Feeling Beautiful When You’re Surrounded By Hollywood

hollywoodThis morning I sat next to Jennifer Garner at breakfast. Yes, she’s as beautiful in person as she is on film - perhaps even more so. Moments like this are a somewhat common occurrence when you live in Los Angeles, and for this Minnesota lady, it’s kind of surreal. Lucky for me I don’t get star struck, so I didn’t ask her for a picture but instead I went about eating my scrambled eggs like any other Wednesday morning. What happens, when we live our days surrounded by Hollywood, whether in the flesh or in magazines and on the television? How can we possibly try to feel beautiful ourselves if there is a limited standard to which we have to compare ourselves?


I ask myself these questions a lot these days. Those who know me may scoff and say that I’m plenty confident and surely am not bothered when my co-workers and loved ones comment on how “hot” someone is. But the truth is, we all have moments of insecurity.

As Holly has outlined in her series The Hollywood Beauty Detective, there is a narrow – and nearly impossible to achieve – “look” of the women in pop culture. So is there harm when your loved one makes comments on how sexy someone else is? We can’t expect the people around us to only find one person attractive, that’s absurd. But how do we let ourselves not feel deflated, or somehow less attractive than said actress, model or singer?

Here are a few thoughts I have on the topic:

First and foremost, practice self-love

The only person you will spend the rest of your life with is… you. So it’s time for all of us to turn inward and do the best we can each day to find the beauty and worth inside ourselves. This isn’t always easy, and that’s ok. I find a few things help me with this daily practice (because that is what it is, a practice that needs constant loving and nurturing):

  • Meditate each morning before starting your day. Meditation can mean whatever you want it to be, but should be as simple as taking a few moments to breathe deep and just be. Before you start cuddling with your lover, taking care of your kids, or dive into your smart phone to read work emails, just take a moment to ground yourself in YOU before you start the day.
  • Vow to never buy another fashion or beauty magazine again. They are simply what I like to call “mind-pollution”.
  • And finally, eat as best you can and exercise whenever possible. Moving your body and nourishing yourself are acts of self-love and will make you feel vital, strong, healthy and sexy. Remember that sometimes eating well means happily indulging in dessert or a slice of pizza.

medThere is no shortage of beauty

When your husband comments on how beautiful another woman is, whether at the park or on the television, it may make you feel a little deflated. That’s entirely normal and is ok. Just remember that his comment may not have had a lot of tact (it entirely depends on how someone says these types of comments, am I right?) but it’s possible for everyone to be beautiful. Just because he finds someone else attractive doesn’t mean that you’re not to him. And then we’ll hope he’s mindful of how he says similar comments in the future. (wink)

It’s easy for us to get in modes of scarcity: if my boss compliments someone else’s work that may mean my work is less valued. Or my co-workers think Angelina Jolie has a sexy mouth, does that mean mine is super boring and lame?! Beauty and love are infinite, not scarce.

Support the vision of The Hollywood Beauty Detective

Holly is on to something with this project. We’ve known for years that there is a limited view of beauty in film and fashion. All you have to do is walk around L.A. where the city is not only filled with actors, it’s filled with aspiring actors who all look like the same beautiful prototype. They are beautiful indeed, there’s no denying that. But we need to diversify what beautiful means in pop culture and adequately represent that in the film industry.

jennifer g

So while I sat next to Jennifer Garner this morning eating my scrambled eggs, I didn’t think twice about enjoying my delicious slices of bacon. Because I am beautiful in my own way, and there’s no crazy fitness goal that can keep me from those strips of salty goodness.