Pretty.

When do you feel most pretty? 

Maybe pretty isn’t the right word.  What about: when do you feel most beautiful? Most empowered? Sexiest? 

It’s a question I asked myself after watching the rom-com “I feel pretty”. It’s a very predictable plot line and I’m not going to bore you with the details, if you want, you can watch it for yourself on Netflix.  But the essential message is, you’re already beautiful, strong and sexy.  You just have to have the confidence to see that beauty for yourself.  But it got me thinking, so when is it I feel most beautiful? 

Let me tell you the answer surprised me.  

It’s when I’m running, with the wind in my ears, my ponytail tickling my neck, my heart pumping and my lungs starting to burn.  But the ground keeps being pushed away and I keep going forwards.  Yet trust me, visually it’s not an appealing picture.  My leggings give me a camel toe, my face resembles a tomato which is further helped by my hair being scraped back tightly into a pony tail, but I can’t help but smile at everyone I come across. 

It’s when I’m surfing and I can’t contain the thrill and excitement I’m feeling.  It’s when I have my 9ft log secured under my arm waddling back up the beach and yet I’m beaming from ear to ear. It’s the moment I catch the wave and it feels like liquid sunshine is pouring from me.  I feel strong and indestructible, despite the fact I look like a drowned rat. 

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Terrible pop up, but does that matter? Photo courtesy of Darcie Collington 

It’s when I’m cycling.  I look down to see the muscles beneath the skin moving to keep me going forwards.  The feeling of power that comes from moving under my own steam.  It’s when I’m in the hills and I realise that my body carried me to the top. 

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Marcus and I.  Soggy but feeling fab.

It’s when I accomplish things I previously thought I couldn’t.  Like putting up blinds and using a drill.  Like when I top out on a climbing grade I thought was too hard.  

It’s when I’m laughing with people.  Not that fake laughing you do when you work in hospitality, but the real laughing.  The one where pure joy emits from your very pores.  The kind of laughing that makes your face hurt and your tummy muscles ache.  The one where your face is so scrunched up it might never look the same again.  But those twinkle lines are worth it.

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On my first ever lead climb PC: Georgina Craig

When I started compiling this list I started to notice a theme.  I feel at my most beautiful, sexiest and most empowered when I’m moving under my own steam, I surprise myself or I am paying absolutely no attention to how I look.  None of the above had anything to do with my actual appearance.  That is where I think I’ve been going wrong this whole time.  Beauty comes from within.  For me it’s a confidence thing, all of the above give me great confidence and fill my cup up with energy.  I came to the realisation that I feel least beautiful when I see myself in the mirror, so what then? 

Or what about those days when I don’t have the time to do the things that make me feel beautiful? Or I catch myself in the mirror and think “girl you ugly”? 

Well then, my friends, is where having a little bit of make up can help.  On those days, I put on some mascara and an outfit that makes me feel fiiiine.  Like I said, it’s a confidence thing.  It’s about doing stuff for yourself, rather anyone else though. I then make sure I get out and do the things that make me feel beautiful as soon as humanly possible. It’s over to you, when do you feel most beautiful? Are you like me or is there something else that works for you? 

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