Monday, 1 July 2013

How to Make the Most of Your Best Feature (and How to Get One if You Think You Don't)

How To Make The Most Of Your Best Feature
I've been thinking a lot lately about how to make the most of your best features since I wrote this post last week about being 40 and wearing crop tops - seems my hesitation in wearing something not deemed "acceptable" for someone of my age was indeed futile. Thank you all of you that left such kind comments, I did feel I stuck my neck out a little by saying "look, I have a part of my body that I really like, and I'm going to show it off", but from what you all said it was okay to do so.

All too often we won't admit that we like something about ourselves often enough for fear of being perceived as bigheaded or vain. I firmly believe we should all have at least ONE thing we like about ourselves, and show it off to the max. One kind commenter said "the crop top... is flattering on you & I think it is great that you admit that! We should be able to acknowledge our attributes" - and she's absolutely right. In relation to this I've been pondering on our obsession with celebrities and their best features, and how many of them are known for having a famous feature or body part. For example...


Jennifer Aniston's hair
Sophia Loren's eyes
Blake Lively's legs
Scarlett Johansson's lips
Jennifer Lopez's bottom
Michelle Obama's arms
Cara Delavingne's eyebrows
Kate Middleton's hair
Katy Perry's boobs
Gwyneth Paltrow's abs

These women know these parts of their body are their best feature, and they do everything they can to keep that bit of them looking their best and bring attention to it whenever they're in the public eye. And why not? I've been fascinated by Sophia Loren's bewitching eyes since I was a kid, and you never see her even now (at 78) without the stunning cat-eye make up she's always worn to enhance them. Plus I don't think I can say Kate Middleton has ever had a bad hair day, and Gwyneth Paltrow is always showing off those amazing abs (they even have their own Twitter account).


My best features

So I'm calling all you ladies to make the most of your best feature(s) - goodness knows, we berate ourselves enough! To get the ball rolling, I've thought about the things I like about myself physically, and I've included some blog images which demonstrate where I've been making the most of the bits of me I like. Here goes me tooting my own horn again...!

Charcoal cape and purple skinnies      Crop top, vintage skirt & fedora
My waist - either nipped in with a belt or completely exposed

Red hair & black floral headband      Red hair and hot pink
My hair - I purposely colour it bright red

Polka dots & neon collar necklace      Black veil
My eyebrows - my face isn't made up if they're not "done"

Blue fedora & a tie-dye grey snood
My smile - I prefer pictures of me with a mega-watt smile

Some of the features have always been my best bits, others not. To clarify - I've always had a small waist (you can read about that in the post from last week), and I've always liked my smile and my teeth are pretty good. HOWEVER... it wasn't always that way - I've not always had long thick red hair, or eyebrows that people talk about positively.


What I do to maintain my best features

My waist: I work out a lot to keep my middle toned. Whilst I'm not flabby, I do put weight on easily (10lbs in two weeks? No problem. When I'm not being careful it's a piece of cake. Literally). I have to work really, really hard to stay in shape.

My smile: I suffered at the hands of the dentist to get good teeth - I've had a total of 11 teeth (baby and adult) pulled out because of overcrowding, and I got them whitened a few years ago. But it was all worth it because my smile is so much better as a result.


My eyebrows: You may find it hard to believe, but my eyebrows are such a ridiculous shape naturally (see this old picture if you don't believe me). Nothing major, but I was teased about how strange they were when I was younger. I pluck them myself, and a good proportion of my time spent doing my make up is just on my eyebrows. Now, after my hair, they're the most talked about feature of mine on Twitter and Instagram.


My hair: I always used to wish I had amazing hair; the sort of hair that would make people say "Catherine? Oh, I know - the one with the lovely hair". I've changed my hair regularly since I can remember, never sticking with one style more than a few months. My hair has been every colour - brunette, black, blonde, ginger, auburn (except extreme colours like pink or blue) - and I've had every style from a pixie crop to extremely long. A few years ago I just thought to myself: I'm going to get fabulous hair. It was getting more and more grey so dyeing it regularly became a necessity, and I decided to go bright. And red seemed the brightest, boldest colour to have to make a statement. And I knew long red hair would be even more fabulous, so I grew it again after a continuous cycle of growing it/chopping it for many years. And now my hair is my best-known feature.


Decide on your  best feature

So what I'm saying is, you may not think you have a best feature - something about you that is so outstanding that you will receive regular compliments about it - but it doesn't mean you can't get one. Who's stopping you creating one yourself? I did with my hair. I never got the same sort of compliments about my hair when I had a brown bob. Go get yourself a pen and paper and write down the things you like about yourself physically. Think about compliments you've received in the past, even if you didn't agree with them. Also write down a feature that you have perhaps never really received compliments about before, but you think it may be something you can enhance.

