In many ways, the concept of beauty mimics the generation it represents: Baby Boomers portrayed the well-groomed Stepford Wife, with immaculately applied makeup and perfectly coiffed hair. Gen Xers embraced individuality, eschewing conformity and initially going with the “less is more” principle (think messy, layered strands and au naturel makeup) until the 80s and 90s came along with their shock factor (hello, eye-popping neon makeup and wild hairstyles). The Millennials had even more options when it came to boosting their beauty arsenal, thanks to advances in technology—highlighted hair, fake tans, enhanced skincare treatments such as Botox, lasers, diamond peels, and the like.

     Clearly, the concept of beauty is fluid. And now, with the emergence of Generation Z, the focus has gone full circle: Beauty isn’t skin deep; it’s the entire package, how you feel inside out.

     We’re lucky to be living in an era when we have access to practically any tool and technique to help us achieve our most beautiful selves. There are YouTube tutorials on hair and makeup, thousands of brands claiming to have found the elixir of youth, countless workouts and “meal plans” (a.k.a. diets) to help you live, eat, and be healthy… and the list goes on and on. Still, the question remains: What is beauty?

     Far from being a textbook beauty pageant answer, the definition of beauty is something that only you can answer. It’s highly personal and subjective. For instance, one person might say that beauty is having the perfect set of pearly whites, thick tresses, HD-clear skin, and a killer bod. Meanwhile, another might argue that being beautiful is having all those physical qualities coupled with a positive mindset and a healthy outlook in life.

Reshaping How We Look at Beauty

Image from hit HBO series Euphoria

     More and more people are standing up to body shaming, and rightly so. With the world becoming increasingly interconnected and various cultures and societies mingling with one another, people are becoming more aware and accepting of each other’s differences.

     In place of body shaming, the call for body positivity is growing stronger and louder each day. Instead of fixating on flaws, look at your unique attributes, your assets, and your strengths.

     Take a cue from Hepburn and celebrate your beautiful life now. Instead of complaining about your job stressors, be thankful that you have the means to support yourself and your family. Rather than bemoaning the blemishes on your skin, appreciate the fact that you have a smile which people say can light up a room.

     Give thanks that you have wonderful friends and family. Make time to go for pampering treatments not just to look good, but feel good as well. Consciously make the right food choices to keep your body healthy and strong. Make it a point to engage in sports or any physical activity that will give you that natural high.

     As you embrace positivity and adopt a healthy mindset toward yourself, pretty soon the good vibes will spill over to other aspects of your life as well. Remember, true beauty comes from within. Nurture your inner glow and let your happiness and contentment radiate positive vibes and beautiful energy to everyone around you.