For a long time I believed I would play a part in the dissolution of the beauty and modeling world.

I hated how we paid homage to Barbie as young girls, and then got swept away by magazine and billboard ads of perfect bodies.

I didn’t understand why we idolized celebrities with their ‘natural’ looks diligently crafted by a pack of hair and makeup artists.

I used to wonder how any of us could feel good about ourselves when we had airbrushed figures as our role models.

Let’s face it – it’s not real.

How many celebrities look like that when they wake up in the morning?

And how many of us can afford a personal trainer to keep us fit, or a beauty team to curl and paint and shade us into perfection? How many of us even have the time? Celebrities are paid to look ‘perfect.’ They are paid to stay trim and gorgeous. And the majority of us could never live up to what I refer to as ‘the LIE.’

‘The LIE’ is pervasive and multifaceted.

The LIE is the belief that our self-worth is dependent on what we look like and how much we weigh.

The LIE is the belief that the sexier we look, the more we will be loved.

The LIE is that a thinner body, better clothes, and better makeup will make me happy inside.

The LIE is that I would be more attractive if I were prettier.

The LIE is that I am not good enough.

But we’re all good enough, just as we are, right now.

And we need to start believing it.

Your thoughts about who you are on the inside make a difference in how you see yourself on the outside, so the trick is to shift your thoughts into a positive framework. Makeup can be celebrated. If you are wearing it and want to wear it – GREAT. Makeup can be a wonderful confidence booster, or the perfect outlet for self-expression. But wear it because it makes you feel good, and not because you feel it’s a requirement for you to have value.

How you see yourself will only heal when you believe you are lovable.

No amount of fancy clothes, designer makeup, or weight loss will get you to believe you are lovable. You might enjoy them, but they will not change the way you truly feel about who you are. The key to self-love is that you must accept yourself exactly as you are. Without the clothes. Without the makeup.

Just YOU.

Only from that place can you have a life and a body you love.

And the best part? It doesn’t have to be perfect for you to love it! Neither your life nor your body are going to be without bumps and booboos. You can love yourself without the contours and the styling. When you accept that fact, you open the door to unconditional love.

Being pretty doesn’t make you attractive.

This is a common misconception. Watch any teen film from the 90’s and you’ll find a prime example of the classically beautiful girl with her nose in the air and an ego the size of a small country. She might be pretty, but she’s not attractive.

Kindness and confidence are a girl’s best friend.

Forget the diamonds; it’s all about the attitude. When a woman feels happy in her heart and her soul…when she feels happy in her body… That right there is the most authentically attractive presence you could ever conjure up. Think about it: if you had to choose between spending a day with a snobbish yet flawlessly gorgeous model or a bed-headed jammie-pants-wearing woman with joy dancing in her eyes…bed-head is bound to win, every time.

I no longer want to fight the beauty industry.

Instead, I turn my gaze to the individual.

To the everyday woman struggling with her sense of self.

To the moms who fret over their stretch marks, and to the survivors of abuse who eat their feelings.

And to the teens highlighted in a recent news story which showed us that the rate of teenage plastic surgery is going up every year.

I want them ALL to HEAR that their decisions regarding their appearance can be playful and empowering; they do not have to be a societal expectation or a measurement of worth.

So, I fight my battles on this intimate and personal front, because I know that attacking the beauty industry will change nothing. We need to treat the cause and not the symptom, healing the inner wounds of our broken sense of self instead of slapping on a designer band-aid.

When we truly love ourselves, the rest will fall into place.

When we truly love ourselves, we will no longer define ourselves through clothing and makeup and size.

We will define ourselves by our actions and our attitudes. The rest will merely be enhancers, a presentation rather than a definition, a joy rather than a burden.

When we truly love and accept ourselves, we will know that who we are matters so much more than what we look like. The painting never changes…only the frame. @laurafenamore (Click to Tweet!)

What do you think? I welcome your comments below…and…

If you want tools on how to reinforce your body image and love your body a little bit more every day–please go over to for free tools.  

Laura Fenamore, Body Image Expert, Coach and acclaimed Author is on a mission to help women around the world end the constant battle with their bodies and start adoring who they see in the mirror. Her approach walks students and readers through the heartfelt journey to self-love at any size or age by unlocking the secrets to a lifetime of emotional, physical and spiritual health. After overcoming a lifelong battle with addiction, obesity, and eating disorders, Laura released 100 pounds – keeping it off for more than 28 years. She chronicles this journey to self-love and health in her widely acclaimed book, Skinny, Fat, Perfect: Love Who You See in the Mirror. Learn more about Laura’s programs, or invite her to speak by visiting

Image courtesy of Vince Fleming.