Forget about stuff that can't be changed like height, bone structure, skin colour, basic body shape, etc. Other changes are possible like boob size, wrinkles, shape of your nose - but they're extreme measures to take, and will cost you an arm and a leg. What you want to concentrate on are things that may take a little time, cost or effort (or all three) to look their best, for example hair, hands and nails, teeth, eyes (and eyebrows), legs, arms, etc.


So... do you think you have "quite nice" hands? Then get them manicured regularly and ensure they're always painted to perfection in amazing colours that draw attention to them - and talk animatedly with them. They'll soon get noticed. If your legs "aren't bad", then take up the right exercise or sport to tone them to within an inch of their life. Get them spray tanned and waxed regularly. You'll go from "okay legs" to "amazing legs" that you can show off in short skirts and cute shorts.


It's not about vanity

It's all about feeling good about yourself, not vanity. I can still remember the first time I received a compliment about my eyebrows years ago from a (male) member of my family, and it really surprised me after the comments I used to get. It encouraged me to keep them as groomed as possible, and over the years the compliments came thick and fast. I realised the same could be done with my hair - my thought (literally) was "I want great hair - what do I have to do to get it?". A few years later I achieved it: long, red, conversation-making hair.

So get your thinking caps on, and acknowledge your best bits. Make the most of them and show them off at every opportunity. Not quite there yet? Decide what you want to make the most of and what you can realistically do about it.


And let me know in the comments! Tell everyone what your best bits are, and don't be modest - just honest. We all need to feel good about ourselves, so I'm giving you free reign, right here. Repeat after me: "it's okay to acknowledge my best bits"...!

Catherine x
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(Sources for lead picture: Jennifer Aniston credit; Sophia Loren credit)
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34 comments

  1. Great post! You've given me hope with my hair as I'm trying to grow it longer and the growing out process is a Pain in the butt!! ;-)

    Monica
    www.pear-shaped-gal.com

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    1. Oh I know about growing hair being a pain! But the time does go fast...! Glad you liked the post Monica x

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  2. You have FAB hair and a great body!! It's nice to hear encouragement to make the most of what we have. And it's nice to hear that, sometimes, getting that amazing "trait" does take work :) So there's no need to be shy about working out and flaunting it or getting fake nails or getting teeth fixed (I had braces for 4 years!!).

    Blake.Lively's.Legs. My friends are well aware of my obsession with her figure! lol

    Sx

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    1. Hmm I have the same obsession with BL I think, Saba!! And thank you for your lovely compliments x

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  3. I love this post. I think it is fantastic that you are encouraging women to think about the features that they love and that you can do so without being vapid and self-absorbed! What a great, uplifting post. And let's face it, you look hot mama! :)

    As for me, I've always gotten compliments on my hair, so I think that's probably a best feature for me. And well, the girls. I was an early bloomer in 7th grade and they've been getting me some sort of attention ever since :)

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    1. Haha I love that nickname "the girls"!!! Good for you, Ashlea - great hair and great boobs? That's a winner! Thank you my lovely x

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  4. It's wonderful to focus on what we really *like* about our physical selves! I used to detest my fine, curly hair but I've come to appreciate it and let it go free : >

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  5. This is such a fabulous & inspiring post, Catherine. Am totally sharing this via Twitter.

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  6. I agree, great post Catherine. I've started to accept myself more since I've hit 30 and started blogging. People have pointed out things I've never even noticed myself, and if you get a few nice comments on the same thing you finally start believing it. I think it's definitely a getting older thing, which ironically is when things should be going down hill, but I think most people learn to love themselves as they age. X

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    1. Thanks so much, sweetie - funnily enough my legs are my least favourite part of me, but I work hard on them as well to make them the best I can... goes to show the hard work can pay off even if you think you're getting nowhere! I'm glad you've like the post and are getting compliments yourself. (You're too kind btw, thank you!!!)

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  7. Thank you! Your positivity is so nice to hear! You're so right, we all do tend to berate ourselves too much and focus on what we are not instead of all the great qualities we have. When we focus on the negative, we practically put a sign on it pointing it out to others. Why not accentuate and LOVE the good stuff?!

