Choose your own beautiful
It is undeniable that the topics of beauty and body image are thrust into our lives daily, whether we realise it all the time or not. It may be the fashion magazines as we walk by our local newsagent, bill boards emblazoned with beautiful people seen on our drive to work or our friend touting the latest weight loss program offering a ‘quick fix’. More often than not, we grow accustomed to this barrage of daily reminders about what society and our peers view as universally beautiful – what the ideal size of our body parts should be, how long our hair should be this season, which clothing label will make us look more successful.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for personal betterment, emotionally, mentally and also physically. I just believe in creating my own ideals of beauty, taking bits and pieces from that daily barrage and fine tuning it to suit my life, my lifestyle and my own personal beliefs on beauty. Our body image is our attitude – how we see ourselves, how we think and feel about the way we look and how we think others perceive us. And there’s a lot to navigate around to develop this healthy image and in turn consider ourselves beautiful.
So back to that fashion magazine in the newsagent – I love flicking through it! For me I love being inspired by new trends and checking out the creativity behind the fashion industry. I just ignore the articles titled ‘how to achieve the ideal summer body’ and ignore the excessive photoshopping and take the parts that appeal and apply to me.
Same goes for that billboard with the gorgeous model selling makeup. To me, the best part of her makeup is the smile she’s wearing. To me, that’s something important I connect with about my image. I’m not interested in the latest eye shadow colour or how to accentuate my cheekbones but I do value a great smile and straight teeth.
As for those quick fix diet pills that friend is touting, I much prefer clean eating, regular exercise and limiting my stress levels for maintaining the health of my body. But each to their own! To me, it comes down to working out what is important to my own well-being as a whole – emotionally, mentally and physically. It is essential to filter these inevitable outside influences and develop my own ideals to suit me individually. This in turn creates the best possible version of myself, against my own scale and my unique ideals, and therefore creating someone inherently beautiful.
Your new smile and its benefits
Once you have your new smile what are some of the other benefits apart from looking great!
1. Smiling is contagious
Because of complex brain activity that occurs when you see someone smiling, smiles are contagious. Just seeing one person smiling activates the area of your brain that controls your facial movement, which leads to a grin.
2. Smiling lowers stress and anxiety
It’s not easy to keep smiling in stressful situations, but studies report that doing exactly that has health benefits. When recovering from a stressful situation, people who smile can have lower heart rates than those with a neutral facial expression.
3. Smiling releases endorphin’s
Smiling can help you manage stress and anxiety by releasing endorphin’s, chemicals that makes you happier. Endorphin’s are the same chemicals you get from working out or running, resulting in what is known as a runner’s high. Smile more to get that high without running.
4. You’ll be more attractive
Smiles are pretty darn attractive for more reasons than one. A smile suggests that you’re personable, easy going, and empathetic.
5. Smiling strengthens your immune system
Smiling even makes your immune system stronger by making your body produce white blood cells to help fight illnesses. Children who were visited by story-tellers and puppeteers in hospital who made them smile and laugh had higher white blood cell counts than those children who weren’t visited.
6. You’ll be more approachable
Turn that frown upside-down if you want to make some friends!
People are more willing to engage socially with others who are smiling. A smile is an inviting facial expression that tells people you are willing to talk and interact with them.
7. You’ll seem more trustworthy
If you want to improve your credibility, simply smile more. What could be easier than that? Trusting doesn’t come easily to many, but smiling at someone may help.
8. You’ll be a better leader
If you’re in a position of power, or want to be, smiling may be the key to your success. Smiling is a more effective leadership technique than having great management responsibilities in some cases.
Smiling is an easy way to boost your mood, be healthier, feel better, and be viewed as more trustworthy and a better leader. With the added confidence of straight teeth, whenever you’re in a stressful situation or are feeling down, slap a grin on your face so you can take advantage of the many benefits smiling has to offer.