The Beauty of Acceptance

by Sonja on March 9, 2009


image by Daniele Butera

One good thing about getting older is that I’ve learned to accept just about anything that comes my way…

Most all of us, men and women, have some superficial thing (usually more than one thing) about ourselves that makes us a little crazy. We may try to hide these things or just feel insecure about them. All my life I’ve had various “flaws” that have tugged at me. I had tremendously oily skin and broke out all the time as a teen. I so envied those girls with beautiful, clear skin – the skin of my dreams. I break out less now but still have regular flare-ups here and there, mostly around “that time” of the month. Occasionally, I get a real zinger – something so big that it seems to yell, “Hey! Look at me!”… argh.

These Foolish Things

Another peeve: under eye circles. For as long as I can remember I’ve had them and have been I’m self-conscious about them. I’m sure part of it is hereditary and there’s nothing I can do about that. Part is probably from a lifetime of not really sleeping very well. My brain just loves to think and think and think… keeping me up at night. Thank goodness I’ve learned how to meditate and now practice yoga pretty regularly so that helps. Regardless, I can’t imagine life without concealer.

A Fairy Bestowing “Gifts”

Most recently, I’m noticing that my age is creeping up on me. Fine lines are starting to show up around my eyes. When on earth did this start? It’s like there’s a wrinkle fairy who visits at night, bestowing fine lines and taking away my skin’s youthful tautness little by little. For the first time in my life, I’m using moisturizing eye treatments. And little grey hairs are sprouting up. I pluck them as quickly as I can, but I’m having a hard time keeping up. I would get them occasionally in college from stress. But clearly, this is a whole new ballgame.

A New Outlook

One good thing about getting older though is that I’ve learned to accept just about anything that comes my way – whether it’s dark, under eye circles or some life-altering, stressful experience that I’d rather not have. There is a beauty in acceptance – a peace in it. I worry less. I don’t get as stressed out over stuff as I used to. It’s incredibly freeing.

I’m not saying that I’m all super Zen and everything just rolls off my back (but wouldn’t that be nice?). When it comes to beauty stuff, I still use blemish treatments and concealer. I’m still going to tweeze those greys. Maybe I’ll even try to dye them. But once I accept these things, they aren’t as big a deal to me. I’m not so insecure about them and not so worried about hiding them. I’d rather not get a giant zit. But hey, if that’s what the day’s going to dole out, then there it is. From zits to events that feel catastrophic, things happen without warning. Now I know that the best I can do is accept them. And if I still get stressed, I accept that too.

Reducing Suffering

I’ve learned that when I resist things I don’t like or refuse to accept them, they tend to get worse. I’ve learned that there will always be pains in life, but I can reduce the suffering by accepting whatever comes my way. And as I accept, I can even begin to see the blessings in disguise.

Do Tell

So what drives you nuts? Little stuff? Big stuff? Have you gotten better at accepting? Has it helped?

P.S. Check out our regularly updated Beauty Resources page for some amazing beauty deals from companies like Benefit,, and

Spread the Love!
  • email
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • StumbleUpon
  • Tumblr
  • RSS
  • LinkedIn


Sal March 9, 2009 at 8:00 am

Love this post, and its underlying message. Accepting and loving ourselves is SUCH an important practice, but it is a practice … something we have to work at. I feel like I’ve made some strides in self-acceptance, but still have my rough days!

Prêt-à-Porter P March 9, 2009 at 8:51 am

ive been able to move on about a lot of stuff. i mean there’s tons that i would love to change about myself but it’s no rush at the moment.
maybe this sounds silly but the whole “jolie-laide” thing, women like charlotte gainsbourg, carine roitfeld, joanna preiss has really helped a lot. id rather be flawed and interesting than girl next door pretty but boring.

sarah March 9, 2009 at 9:38 am

This is something I’ve been working on lately, too. When I catch myself worrying about something that hasn’t happened yet, I ask myself if worrying will help. The answer is usually no. Then I can decide what I will do if that thing happens, file it away, and move on.

