This post is sponsored by Alyce Paris. Thank you for supporting brands that make Inspiration Indulgence possible!

Beauty comes from within | InspirationIndulgence.com

“If our eyes only saw souls instead of bodies how very different our ideals of beauty would be.”

I love this quote. Take a moment and let this sink in. What if we had the opportunity to judge others by their heart before their exterior looks? How different would we perceive each other? How different would our world be?

Beauty is such a broadly defined term. According to the media, beauty is often defined by what is attractive to our naked eye. Beauty is sexiness. Beauty is how well we conceal our skin; how luscious our locks of hair are; our dress size.

But we don’t have to match our own standards of beauty to the media’s standards.

We have the choice to define beauty on our own terms.

Beauty comes from within | InspirationIndulgence.com

I am a perfectionist. I always have been, and I probably always will be. I find it so easy to get down on myself about the most insignificant things; things that one should never waste their energy over. Take for instance, these photos. As I was scrolling through these shots, instead of being grateful for my healthy body and the beautiful blessings in my world, my immediate thoughts were negative. “Ugh, my hair looks limp.” “I should have worn more makeup, my face looks bare.” “Why do I look awkward in every photo.”

I swear, if I heard one of my girlfriends talking this way about herself, I would snap at her, GIRL, shut up!

So why are we so hard on ourselves? WHY.

I think deep down, we know that beauty comes from within instead of outward appearances, but we forget this concept in the moment. We strive to be good hearted people, and to remind ourselves that beauty is not about perfect skin, hair, or clothes, but we get tussled and lost in the vicious false messages that the media embeds into our brains.

These self-destructive messages are so powerful that we believe them without even consciously thinking about it.

Beauty comes from within | InspirationIndulgence.comBeauty comes from within | InspirationIndulgence.comBeauty comes from within | InspirationIndulgence.com

Beauties, I know it’s so hard to remember your worth when you’re getting thousands of messages every single day from the media, but please remember that beauty comes from within.

Beauty is a lot of things, but I’ll start off by telling you what beauty is NOT.

Beauty is NOT measured by the amount of time your hair can hold a curl. It is NOT measured by a size 0. It’s not measured by how tall you are, if you have freckles or not, or how big your thighs are. True beauty doesn’t care if you have a zit, if your eyebrows are uneven, or if your hair is frizzy.

Sometimes I get so caught up in my little imperfections that I forget about what really makes me beautiful- my heart. I think about my body insecurities that have stayed with me for years. The chicken pock scar under my right eye, the birthmark under my lip that doesn’t conceal even with loads of makeup. I think about how sometimes I walk with an inverted gait unintentionally because of hip problems, and I think about how the older I get, the more dark circles I get under my eyes.

These imperfections are so easy to see on camera. And SO quick to judge.

Unfortunately, you can’t visually see through photos what makes me beautiful on the inside.

My compassion. My empathy. My generosity. My willingness to forgive. My playful spirit.

Beauty comes from within | InspirationIndulgence.comBeauty comes from within | InspirationIndulgence.comBeauty comes from within | InspirationIndulgence.com

I can’t be the only one who struggles with silly imperfections. I would love to try something here. In the comment section below, please share one thing that you love about your inner self. I’m looking forward to reading your answers and celebrating our inner beauty together!

This dress is from the lovely Alyce Paris! Based in the Chicagoland area, ALYCE Paris is a highly respected and much loved family-owned manufacturer of prom, evening, pageant, and bridal gowns.If you have a special occasion, Alyce Paris has you covered. Thank you, Alyce Paris, for supporting my cause that beauty comes from within!

“The best part of beauty is that which no picture can express.”  – P.C. Cast

Photos by Shaunae Teske

Xoxo,

  • Girl, I know the struggle. I suffered through perfectionism and an eating disorder for over 8 years. It’s difficult to love yourself and the body you’re in, a lifelong journey!

    • Thank you for sharing that vulnerability with me. I hope we can always remind ourselves to love each other even when it is most difficult.

  • Neely

    This is such a struggle for me. Its been especially hard being pregnant and gaining weight. that dress is amazing!

