There are two completely different polarities of thought on the importance of our appearance. One tells us that the outside is not important. It’s the inside that counts. Don’t judge a book by its cover is a popular phrase that speaks unimportance to anything aesthetic or outwardly. Then there is the school of thought that our internal world influences our outward appearance. We are what we eat, that true happiness will shine through, are phrases often repeated in this world of thought. Which side is true, and where should we put our self-worthiness when it comes to appearance? Perhaps the answer lies in reconciling both reasonings.
For some, outward appearance is debilitating and for others, it is the expression of their true self. In today’s culture of inclusion and celebrating all skin and body types, it can be freeing or excessively complicated to hone in on our own sense of aesthetic, contentment and happiness. We sometimes can see this in others who appear to be glowing. It doesn’t matter whether we find their outward appearance attractive, they have a healthy relationship with their internal and external worlds and that has them beaming.
If we solely focus on our outward appearance, we can curate exactly an image that we wish to portray. Being good at design, fashion, styling, hair, and makeup can be extremely useful in playing and finding the look that best suits us and makes us feel good. Sculpting our bodies with exercise, alterations, and filters can also produce any appearance of our choosing. Whether this blooms true happiness is another question.
A woman might feel the calling to motherhood her whole life, but is also very worried about the effects it will have on her body. This fear prevents her from accepting that having a child would truly make her happy. Once she realizes there are options to address her changing body after birth, she no longer has the fear shielding her true desire. The aesthetic services at Chicago Weight Loss and Wellness Clinic have a balanced list of practices and procedures that address many issues aesthetically and holistically.
Pruning our internal world, self-exploration, introspection, and focusing on embodiment are the other known paths to happiness. If we are experiencing low self-confidence because of extra weight or bad skin, the pathway inward can reveal the root cause of these outward appearances. This path is very effective but there are no short cuts. Often, walking the path of self-knowing we find a lot about our appearance we are not happy with. If we stop there and only address the outward discontents, something still gnaws at us from the inside. We can appear happy with ourselves, but the inner compass knows better.
Inner work is to reveal what truly doesn’t make us feel good and put it to light. This at first does not make us feel better because we are confronted with some uncomfortable ideas which might also show up through acne or bad digestion. Once we reveal what doesn’t make us feel good we can then address these issues holistically. The trap with this type of wellness work is that we can get trapped in the weeds of all of our perceived problems. Becoming clear with our internal world and using that as a platform to build our outer appearance often builds a strong sense of self and confidence in playing and having fun with how we wish to express that to the world.
In a world where we are sold happiness in products and marketing, it is hard to know what contributes to happiness any more. It becomes a more and more important question whose answer gets buried amongst what others tell us. The illusiveness of happiness perhaps lies in between the lines; we often assume that if we’re happy we cannot feel discontent and vice versa.
Happiness is a feeling and feelings can rarely be calibrated into compartments. If we have accomplished everything we set out to do in our lives, but feel our outside body doesn’t match that inner balance, it can forever affect how we view ourselves and our accomplishments. Giving yourself the freedom to work on both, and realizing that our mutable bodies are living breathing creatures that are not meant to stay stagnant or fixed through a lifetime. We have the internal freedom to change and shift whenever we choose. Now we also have the ability to change our outer appearance as well.