Not caring about how you look to other people is one of the most emotionally liberating things you can do for yourself. Sure, working out is good for your health, and fashion is fun, and makeup is expression, and all of that is well and good. But when it gets to the point of being stressful, or obligatory — as it does for so, so many people — that's where we have an issue.
The way you look is a really important part of who you are, but it cannot become a replacement for who you are. We obsess and overvalue our physical appearances because that's how we communicate to other people who we are, and when we're feeling inferior or judged or insecure, we want to compensate.
So whatever your particular stressor when it comes to appearance is — not wanting to leave the house without makeup, feeling like your style is never good enough, worrying incessantly about your weight, not feeling like you're attracting anybody romantically — actually tells you a lot about how you really feel on the inside. For example: the anxiety over always wearing makeup could be not wanting people to see who you really are. The lack of romantic attraction could be because you're not open to loving yourself, so you can't let anybody else in either. Do you see how quickly and easily we can project these issues onto our poor bodies who deserve our love more than anything else?
If you're not inspired already, here are a few things that happen when you seriously stop caring about how you look (to other people) and start really focusing on who you are, and how confident you feel.
You Realize That Nobody Is Thinking About You As Much As You Assume Or Fear
They're all too busy worrying about what other people think about them — it's a nasty cycle, and it's also one that few people stop to recognize. Most of their anxiety about what people think of them is null and void: people are rarely thinking about you... if at all.
You Realize That It's Not Just Beautiful People Who Have Love
In fact, it's more often the opposite. If you look around you: at couples you know, at people walking down the street, even, you realize that it's not just "perfect, beautiful" people who have love. It is a connection between people, and not some prerequisite of being conventionally beautiful, that determines who we end up with.
You Realize How Much Of Our Beauty/Makeup/Style Routines And Trends Surround The Idea Of "Fixing" Yourself
Perhaps the most liberating part of it all is realizing that there is nothing wrong with you, and there never was. You don't have to alter yourself significantly just to be "OK." You can instead alter the way you think about what "OK" really means.
You Realize That Caring What Other People Think Of How You Look Doesn't Make Them Like You More
... Or whatever else you're convinced constantly policing yourself will get you.
You Realize That Being "Trendy" Only Proves You're Great At Being A Follower; Having "Personal Style" Proves You're An Individual
You don't look back on people who adhered to trends flawlessly throughout the decades as being "fashionable" or "cool" or "great." They just seem... well... not themselves.
You Realize That Being Yourself Feels So Much Better Than Looking "Perfect" (Or Trying To)
It may be cliché, but as soon as you actually let yourself ~be yourself~, the feeling of acceptance doesn't even come close to comparing to the feeling of constantly striving to look a certain way.
You Realize That People Don't Actually Admire Or Revere "Perfect" Looking People
It's people who know themselves and are true to themselves that are really compelling.
You Realize You Have Nothing To Prove
You have nobody's acceptance to earn, and you have no code to which you are obligated. It may have begun within the society you were born to, but you sustained it... and you don't have to anymore.