Most people are lenient about their inner flaws, yet more judgmental when it comes to noticing someone else’s faults. On the other hand, when it comes to outer beauty, it seems the pendulum swings in the other direction. Women seem to be much more critical of their own imperfections, yet don’t seem to notice the exact same flaws in others.

Countless beauty studies prove that the world is rigged in favor of attractive people, which really puts the pressure on aging. Years ago, when I worked for a large bridal veil manufacturer, I was truly enlightened about a world of perfection. I was hired to do the makeup for the photoshoots, which catalogued all the latest styles of bridal veils each and every season. These catalogues would circulate nationwide to every bridal retailer. Some models were more attractive than others, and some were way more disciplined and would therefore last longer in the industry.

Models don’t inspire much sympathy. They are judged very harshly and photographers are quite critical of them. I realized that the average model’s career span is not too long. Their psychological struggle with image and aging comes quite early. Life in front of the camera is not cracked up to be all that dazzling. In a highly competitive market, many have to restrict calories to stay thin and battle crippling self-esteem from all the criticism they receive. All it takes is one photographer to tell them their nose is crooked or that they will never make it big. Once wrinkles form, self-doubt follows. By 30 they already start to feel the aging process. Pimples are a nightmare for those in the beauty industry. It’s sad for someone to derive affirmation strictly from their appearance because of the grueling standards set by the industry.

Although it’s important to take care of one’s appearance, which certainly boosts your confidence, nobody should rely strictly on outer beauty for self-esteem. This creates a recipe for disaster. Eventually everyone ages and beauty fades.

Perspective is definitely powerful. Most people are self-critical when they look at their image on camera. Yet years later they can look at the same photo and marvel how wonderful they looked. It’s all about your perspective and appreciation for living in the present moment. It seems our attitudes need a makeover.

Helping others, appreciating the blessings from Hashem, going out of our comfort zone, and doing our best all add meaning and purpose to life, which continues despite the first sign of wrinkles. Conquering negative thoughts and being less judgmental when facing a mirror all contribute to feeling good about yourself. Beauty is certainly not a one-size-fits-all. Nor is it about perfection or staying impossibly thin in a race against time and metabolism, which puts one in a no-win situation. It’s about expanding our mind and interests, living a healthy and connected lifestyle, and maintaining a sense of humor as we navigate our challenges. There’s nothing more beautiful than an inner contentment and a warm smile.

Risselle Naimark is a Professional Freelance Makeup Artist and Skincare Consultant. She carries an extensive line of personalized skincare, cosmetics, and anti-aging products. Risselle is also available for weddings, Bar Mitzvahs, makeup lessons, and all of your beauty needs. She can be reached at 718 263-5517.