Beauty is in the Eye of the Beholder

They say that love is blind and certainly it is a rare mother who does not believe her child to be beautiful. I am frequently astounded that two such ordinary–looking people as Alastair and I could have produced two such lovely girls as Elizabeth and Katherine.

And there’s the rub, because we tend not to see our own beauty, whereas we do see the beauty of others; especially if we like them. If we were to describe ourselves and an artist were to draw what we described and then our best friend were to describe us to that same artist you can be sure that the two pictures would be totally different. You don’t believe me? Well, the very wonderful Dove people who, together with Gok and me, honestly believe that everyone is more attractive than they think they are conducted just that experiment and here is the result:

Dove Real Beauty Sketches

One of my jobs is to get you to reassess your body and face. Most of you have heard me say I will never lie to you. I will never say you are pretty if you’re not, but what you might find is that with the right colours I will tell you that I see strength and compassion, elegance and nobility, sexiness and power. And yes, some of you will get pretty. Maybe you’ll get youth and femininity and charm too; there’s nearly always a bonus prize with your double star colours. I can see it. Others see it. You have to just take it on faith and believe, because it is really difficult for you to see it in yourself. Ask your friends what they love in your face and then really listen and believe when they tell you. Your friends won’t lie to you any more than I will and you can trust them.

It’s difficult to objectively analyse our body shape too. Very few of us have model-skinny bodies; the ones we’re told we should aspire to. And you know what? The very few girls I have had in my studio who do have those bodies complain that they would really like some curves! Most of us honestly believe that our bodies are a) larger and b) less shapely than they really are. Sometimes in my studio I have to draw someone’s back view (in their swimsuit/leotard/best undies) and get their best friend to swear truthfully that, yes, it really is an accurate representation, before they will believe that they really do have a good figure and that the pear shape they have in their head is – exactly that – in their head, not on their bottom.

All of us have bodies with assets. All of us have bits that – well – we’d rather people look elsewhere, thank you. Again the trick is to find someone who can analyse your shape objectively, who can tell you truthfully and then believe them. (And if that sounds like a plug for my style day, well, maybe it is; but only if you’re in the right place to get the most out of that day.) And then, of course, you have to learn how to dress that shape so that it’s your assets that get noticed! As one of my directors says “You can look at my eyes or you can look at my thighs, but I’ll choose where you look!” But that’s at least another twenty blogs in itself, so we won’t go there today.

Oh, and when I said that Alastair and I are ordinary-looking; I didn’t really mean it. I think my husband is gorgeous – especially when he wears his double-star cornflower blue shirt! But when I look in the mirror, I still see ordinary, dumpy and plain; I just have faith that I’m not seeing the truth and that the people who say all those nice things can actually see more clearly than I can. Just wish the optician could fix that little problem for us all and prescribe some correcting lenses for us, don’t you?

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