10222017Headline:

21 Things That Make You More Beautiful

by Jenny Hansen

BOAW 2014
One of my BFFs comes from a long line of debutantes. The kind of women that form the backbones of the communities down in North Carolina, where she’s from.

A few years back we had this conversation:

Her: What do you use on your skin?

Me: As little as possible.

Her: I’m serious. You’ve got like no wrinkles. My twenty-one layers are a lot of work and they’re just not working as well now that I’m forty.

Me: *holds up hand* Whoa. You’ve got twenty-one things you do to your face? Every freaking day? Like before you go to sleep? And FYI, I do have wrinkles.

Her: Not really. And, yes, I can’t go to bed until I’ve completed the 21 Layers for the day. (And she didn’t even look overwhelmed by it.)

Me: Dang. I’ve got like two layers, and I don’t always remember those.

Her: What are they?

Me: Moisturizer and hair spray. I don’t even get my makeup off every night.

If you could have seen the horror on her face… And, after all that, she wouldn’t even tell me what the 21 Layers are! Apparently, it’s one of those family secrets where if she tells me, she’ll have to kill me. So for a few years now, I’ve been Googling variations of “21 Layers of Beauty Southern beauty regimen” and coming up empty. It’s extremely annoying.

In honor of the Beauty of a Woman Blogfest (#BOAW3), thrown by my dear friend August McLaughlin (founder of Girl Boner Radio), I’ve made up my own version. [Click that link to be inspired. There’s 30 blogs about the true meaning of beauty.]

My 21 Layers of Beauty – in no particular order

1. Laughter. Not only does smiling shave years off your face, it adds about 7 years to your life. Here’s 15 Health Benefits of Smiling.

2. Sleep. Being a working mom decreases my horizontal time considerably. Sadly, I’ve noticed that sleep not only brightens up my skin, it also takes inches off elsewhere.

3. Learning. Learning new skills brings an extra sparkle to most people’s face.

4. Teaching. The act of imparting knowledge hits most people’s passion place. Passion places make us prettier.

5. Exercise. As much as I hate doing it, exercise amps up your complexion. I usually have rosy cheeks for 4-5 hours after working out.

6. Gratitude. A writing course I took last month made us list “5 Great Things” about each day. I could not believe the difference it made. Here’s how Gratitude Decreases Stress.

7. Relaxation. Stopping work for a quick walk, to water my garden, or read for 20 minutes does wonders for me. Here’s a list of 10 Health Benefits from Relaxation.

8. Fresh air. Turns out there really is something to that old saying, “You need to get some fresh air.” Here’s why it’s important.

9. Sex. Need I say more? Here’s an article about How Sex Can Make You Beautiful.

10. Kind words. Turns out being kind is good for you.

11. Sassy Undies. Okay, maybe this is just me. If you’ve got your panties in a twist or stuck in an uncomfortable place, it’s unlikely you’ll achieve maximum sparkle for the day. Just sayin…

12. Hugs. Here’s 10 Reasons Why We Need at Least 8 Hugs a Day.

13. Conversation. The number of one-person households in our society has steadily increased, especially in America. However, all that “personal space” can affect your health. Social Interactions are GOOD for you.

14. Friendship. What about the deeper connection of true friendship? I don’t know what I’d do without my friends, even with their “crazy 21 Layer” habits. They feed my soul, which in turn increases my hot factor.

15. Loving. Have you ever heard the saying that every bride is beautiful? It’s because nearly every bride is glowing with love.

16. Indulging your passions. My guy loves to watch me garden. When I asked him why he said: “Because you look so happy. You’re gorgeous in your garden.”

17. Communing with Nature. Whether it’s the beach, the mountains, the trees or the desert, I’ll bet there’s some place on this earth that makes your eyes shine with wonder.

18. Random Acts of Kindness. My pal, Amber West, is aces at this in her daily life. Go check out her “GoWithout Movement.”

19. Being clean. As much as I’d love to stay in my pajama pants and scrunchie day and night, the fact is I’m not all that pretty unless I’m clean. I’ll bet you aren’t either.

20. Good posture. Turns out, standing up straight can make you look 10-20 pounds thinner. Don’t you hate it when your parents were right? Here’s 15 minutes to better posture.

21. Water. 80-100 ounces of water a day is good for EVERYBODY.

As you’ve likely surmised, I think true beauty mostly comes from feeding the soul. Which items on my list resonated with you? Care to share your own thoughts about beauty? Continue the discussion at the #SocialIn hashtag on Twitter or SocialInDC on Facebook!

~ Jenny
@JennyHansenCA

About Jenny Hansen

By day, Jenny provides training and social media marketing for an accounting firm. By night she writes humor, memoir, women’s fiction and short stories. After 18 years as a corporate software trainer, she’s delighted to sit down while she works.

When she’s not at her personal blog, More Cowbell, Jenny can be found on Twitter at JennyHansenCA or at Writers In The Storm.

© 2014 Jenny Hansen. All content on this page is protected by copyright. If you would like to use any part of this, please contact me at the above links to request permission.


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