Open Letter to an Insecure Girl from the Guy Who Finds Her Incredible {Guest Post}

I devote large portions of this blog to promoting body positivity ’cause — quite simply — I believe women in today’s society need to hear encouraging messages and words of affirmation more than ever before.
¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†However, lately it’s occurred to me that these “body positive” mantras often¬†come from a sole female perspective. While this isn’t a negative thing, it does exclude one crucial component from the overall equation.
¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†Let’s face the facts. We ladies care deeply about how we’re perceived by the men in our lives. Often, we have absolutely no idea what they’re thinking when they give us the requisite once-over. But, deep down, we crave their wide-eyed approval, reassuring us that we’re still desirable.
¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†Seriously, though…what DOES¬†a guy think when his girl enters the room — tiny¬†flaws¬†and all?¬†I’ve recruited a certain dapper dude (otherwise known as mah boyfriend) to answer this question. It’s about time we added a male voice to the “body image” commentary and shed some light on what they see behind our self-deprecation.
       So, without further ado:

                                                                                                                              To an Insecure Girl from the Guy Who Finds Her Incredible

Dear Beautiful,
¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†Before we go out on a date, I’m usually the first to get ready. I’ll be sitting on the couch, scrolling through some article on my phone, and then I’ll look up and catch a glimpse of you getting ready.
¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†You’re straightening your hair. Picking out jewelry. Zipping up that dress. Then, you examine yourself in the mirror. You’ll stare silently for a while before beginning the inspection: legs, arms, torso, backside…the list goes on. Finally, you give this look.
       A look I know too well.
       A look that reads: Disappointed. Not impressed. Not good enough. 
¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†You’ll leave the bathroom, unaware that I’m gaping at this radiant goddess in front of me. I’ll say “You look incredible,” and you’ll respond with a small, quiet “Thanks.”¬†
¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†But I still know what you’re thinking: Disappointed. Not impressed. Not good enough.
¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†So, here’s my response to those toxic words poisoning your mind.¬†
¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†They’re simply not true. Nope, not all.¬†
¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†Before I reveal what’s really going through my mind when I say¬†“You look incredible,”¬†there’s something else you need to know. And this might just be the most important thing I’ll ever tell you. So, take notes. Remember my words. Make sure they stick.¬†
¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†You, my love, are beautiful — both on the inside and out.
       Did you read that? Carefully?
       I repeat: Beautiful on the inside and out. 
¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†You’re probably wondering right about now, “Did this joker actually say he cares about my character? Not just my physical appearance?”
¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†Listen. I won’t lie about the male species. We do respond to visuals. And there are plenty of men out there, who focus only on visuals. Those guys are pigs, though. Assholes.
¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†I apologize for the pigs and assholes you’ve encountered throughout your life. They’re not real men. Maybe they’ll learn to become one someday.
¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†But, the real men — who respect their peers, support their loved ones, and stay true to their morals — those men want a real woman.¬†
       I want a real woman.
¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†I¬†don’t want an airbrushed model on the cover of Sports Illustrated Swimsuit or that busty chick in some Playboy spread. I want the beauty standing right in front of me, who I can see with my own eyes. The¬†feisty¬†spit-fire I can debate with over cocktails. Someone with hopes, dreams, and goals.
       A real woman is kind. Intelligent. Funny. Compassionate. Ambitious. Strong. And it just so happens that this man is attracted to this real woman.
¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†I’m crazy about her smile, her infectious laughter, and the way her voice pitches when we discuss a topic she’s passionate about. I melt when those huge, engaged eyes stare into mine, embracing this moment just between us. I love how she plays with her hair when she’s nervous or casually sips her drink with those smooth lips.¬†
¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†That’s real.
¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†Those artificial, photo-shopped images you’re obsessing over — the ones you think all men desire — they can’t satisfy a real man.¬†
¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†They’re just¬†ideals that many girls wish they could emulate. But I find this sad because a real man doesn’t want an ideal. He wants you.¬†
       I. Want. You.
¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†Because you’re¬†real. And they’re fake.
       So, stop. 
¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†Stop comparing yourselves to those other girls. Stop scrutinizing your reflection and thinking “my thighs are fat” when, in reality, they’re gorgeously toned. Stop pinching your stomach and sighing¬†“this isn’t flat enough” when there isn’t even extra skin to pinch. Stop jiggling your arms and¬†moaning “Look at all this flab hanging from my biceps”¬†when such nonsense couldn’t be further from the truth. Stop staring at your chest and wondering “If these boobs were fuller, maybe he’d be more into me” because, babe, that’s outrageous!
¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†Just stop! Don’t stack yourself up against those false representations. You know what will happen?¬†
       You will decompose. 
¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†Decompose before my eyes. You’ll gradually become consumed with dangerous thoughts, like “If I eat less, I’ll look like her,” or “Gotta skip lunch and dinner if I want that perfect body.”
¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†No. That is not healthy. That is you rotting away. And you’ll lose yourself in the process.¬†These ideals — the ones you constantly compete with — they’ll win. Please don’t let them win. Never in my life would¬†I want to witness you deal with such torture.
       My desire is to see you grow. 
       Grow into that strong, capable woman you truly are. Grow into that confident bombshell, who loves herself and takes pride in her uniqueness.
¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†Your physical shape or size simply doesn’t matter. A real man will love everything you have to offer. He won’t hear the negative voices¬†screaming in your¬†head. He only sees you marching to the beat of your own drum.
¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†And that’s what a real man finds most attractive.
¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†So, when you finally walk out of the bathroom, and we leave for our date night, pay close attention when I say “You look incredible.”¬†Because here’s what’s on my mind…
¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†I’m so blessed by you. Blessed to sit across from you. Blessed to slip my hand into yours. Blessed to learn more about you. Blessed to make memories we’ll both cherish.
¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†Knowing we’re spending this evening together — me and this lively, passionate goddess — makes my heart race. How did I get so lucky? The most beautiful girl I’ve ever known chose me, and I’m truly honored.
¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†In a¬†world full of illusions plastered on computer screens and magazine covers, you’re all¬†I see.¬†
       Because you look incredible.
Love,
A Real Man
me and Brandon prof pic

