The thought-life behind a beautiful and elegant countenance is an elegant spirit. These are the very first steps to Elegance
What do you wear on your face? What kind of face do you deserve? What does your face say about you?
Some of those questions might sound a little startling, but it was meant to drive in a point… that you can grow in beauty and elegance, just in case you are feeling a little hopeless and lost.
Not everyone is born with great looks, but everyone can become a gentle and elegant spirit, to look at others with kind eyes and literally grow beautiful.
They do so by influencing their countenance.
“Countenance” is defined as “a person’s face or facial expression”. I think it’s best described as your face when you are in ‘limbo’. It is the face and expression you wear when you are walking by yourself to the mall, or when you’re driving or waiting for a bus. You might just be standing around at a party, not knowing anyone and waiting for your friend to arrive.
That is why some people simply look approachable and nice. Some do not have to wear or carry designer labels to have a refined look. They look pleasant, intelligent, classy and confident. You do not even have to ask, you’ll know.
What does ‘influencing your countenance’ mean?
How does a lady gain a beautiful and elegant countenance?
First we have to understand that your ‘countenance is a form of communication’.
Your Countenance is A Form of Communication
Facial expressions and countenances give out different vibes.
For starters, try people watching. Watch the expressions of people walking down the street, dining at the restaurant or when they are waiting for the train.
Make a subtle observation of people at the party. You can almost immediately tell who is confident or shy, awkward, warm and friendly or cold and distant, uninterested, too eager etc.
Even if you hadn’t been out rightly observing, your subconsciousness takes in the ‘countenance’ of the person in your company. Sometimes, you feel warm and welcomed. Other times, you feel an invisible barrier. Their tight smiles, icy stares or insecurity are subconscious visual cues.
It’s time to put yourself in those shoes.
What signals and visual cues are you giving to others?
What does your face say about you?
What are you wearing on your face?
Most people aren’t aware that their thoughts, feelings, moods, emotions show up on their face. It is their facial expression during ‘limbo’ mode. All these make up your ‘countenance‘.
While we cannot control other people’s countenance, we can influence ours.
We Can Grow Beautiful
Our desires to grow beautiful can manifest when we have an elegant countenance because that comes from within. Strangely, inner beauty becomes outer beauty and this beauty is everlasting. It goes beyond powerful make up.
We’ve all had those moments when an elegant lady walks into the room. She has a sort of queenly honor that commands respect around her, yet is very gracious. You don’t know “who she is yet” but in your mind, you’ll think she’s probably someone very important. You almost gawk and admire her from a distance.
Then, there are some who are very pretty but gives off a sour vibe. Pretty is not the same as beautiful. Your hunch is right when she opens her mouth and especially so when you witness her in action. Suddenly, she is not pretty anymore.
That is probably why some faces (pretty or not) look elegant and others, not so. Other ‘plain’ faces can look elegant, smarter, classier, wealthier than the pretty ones. Why? Is it the language that they speak? the make up? the clothes? the education? Surely all play a part, but it is their countenance that tells us about them.
Ines de la Fressange says, “You can go out and hate everybody, hate your age, and hate all the things you don’t have but it will show; you have the face you deserve.”
I’ve also said before that whatever in your heart turns up on your face. Apart from our regular beauty treatments, care and attention to our skin/face, we have to look after our heart.
In Proverbs 4:23 in the Bible, it says, “Above all else, guard your heart,
for it is the wellspring of life.”
What does it mean to guard our heart?
There are many things you can do to ‘guard your heart’. Honestly, in my opinion, this is the very FIRST step to elegance. Henry Fielding must have had a moment of revelation when he wrote,
“A truly elegant taste is generally accompanied with excellency of heart.”
Note: There is no one exact formula for guarding our heart.
Personally for me, this means to exercise restraint, edit and feed myself good high quality thoughts and things. I find praying, meditating and reading a devotional and good books daily to be really helpful. As well as listening to a good message or sermon CD that encourages me and uplifts me.
Going to church weekly keeps my thought life in check, and being involved in a charity or ministry that enables me to serve others. That keeps the focus away from myself. Wallowing in one’s own problems and thinking too much about yourself can be a sick way to live.
I edit my life constantly, just like how an elegant woman edits her elegant wardrobe. Editing is a form of refining and refinement. I try my very best to refrain from thinking negatively or complain. I also refrain from watching, owning, reading any bad material or low quality things. I try to exercise discipline in limiting the number of possessions I have, and from having too much of anything.
But honestly I feel that all of above are much easier to do when I have a spiritual life.