True Beauty Requires a Sense of Self-Love and Self-Acceptance We know intrinsically that beauty is deeper than physical appearance. We understand collectively that beauty has more to do with who we are as people than what we look like on the outside. We know this because most of us have encountered that man or woman who was aesthetically appealing but as soon as they spoke out loud, they didn't seem so attractive anymore. Entertainment icons have tried to assist us in understanding beauty as more than just the exterior. Think Christina Aguilera, "Beautiful," Beyonce "God Made You Beautiful," One Direction "What Makes You Beautiful" (the list can go on). The other side of the music and entertainment industries, however, has done an impressive job at convincing us that beauty is in fact, all about the exterior, and has managed to drown out the positive, inspirational songs and figures who are trying to tell us otherwise. Men and women, boys and girls, young and old have all been influenced by these conflicting messages about beauty - the inner versus outer beauty. What is this pull that beauty has on us? Why do we strive to attain this abstract thing called beauty? In essence, what's so special about being beautiful? Anthropologists tell us based on their research and studies, that beautiful people are associated with adjectives such as smarter, friendlier, better personalities, confident, more sociable, and they are awarded greater privileges in the workplace – higher pay, more promotions, etc. In her book "Awakening Beauty" Susan West Kurz writes "The reason beauty draws us near is because it arises from love, which is itself the most nourishing and desired force in [this] life." She continues, "Beauty is the consequence of love, and therefore announces the presence of love, which we are ultimately drawn to." Those are all very compelling reasons why many would be attracted to the quest for beauty – we want the privileges associated with being beautiful and we also want the love associated with being beautiful as well. But if Kurz is correct that beauty announces the presence of love, could it also be true that beauty requires a level of love that must circulate in our inner selves first? Before it can be seen on the outside? No, this article isn't an attempt at psychotherapeutic, positive thinking, look in the mirror and tell yourself you're beautiful kind of advice. What this article is suggesting is that if we are to truly understand what beauty is then we must understand what beauty requires. And true beauty – according to sociologists, pop stars, entertainers, psychotherapists, theologians, and Oprah – requires a level of self-love and self-acceptance. It is hard to love yourself if you don't feel beautiful or if you have been told by others that you are not. Words do hurt. But it is important to do the things you need to do to address those issues of lack of self-love. Speak to a trusted confidant about your issues, eat healthy foods to improve your appearance, eliminate unhealthy foods that scientifically do impact your thoughts and emotions, maybe changing your wardrobe might be required, and yes look in the mirror and speak well of yourself. All of these things are essential to filling the tank of self-love in you and achieving the true beauty that is inherently yours.