True beauty comes first from connecting to that warmth and joy we hold within, by taking deep care of ourselves.

  8. As women we can waste soooo much time worrying about our physical appearance.
    We can go to some exhausted lengths to “make” ourselves feel beautiful yet in truth beauty will always be within – it’s never a case of acquiring it – it’s always a case of letting what is already within out- now that’s true beauty.

  9. When we re-connect to our inner essence and live from there we cannot fail to reflect the beauty we innately are.

  10. Yes the comment ‘you are more beautiful than you think’ actually shows the lack of self worth in women, it shows we all know it but it does not do anything about it. It has it coming from another yet this is not a sustainable source. The only sustainable change in a person can come from themselves. And not by buying different or more make up or different clothes per se, but from developing a relationship with ourselves and getting to know who we are – that is naturally beautiful, how lovely we are and feel and to then bring this out more.

  11. So true Zofia, feeling how beautiful we truly are is most important and appreciating our innate beauty makes us even more beautiful .

    1. To me there’s something almost puzzling or perplexing about true beauty, when I feel it or see it then I’m unable to fathom it and I love that about true beauty, to be stumped by the indescribable quality of beauty, how beautiful.

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