Recently I was in a few situations I didn’t like. It has something to do with people talking poorly about others–judging them, bashing them, being shallow. Now before you think that I don’t utter a negative thought / opinion about others ever, I’m definitely not perfect, and I pass my fair share of judgement. And I know that even if I don’t necessarily vocalize my thoughts, I’m still being judgmental. I can’t pretend I don’t say mean things sometimes, but ultimately I never say bad things about others to make myself feel better.

Occasionally I need to vent–about an annoying situation, conversation, etc. But you won’t ever catch me avoiding someone, or not making friends with someone, because of their looks or other materialistic / shallow thinking.

This is a hard topic to write about, as I know we live in a society where chatting with your girlfriends can easily turn into gossip, and judgment is a sport here in Los Angeles. I guess what I’m trying to say is, I don’t base my opinions about someone based on the material items they posses or their physicality. It’s not fair, and honestly, I don’t care what designer things someone has or how much money they make. It’s not my business and not important to our relationship.

When I was in high school (and til this day) I loved fashion. I lived for a new outfit to wear to school and often tried not to wear the same thing twice. I was a complete girly girl. Little did many people know, I had just moved to Los Angeles from Maui, where my family camped often, I lived in a bathing suit, we took care of animals, we drove a grungy Jeep that we could adventure in, and being in LA was culture shock to me. Suddenly people were interested in the clothing brand I was wearing, how much I paid for my shoes, what car was I getting….what??? Ironically, people thought I was the judgmental one. I couldn’t make sense of it. I graduated high school wondering how these conclusions were drawn and only realized recently that it’s because of how I physically portrayed myself. Like someone who gave a shit about designer things.

Well, I do love a nice designer item (does anyone not?), but it has never dictated who I hang out with, how I view myself, how I view others, etc. It’s just not me. I recently read an article about people who feel the need to put down others to make themselves feel better and it inspired me to write my own thoughts out. Here are my reminders on how to channel inner beauty within yourself and others:

Talk to anyone. In public, at events, at the club, wherever! Don’t act too good to talk to someone. Even a random guy who might be heading over to hit on you. Just politely decline if that’s where the conversation is headed. But don’t assume it is.

Be nice. To waiters, valet, customer service people, strangers. You will be shocked to see how much further it gets you. Almost every time I fly I manage to get free wine. Kindness is not overrated.

Looks don’t matter. I don’t care if you’re a total knock-out. If you’re mean to others for no reason, I don’t want to be your friend. Maybe that’s hypocritical, but I don’t like toxic people who are clearly unhappy with themselves, people who feel the need to put others down to validate their own self worth.

Be constructive, not critical. We all learned this in school and I still feel it is one of the most important lessons for us as humans.

Realize everyone has a struggle. It might be a totally different struggle than yours–financial, emotional, physical, mental–but don’t discount their battles or try to measure them to your own.

Spread generosity, not greed. Help others in need. I’m not talking about volunteering your time to shelters (that’s awesome if you do!!!), I’m referring to small gestures that might make a huge impact on someone else but doesn’t take a lot out of you. I could give a million examples but I’m sure you get the point.

-Smile at others. I love seeing other peoples reactions when I smile at them. It’s like a telepathic signal that makes people feel good inside. How do I know? Well, when someone randomly smiles at me that’s how I feel.



Photography by: Camuran Uranick