    • Girl you are bringing LIFE to the world! Be proud!! XO

  • YOU ARE SO GORGEOUS. Inside *and* out. Your words ring so true. Perfectionism is real. But so is the beauty that we each have, always. Thank you for writing on such an important topic. And that dress – STUNNING on you babe!

    Coming Up Roses

  • What a courageously authentic post. It is sad that we grow up to learn to be so hard on ourselves. You’re right, we would never talk to the loves in our lives the way we talk to ourselves. Perfectionism is such a tricky thing, we spend our lives trying to attain the unattainable. The truth is that our perfection lies in our imperfections, in our authenticity, in our quirks, and in living our truth. Thank you for sharing. I love that dress on you…you look stunning <3

    • Aw thank you Jenn. Perfectionism certainly is the devil. I’m happy we are on this journey together <3

  • You’re beautiful (both physically and mentally) and so is this dress! I always love how raw and real your posts are. It’s very inspirational because not too many people put it all out there.

  • You are stunning inside and out and I am so grateful you open up your soul here on this blog. This is a powerful message that I truly believe in, because I used to be so critical on my outward appearance, especially since all’s I saw were my scars and deformaties. But I’m learning that I can love my outward appearance if I love my inner-self first. One thing I love about my inner self is that I always go the extra mile to help a friend!

    • Good for you, Chels! I loved reading something that you love about yourself. I appreciate you stopping by <3

  • Rachel Ritlop

    You are so beautiful inside and out! this post is so beautiful <3 I think this topic is important! I love my authenticity. People always know exactly where they stand with me since I am not good at "Faking it" haha

    Rachel | The Confused Millennial

    • Thanks so much, Rach!! <3 Authenticity is so important to me and I admire yours!

  • Kelsie Kleinmeyer

    This dress is SO lovely! You look great and I love the message that you share with readers- it’s so important!

    • Thanks love. I appreciate you so much!

  • Ashley Stephenson

    What a great message! I am a perfectionist too – it is hard sometimes to remember you don’t have to put on makeup to feel or look beautiful! Love the dress!

    • Thanks love! It’s such a silly concept. Thanks for your support!

  • You look so beautiful, Chels! Such a great message and reminder too! :)

    • <3 thanks love! You're seriously the best!

  • this dress is just gorgeous, love the message of this post!
    http://www.layersofchic.com

  • Jodi-Kay Edwards

    Definitely needed this today. Finishing up my whole 30 cleanse and still feel blah with the results. Such a good reminder Chels! I love my kindness I realise it’s easy for me to forgive something that I shouldn’t take for granted. Beautiful dress, I’ve never heard of this brand before!
    http://www.lifestylefinesse.com/enthusiasm

    • Thanks Jodi. GIRL don’t feel bad. I failed on my Whole 30 on day 2 lol!!!!! Forgiveness is a wonderful trait that some don’t understand. You should be very proud of yourself. <3 much love to you, sister!

  • Who said that quote? It is so true – and yet something that I think we fail to do more often than not.

    This is something that I’m working on ever day and I think that I’m slowly getting to the point where I’m able to accept myself. Great way to show this.

    Like always – your posts are wonderful and thought provoking. You so inspire people to look with a fresh set of eyes.

    Be well darling. Cheers.

    • Girl, I’m not sure. I should edit the post and put “unknown.” Aw girl. Thanks . I really , really appreciate those sweet comments. They make my whole day!

  • Zana Djakovic

    Those words are coming from your heart, I can tell…
    So honest and so brave from you to share this post with us. For me it was always hard being skinny – I am having a normal weight but people always used to ask me is everything okay or am i on a diet – those kind of comments were affecting me so much but after years and years I learn to love every inch of my body. I am proud of my imperfections. Thanks for sharing this babe. And yes, you look incredibly gorgeous in that dress. Everything on point!❤

    • How rude of those people! I’m so happy you are able to accept yourself the way you are. You are beautiful inside and out, my friend <3

  • I love the message of this post and your blog as a whole–so often, the ideas of fashion and self worth become conflated, and they most certainly shouldn’t! Love the positive vibes your blog sends out. I’ve found a new regular read :)

    • Oh my goodness. Your comment seriously made my day. Thank you so much! <3