Only stressing over things that have actually happened is really quite liberating!

Sonja March 9, 2009 at 10:23 am

❤ Sal, thank you and you’re so right. Love your article and what you quoted from Buddha: “You, yourself,
as much as anybody in the entire Universe, deserve your love and affection.” And what a beautiful, touching blog!
❤ Prêt-à-Porter P, that’s a great way to look at things. I didn’t fit in when I was growing up. I was one of few Asians and had coke-bottle glasses early on (what a sight!). But I learned to love being interesting and unique. I would hate to be boring. :)
❤ Sarah, isn’t it amazing how easy it is to get lost in worrying and how it doesn’t help. I’ve gotten better about fretting over things that haven’t happened or just aren’t worth worrying over. Life is so much more pleasant this way. But it definitely takes practice to steer clear of the worrying.

lisa March 9, 2009 at 11:16 am

What a great thought-provoking post. I think you and I are kindred spirits in the monthly skin flare-ups and not sleeping enough department. ;)

Physical appearance-related issues always seem to bug me more when I’m around someone who’s perfectly gorgeous but griping or stewing about their physical imperfections. I rarely think about my own physical shortcomings until I’m exposed to someone else’s insecurities about their weight or their appearance, and then I start to think, if this lovely human being thinks they’re not good enough, what must they think of me?!

WendyB March 9, 2009 at 11:21 am

Worrying about little stuff keeps my mind off the big stuff ;-)

Sonja March 9, 2009 at 11:46 am

❤ Lisa, thank you! Seems like those things are pretty common once people admit what “plagues” them. I agree that it can become uncomfortable to be around people who are self-obsessed, highly self-critical, and don’t recognize their inner beauty. I much prefer to be around people who are comfortable in their own skin. They’re much more fun to be with! :)

Couture Carrie March 9, 2009 at 12:10 pm

I know it’s trite but I really can’t stand my thighs . . .


kim March 9, 2009 at 12:59 pm

so true. what you resist persists. i experienced this for years and couldn’t figure out why my ‘luck’ was so bad. letting go really is strangely effective.

jennine March 9, 2009 at 4:07 pm

i love love love this post. lately a lot of things have been getting to me, and most of it has been lack of acceptance.

i don’t like the idea of getting older either. i used to be more comfortable with it, but it’s getting to the point where i worry about lines, and sagging (yes) and the greys! holy moly (check ‘hair force’ you’ll see about 10 of them in the upper right pic) i’m so going to color.

mostly i think that it shouldn’t be happening… like for some reason i’m exempt from time. ha!
acceptance, acceptance, acceptance

Birdie March 9, 2009 at 4:21 pm

That’s one of the greatest things I’ve read this week, so far.

Currently, I find those sorts of little things and try to love them, and then let go. I’ve got a lifetime to worry about that sort of thing so I should enjoy the moment. At least, that’s what I keep telling myself. ;)

Sonja March 9, 2009 at 4:46 pm

❤ Couture Carrie, that’s not trite at all. We’re barraged by images of young women who don’t have thighs. They’re sort of freaks of nature. I used to model and had the flattest stomach without ever exercising and I ate like crap. It was a fluke. And it made “normal” women feel bad about their bodies. But I wasn’t pencil thin. I had a relatively big butt and thighs, and I felt self-conscious about that. My agent said I could never model lingerie. My heart was broken (just kidding!). Now I know that no matter how thin I am, I will always have a disproportionately big butt. But I’ve learned to embrace it and, fortunately, found a man who doesn’t like pencil-thin chicks.
❤ Kim, ain’t that the truth?! I think shit that we don’t like continues, or persists, until we learn to accept it. It’s like some lesson from the universe or something.
❤ Jennine, thank you! I used to be so much more comfortable about getting older before I started to get older. hahaha! I find that some things are easier to accept than others. I can look at those fine lines as “wisdom lines.” But I haven’t found a nice way to look at under eye circles. Perhaps they’re just letting me know that I need to be better about getting enough sleep!
❤ Birdie, thank you so much for that super nice compliment! I think that’s definitely the right way to go. Love everything – the good, the bad, and the “ugly.” Then the bad and ugly don’t feel so troublesome. It also helps us appreciate everything more and enjoy the present more. Do keep telling yourself that. It can be a challenge, but it does work. I guess the brain needs to be retrained after being exposed to so many negative messages as we grow up.