Lindi Skin Care: for Inner Strength & Outer Beauty

I’m fortunate enough to wake up each morning with a strong, vivacious, and fully-functioning body — a blessing, which I’ve learned should never be taken for granted.

However, for some people, health is a fragile fantasy or distant memory. Their days are filled with stark white hospital wards, tubes and monitors, radiation treatments, and chemotherapy. They’ve forgotten how it feels to not constantly battle the weakness overtaking their bodies.

They are cancer patients. This is their reality.

While I can’t fathom the agony they endure, my heart goes out to these fighters. The physical, mental, and emotional exhaustion must feel beyond overwhelming, yet somehow their brave, beautiful souls press on.

Almost 10 years ago, I watched one such fighter in action.

Her name was — no, is — Kalyn. She was my childhood friend, surrogate older sister, and the most incredible person I’ve ever met. Cancer could never steal her spirit. Still, I wish she hadn’t suffered so intensely.

The sad truth is, even potentially life-saving medical care can produce painful side-effects. Chemotherapy, for instance, is notorious for hair loss. But, the lesser known skin reactions must be equally demoralizing. These aren’t just your typical break-outs either. We’re talking acute dryness, flakiness, and redness caused by chemo’s cocktail of antibiotics, steroids, and other potent drugs.

With everything else cancer patients face on a daily basis, skin irritation should NOT have to be an added stressor. They deserve the confidence of a glowing complexion.

So, when I was approached to test out Lindi Skin, a line of facial products created to therapeutically counteract the harshness of chemo, I jumped at the opportunity. My skin may be sensitive and acne-prone, but I have no reason to complain. Therefore, I’m honored to spread the word about a product, which will help inspiring individuals — like Kalyn — see their vibrant inner strength reflected on their faces.

Lindi Skin manufactures and distributes clinically-proven skin care to soothe and relieve the residual effects of cancer treatments. Plus, this company believes that the power of feeling beautiful can actually improve overall health.

lindi skin

The creation of Lindi Skin started with my experience watching friends go through cancer treatment. They expected the nausea, fatigue, and hair loss associated with chemotherapy and radiation therapy, but they were not aware of the impact that these therapies would have on their skin. In discovering there was not one line of skin care products specifically developed for people with cancer, it occurred to me that someone had to create one. And that person ended up being me.

In formulating Lindi Skin products, we aligned with dermatologists, oncologists, nurses, patients, and skincare formulators to create products that can treat even the most sensitive of skin. Our formulas are unique, gentle, and soothing. We use the finest ingredients for the ultimate hydration.

We are excited to offer the rejuvenating power of our products to everyone. Our products, elegant and luxurious, are intended to help you look and feel incredible.

– LINDY SNIDER, FOUNDER & CEO

Lindi Skin’s healing philosophy is grounded in four simple yet powerful words: HOPE. LONGEVITY. PURITY. LIFE. 

And, the following products promote just that…

1. Face Wash: 

“This gentle alternative to soap cleanses without stripping and works to achieve optimal pH balance. After rinsing, you can actually feel a veil of moisture laying the foundation for smooth, healthy skin. Use as often as needed on the face, neck, and scalp.”

lindi skin face wash

2. Face Serum

“Formulated with the highest concentration of LSA Complex, — replete with lavender botanicals, antioxidants, and vitamins —  this serum provides beneficial moisture and ultimate comfort to compromised skin on the face, neck, and chest. The unique, non-oily formula glides on silky smooth and begins restoring immediately.”

lindi skin face serum

3. Eye Hydrator

“This moisturizing gel is formulated to improve skin tone. Its effectiveness lies in its ability to attract moisture to the delicate skin surrounding the eyes. Apply a small quantity around the eyes and dab lightly with fingertips.”

lindi skin eye hydrator4. Lip Balm

“Enriched with Vitamin E and natural extracts to provide a protective layer over parched lips, this non-greasy formula works double-duty to keep nail cuticles healthy and intact, too. After using on lips, simply work the balm into cuticles.”

lindi skin lip balm

Cancer claims lives. That’s a heart-breaking reality. But there’s one thing this dreaded disease can’t take away — beauty.

Both inner AND outer.

Suck it, Cancer!

(Oh, and just in case you were wondering…Lindi Skin made my face glow too! So, there’s that.) 

*Special thanks to Lindi Skin & Lipton Publicity for supplying the products for this review.*