I am at the airport, gearing up for my flight. I stop into one of those shops that sell all the items people don’t normally need or eat but suddenly feel necessary to purchase to survive travel.
I don’t allow my eyes to settle on the candy and chocolate for too long. I go straight to the cooler to grab a one-liter bottle of Smart Water® It will force me to stay hydrated and help prevent my ankles from swelling up like balloons on this 4-hour flight. Perhaps I’ll enjoy some light reading instead of working the entire trip. I peruse the magazine section and see all the young, hot bodies on the covers of magazines like Self, Women’s Fitness and Shape. I’m tempted to purchase one of those and then I notice the magazine; More. Tea Leoni is on the cover, currently starring in the TV drama Madam Secretary. “Wow, she looks amazing,” I think and I know she is my age. I have the quick thought that the secrets to having her skin and lean body are behind the cover, so I buy that too.
As I peruse the article about Tea Leoni, I stop on a story she tells about a comment made about her at the age of 34. She heard a director telling someone that “despite her age she was still doable.” She was not so struck by the rudeness of the comment, but her reaction to it and asked herself if she was concerned about “being doable.” At the time, she was and how can we blame her with the pressure that comes with looking a certain way to get work in her profession. However, she went on to say that was the “meanest thought she ever had about herself” and realized that chasing youth is a war one can never win.
We are women. We like to look in the mirror and see a tight rear-end, a small waist and bouncy breasts. Whether it stems from nurture or nature, women will always look in the mirror and judge what they see.
So, this blog is not only for women my age, but more important, for all you gals in your teens and twenties. Your happiness with yourself should never stem from your appearance. So much of our fulfillment is victim to the desire to stay young and desirable. I am now inches away from the half century mark and for the first time in my life I am starting to feel settled with the body that God gave me. As a Fitness Coach I know people (mostly women) will look at my pictures on my website and social media and their first thought will be about my appearance. They will make some sort of assessment, and that’s okay. It’s human nature.
My lesson to you is this: it’s important to have a passion in life, dreams and goals. It’s important to feel good about what you can do, at any age, than how you want to appear to others. Women that are attractive are those who are passionate, confident, strong, focused outward and who can laugh at themselves. For all you young girls, the person who you ultimately spend the rest of your life with and who will love and respect you, will seek these qualities. The people who hire you and the people who follow you will seek these qualities.
I am lucky to have had a mother who taught me at a young age that I could do anything, be anything. She encouraged me to be a leader, to work hard, and to behave in a way that earned respect. She taught me how to enhance qualities that extend beyond the mirror and ultimately I realized that it’s those qualities that make one attractive to others.
What women do you truly admire, do you truly strive to be like, that have qualities that can help you grow and be a better person? Sure, I picked up the magazine because I admired Tea Leoni’s beauty. After getting to know her by reading the article I admired her more for her turning down parts that took her away from her kids, her willingness to take risks, and her generosity.
Walk past the mirror more often and know that you are beautiful for who you are.