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What does it truly mean to be beautiful?

I explore this topic in my third novel titled Dirty in which the main character struggles to see her own worth and value. Our world has conditioned us to place so much emphasis on the outer… our weight, our skin color, our clothes, our hair—that we’ve truly lost sight of what really makes someone beautiful. Beautiful people are those who are passionate about life, are grounded spiritually, move through the world in peace, love themselves and other people, have meaning and purpose in their life, and are confident enough to live their own truth. A life, well-lived, is the best makeup. It puts a glow on our skin, gives thickness to our hair, adds brightness to our eyes and teeth, and straightens posture. Find anyone who truly lives well and you will see they are ‘attractive,’ no matter their features.

The cosmetics industry is a billion dollar industry because our society doesn’t understand that beauty really is an inside job. Don’t believe me, spend time with some of the girls that place a lot of emphasis on hair and makeup but make no effort to evolve emotionally or spiritually. Some of those girls are the nastiest people you’d ever want to meet. Spend time in their space and you’ll quickly forget all about their faces. We see them on TV all the time; throwing tantrums, jealous, vengeful, fighting, crying…

Conversely, there are those who don’t have features that our society deems ‘attractive’ and people can’t take their eyes off them. Them seem to glow from within causing us not to measure them against our society’s current beauty standards( which are constantly changing)—thin, blue eyes, blond hair, keen features… and light skin with straight hair if you’re ethnic. The gorgeous Lupita Nyongo comes to mind. She defies the rules. Watch some of her speeches and interviews and you’ll quickly see why. She personifies beauty, not just by enhancing the outside but because her ‘inside’ is enhanced. Her beauty starts within and radiates out. Amal Cloooney also comes to mind.

When I was a young girl and preparing to go out for the evening, I’d spend hours in the bathroom applying makeup and essentially ‘baiting my hook.’ My stepfather would casually stroll past the bathroom and say, “Lipstick powder and paint will make you what you ain’t.” I’d roll my eyes upward and continue putting on my thick black eyeliner and heavy lipstick. Now, as an adult, I realize what he was saying. He was telling me that’d I’d be better off just being myself.

And he was right. Too much attention on the outer neglects the inner. There’s no better beauty treatment than the evolution of the spirit. It is the soul’s purpose to become more; to figure out this thing called life, to evolve, to find joy, peace, and to spread love. This is when we are our most beautiful.

Instead of a ton of makeup, put on ‘happy’ before you leave in the morning. Makeup washes down the drain at night, but a beautiful soul lasts forever.


To Your Journey,


Tonya Lampley is a fiction author and Certified Life Coach. She is passionate about living life to the fullest and uses skills learned from her work as a coach as well as lessons from her own journey to write articles providing tips for successful living and to tell stories of hope and personal triumph. Her debut novel was titled A Taste of Love and was a National Indie Excellence Awards finalist. Her short story titled Birthday Surprise received honorable mention in the Writer’s Digest Short Story Contest. For more information about Tonya and her works please visit www.TonyaLampley.com.

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