alixrose March 9, 2009 at 7:55 pm

I appreciate this post. I have to tell you its a day to day process for me. Somedays I am living it to the fullest and then somedays I am hiding behind the pillow. I have gotten more accepting with age, but I really understand now that I can’t complain or focus on the negative, then you will never be happy.

adahpotato March 9, 2009 at 9:34 pm

I love this post:) I think I’ve let go a little through the years of my personal ‘beauty issues/flaws’….bump in the nose, short legs, imperfect skin, gray hair. One thing that helped, oddly enough, was pregnancy. I was so happy to have my body back to myself (flaws and all) that it really gave me a new perspective.

Corrie March 9, 2009 at 9:51 pm

Aw, I have a lot of big stuff and a lot of little stuff. After some very rough teen years, I try not to let things eat me up. I know all of my flaws (not listing them to avoid the inevitable long sigh) are, at the end of the day, manageable. No, I’m not a svelt 15 year old model void of flaws, but I don’t need to be.

Sonja March 9, 2009 at 10:20 pm

❤ axilrose, so glad you liked the post. I’m right there with you. I still have days where I don’t want to get out of bed. But at least I have fewer of them now that I’ve gotten better at focusing on the positive. It’s definitely takes some practice though (and lots of it).
❤ adahpotato, thank you! Perspective is key! I think some things happen just to make us appreciate the stuff we take for granted. I always feel so grateful for my health after I’ve gotten sick. I’ve never been pregnant, but I can see how that would provide lots of perspective! :)

eyeslices March 10, 2009 at 4:23 am

very interesting opinions about our self image. You could also check out our new natural product to help you
reduce dark circles under eyes

Sonja March 10, 2009 at 6:57 pm

❤ eyeslices, thanks for writing and letting us know about EyeSlices. Jennine was just talking about them. They look pretty cool.

Sonja March 10, 2009 at 7:01 pm

❤ Corrie, you’re so right. We’re barraged by images of super skinny chicks with no butts and big boobs. This creates a weird ideal of unobtainable beauty. And yet we don’t need to look like that at all to be beautiful. True beauty truly emanates from within.

SwanDiamondRose March 12, 2009 at 12:10 am

something that gets to me is that because of the ever present beauty stereotypes and their association with happiness, i and people generally think they will be happier if this feature or if that feature is better or different. or women will think that other women are happier because they look a certain way. it’s a serious misunderstanding all around.

getting older really hit me hard emotionally when i turned 33. but now i’m 39 and the funny thing i’m finding is that i want to look less “perfected”. i think i am sick of all those years of working out and worrying. though i am getting blonder again…

Sonja March 14, 2009 at 2:46 pm

❤ SwanDiamondRose, absolutely. Culturally, we are surrounded by the misguided notion that we will be happy IF (fill in the blank with anything and everything), then happiness becomes this elusive, unattainable thing. Ironically, I think we can finally be happy when we stop chasing it and trying to fill voids with unattainable ideals, when we start living in the moment and appreciating what is right before us. When we spend so much time comparing ourselves to others and looking at what we don’t have, we totally miss what is good in our lives right now.

I used to live in places and worked in industries with people who were obsessed with their looks – it was not for me. Life’s too short to worry about superficial stuff, or even worry at all. I’d rather be comfortable with my “ample ass” than spend my time making myself miserable by fretting over how I can make it smaller. :)

Sonja March 20, 2009 at 11:27 am

❤ WendyB, I think a lot of us are guilty of that. :)

{ 1 trackback }

  • Accept the grey, be one with the grey, love the grey… « A Visual Narrative of all of the lil’ things that give me a Natural High

Previous post:

Next post: