My sister Lynette has an essential job. She makes people look and feel fabulous. Her makeup artistry is in high demand because she takes the time to listen to what people want and then delivers for them. A few days ago, Lynette posted on her FaceBook page a young woman's Sweet 16 photo. The makeup enhanced her natural beauty and was a lovely testament to my sister's work. I called Lynette to congratulate her, and she told me this heartfelt story.
The Facebook post garnered a lot of positive feedback, and Lynette was happy that her work was well received. She called her client to let her know how much she enjoyed working with her. She also let her know that she would like to use her as a model in the future. Unbeknownst to Lynette, the young woman had fallen into a deep depression. She didn't think she was pretty and began feeling miserable about herself. Her parents were unable to persuade her otherwise. When Lynette made that phone call, her mother confided that it made a world of difference for her daughter. Suddenly, the light was back on, and the sixteen-year-old felt better about herself. Lynette gave her a fantastic gift of self-esteem.
The irony in this story is that my sister worried all the time that she wasn't attractive. (By the way, she's beautiful inside and out.) I understand the concern. Growing up, we're all told that beauty is skin deep, but we all want to be attractive. We want others to be interested in us and feel special. We're bombarded with advertisements that show toned, perfect-looking people, and we believe we should look like that. What we really want is to be seen and loved.
A friend of mine, a hairstylist, once told me that the most insecure women she works on are models. She said some of them are so gorgeous that it hurts to look at them, yet all they see are their flaws. "You would think that their lives are magical and easy, but they never seem completely secure or happy." If supermodels aren't content, is there any chance for us mere mortals?
How many times have you been attracted to someone because they looked cute? You get up the nerve to speak with them, and you find them rude, dull, or unpleasant? Suddenly, you don't know why you thought they were good-looking at all. Their personality wasn't kind, and they weren't enjoyable to talk to. They may be nice to look at, but their demeanor didn't reflect that.
The truth is how we make others feel is what makes us desirable. Think about it. Who do you go to when you need a laugh or an understanding ear? For the most part, our friends and family are quite ordinary-looking. We're attracted to the people who make us feel good about ourselves—the people who encourage and cheer us on. The people who love us unconditionally are a phone call away and not the perfect image on an Instagram post.
I'm not saying forget about trying to be presentable. Let's do our best to look as good as possible by having a nice haircut and well-fitting clothes. Being groomed not only gives an excellent first impression but it makes us feel our best. When I take the time to fix myself up (it does take a while), I feel energized, and my confidence increases.
We imagine that being lovely would solve so many problems for us, but the reality is even the gene lottery winners struggle with feeling accepted.
Showing compassion, empathy, and being considerate to each other is what makes us likable. When we go that extra mile to compliment someone or lift them up with a smile, we draw people to us. Our self-assurance should come from how we can improve ourselves and help others in the process. Try it for yourself. Make someone feel good about themselves and see how great you end up feeling.
Shameless plug happening right now:
If you want help in the makeup department, contact Lynette Demar at: email@example.com or visit her website by clicking this link: Lynette Demar Artistry.
Lynette offers virtual tutorials in case you don't live in South Florida. She has a great talent for bringing out the best in you and having fun along the way. We can always use a little boost of self-esteem, and sometimes all it takes is a little lipstick, powder and paint.