not like those girls in the magazines

"She was beautiful, but not like those girls in the magazines. She was beautiful for the way she thought. She was beautiful for that sparkle in her eyes when she talked about something she loved. She was beautiful for her ability to make other people smile even if she was sad. No, she wasn't beautiful for something as temporary as her looks. She was beautiful deep down in her soul"

I fell in love with F. Scott Fitzgerald's Great Gatsby when I first read it in High School, and then when I saw it on television my love for the story deepened even more.

There was just something about drifting into a world of excess and cruelty that was glamourised to the extent that strangely captured you and drew you in. So maybe not the place you'd expect to come across one of my most cherished beautiful and uplifting quotes.

But, at the same time, it is also the perfect place. Because the light shines brightest out of darkness.

When I came across this quote, it just sang to me. It has stayed with me for so many years. And having been part of the beauty industry for many years, everyday while I remained part of that industry, this quote felt more poignant and real.

It was never mainsteam beauty that I was passionate about; the beauty that you see before you in the media every day that does everything to encourage you to think and believe "I want to be like that".

For me it was, and always will be evn though I'm no longer part of the beauty industry, a much deeper beauty that isn't always seen on the surface. A beauty that shines from deep inside. A beauty that will sparkle forever. A beauty that I believe is inspiring, genuine and pure.

Because it's the beauty of giving (to others), the beauty of feeling true and real (through self-care), the beauty of truly, madly, deeply falling back in love with the amazing and wonderful soul each and every one of us naturally is (through self-love).

That's the kind of beauty I want.

That's the kind of beauty that attracts me and inspires me.

The beauty of a person's soul touches me more deeply than the beauty of an outer shell.

How a person behaves and treats those around them, friends, strangers and non-human animals... that's pure beauty.

How a person treats Mother Gaia, Mother Earth, Mother Nature respectfully when no-one is watching... that's true beauty.

How a person speaks respectively to those they meet and how they speak passionately and lovingly about them when they're not present to listen... that's true beauty.

How a person makes you feel, makes you smile for no reason, makes you heart sing with happiness when they're around... that's true beauty.

And that's how I would love to be remembered. That's how I would love us all to be remembered. Not for our temporary looks but for our lasting kindness, thoughtfulness, and generosity.

Viv xx