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Three things powerful women should know about beauty

Beauty and power are locked in a dynamic dance, particularly for women, so here’s three things to bear in mind:

1: Beauty isn’t earned, and it has very little to do with who you are as a person. It’s not rendered from your character, it doesn’t make you helpful to others, it’s not a skill you can cultivate with hard work. If being beautiful is what you celebrate, it’s a party your inner self isn’t invited to.

2:  Traditional, youth-inspired beauty declines with age, so tying your beauty to power can be disastrous to your goals. Humans reach the apex of power through life experience, education, ongoing skill refinement, maturity, and decades of self-development. No wonder our presidential candidates, senators, supreme court justices, renowned scientists, CEOs of companies, and world leaders are mostly in their 60’s or beyond. In general, power goes up with age, but beauty goes down.

3:  Others may admire you for being beautiful, but admiration is not the same as value. Value comes from interactions, relationships, exchanging ideas, involvement, innovation, and the transformational impact of a two-way dynamic. Admiration is a one-way, singular, depthless construct void of personal involvement. You can just lay there and be admired, but any interaction that doesn’t require your participation is a flatline for self-esteem, and yields no progress for you.

I am not saying beauty, or striving to have it, is a bad thing. I want to be pretty, just like anyone else. But as I slide toward fifty, beauty becomes a steepening embankment, and I must remind myself I am worthy of taking the spotlight, even when

·        my hair is thinning

·        wrinkles and age spots are taking up real estate on my face

·        my lower arms flap “hello!” at people when I wave

·        my eyelashes and eyebrow hair seem to be on progressive migration to my upper lip and chin

·        my butt is flatter without being thinner somehow, every year it presses further into to my legs like a sunfish hiding from predators

·        and what the hell are these brown spots on my hands?!

Wanting to be beautiful is nothing to be ashamed of, quite the contrary, you should cherish it if that’s a jam you like to dance to. But bear in mind, if you’re NOT beautiful, or if you’re less breathtaking than you used to be, it doesn’t reduce your power, your worth, your value, your voice, your contribution, or your entitlement to take space in the world. When power and beauty are carefully partitioned, women can confidently stride into the full potential that comes with age. We should give ourselves permission to do that, just like men have always done.

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Well said! I think many more women need to read this post!

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