“I Had Been Beautiful”: A Woman’s Great Advice to Her Younger Self

posted: 08/13/15
by: Courtney Reimer
shot of senior woman with daughter

It's so easy to be critical of ourselves -- particularly when there's so much around us telling us we need to change this or look younger or eat less of that -- but this viral first-person essay from The New York Times gives so much great advice on why we might want to go a little easier on the self-criticism.

The essay by climate researcher Dominique Browning, which is called "I'm Too Old For This," has plenty of choice nuggets of wisdom for women everywhere. Here are some of our favorites:

  • Even when I was in the depths of despair about my looks, I had been beautiful.
  • Why waste time and energy on insecurity?
  • Weight gain? Simply move to the looser end of the wardrobe, and stop hanging with Ben and Jerry. No big deal.
  • What matters most is the work. Does it give you pleasure, or hope? Does it sustain your soul?
  • We will always be knocked down. It's the getting up that counts.
  • Toxic people? Sour, spoiled people? I'm simply walking away; I have little fight left in me. It's easier all around to accept that friendships have ebbs and flows.
  • Take a pass on bad manners, on thoughtlessness, on unreliability, on carelessness and on all the other ways people distinguish themselves as unappealing specimens.
And one overarching message of the essay is this: you're never too old to learn. So I'm going to start by learning how to be better at all of the above, including realizing we are all probably more beautiful than we think.