    I've fallen in and out of love with my hair several times over the years and finally love it again after realizing I just needed to stop fighting with it so much. ;)

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    1. Good point about how we focus on the negative and how it's like putting a sign on it... I guess if forget about our less good points them they won't be noticed at all by others! Thanks for reading & commenting! xo

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  8. This is a really inspirational post. Well done .. you've given me lots to think about

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    1. I'm really glad, sweetie. Maybe come back and share your best bits when you've had a think! x

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  9. LOVE this post Catherine...my body has always been my best asset, mainly my legs but I am definitely working on my teeth..cannot wait!
    Kisses and hugs...
    Sheree

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    1. Oh Sheree your legs make me hyperventilate - so long and toned and gorgeous!! I know that you know they're one of your best features as you show them off beautifully in your outfits... you know how to dress for your shape so well. And like you I'm working on another bit of me... watch this space?!!! Thank you my lovely xxx

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  10. Very nice blog, Catherine. It is nice that you were able to point out your best features, which sadly many women have trouble doing. I commend you on your blogs and would love to have you follow mine at debbievogler.blogspot.com (I'm kind of a newbie). Have a wonderful day!

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    1. Hmmm I don't know why we do it so much, Debbie (point out our bad bits)... it's silly, isn't it! Thank you xoxo

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  11. You do have the most beautiful hair, it looks wonderfully well looked after. You are right too, it's important to appreciate your own best feature because if you don't highlight them they won't stand out. My best features are definitely my height and my lips. I always stand proud of every inch of my 6 feet, but should really take the time to properly accentuate my mouth more.

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    1. So will we see you rocking some gorgeously bright lipstick, Louise...? Let me know! And thank you for your lovely compliment xx

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  12. I love my hair but I would love it more if I had the time and money to keep it red. I unfortunately did not inherit my mom's red hair. My own hair is dark brown and gets close to black in the winter. My best hair colour is red but my hair is extremely resistant to dying and red being fickle anyway is hell to maintain on me.

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    1. I'd agree that red is very hard to maintain, Jen! But hair doesn't have to be a bright colour to be amazing - a fantastic cut can be just as striking! x

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  13. Great post. I will have to think about what my best feature is. I do try to accentuate my legs because they are long so I wear a lot of pants, especially with high heels to make legs look even longer! I think you look lovely, always, and your outfit posts are always very inspiring. Thank you for joining Adrienne and me for "How I Wear My: Sunglasses." Your dramatic cat-eye shades were one of my favorite pairs! XO, Jill

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    1. I'm always envious of long legs, Jill - good for you for showing them off and making them look even longer!! Thank you, and also for the great feature you host xx

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  14. I love this post! My best asset is my set of shapely legs (I was complimented on them even when I was about to give birth). The feature I want to cultivate is outstanding posture. I want beautiful posture.

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    1. Wow - a compliment about your legs on your way to giving birth - they must be amazing!!!! And great posture is a brilliant feature to aspire to... doesn't cost anything, we can all achieve it very easily and it can make such a change to your whole appearance and persona. That's a superb thing to suggest - thank you!!

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  15. Like Pavone my legs are definitely my best feature. And I show them off as much as possible. In skinnies, dresses and skirts. Still "appropriate for my age" but nevertheless very visible. But posture is a small issue, so I am getting Rolfing therapy to stand up straight. There are small vains on my legs and blodges which I am getting rid off this winter. Etc. So I fully agree with your arguments. Things can be done. And yes, the excersize is hard work but it also brings you health and suppleness (if that is the right word).

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  16. My eyes are a pretty blue color - I get lots of comments on them. But they're kind of deep set and I'm prone to dark circles. So if I don't get enough sleep or water, they recess into the shadows too much. Please excuse me while I go get a drink before bed. :)

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  17. Love the post!
    Okay here goes nothing......I have a lovely shade of red hair (though slightly enhanced as redheads do tend to fade over time) and blue eyes, a combination I have received lots of compliments on. My neck is quite slender and I love my shoulders and collarbone.
    Phew!

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  18. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  19. Aargh. I'm having commenting problems. Sorry.
    What I originally said, which got lost so I left a test comment to see what was going on, was something like:
    I came across your blog by doing a search for UK Lifestyle blogs over forty and mostly fashion blogs came up and I was like NOOO I don't want just fashion, I don't even want fashion at all. I'm so glad though that I came across your blog. I'm greedily reading it and have multiple tabs opened with posts queued that I want to read.
    I was going to comment on your ways to exercise post but then thought I'd wait until later but now have to comment here. I absolutely love this post, I particularly like where you say you had your teeth whitened, it just feels so refreshing to read a blog with your straight talking and honesty and it doesn't lose any charm for it. I'm seriously impressed.
    Such a lot of what you talk about in this post and the eating and exercise ones resonates with me, for a number of reasons. I can't quite find my words here, I'm just jibbering but, excellent and interesting blog.
    Thank you so much.
    Susie

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