Beauty Secrets

Beauty isn’t everything and some people are just blessed with clear skin, others beautiful bodies or thick luscious hair, hence the saying ‘I got it from my Mama’, looks are just in their genes. We can talk about why it’s important be healthy because it’s good for the blood, or the functioning of the brain and body. Let’s also get real, taking the time to be healthy makes you beautiful. You can use various beauty and hair products or make-up, wigs and getting a manicure done, but the old school beauty regimen is adopting a healthy lifestyle.

There are various reasons as to why one should consider adopting a healthy lifestyle. There are numerous biological reasons, like aiding your body [the organs, brain and central nervous system, blood flow, skeletal structure, muscles, the lymphatic system, etc.] in maintaining optimal functioning and therefore achieving health. When this is attained you feel rested and a sense of well-being. Taking the time to cultivate the sense of well-being is a core principle of living your best life and practicing self-love.

The Oxford dictionary definition of well-being is: the state of being comfortable, healthy, or happy.

Photo by Nappy Photography

These Are The Core Tenants of Health and Beauty

  1. Hydration
  2. Diet
  3. Exercise
  4. Sleep 

Hydration

Khanyisile Msebenzi wrote an informative article on the importance of staying hydrated as well as the beauty benefits of getting adequate H20. In the name of not repeating what has already been stated, I gently suggest that you read the article, Keep Hydrated To Look Good & Improve Overall Productivity.

Girl Boss articles aim to get you feeling beautiful, confident and informed. Drinking water makes you confident as it keeps your breath fresh, so you can confidently flirt with your squeeze or laugh at your crushes jokes.

Beyonce Flirting GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

Diet

Photo by Jannis Brandt

Often times we get trapped by the short-term gratification of food. We want that high calorie, rich tasting food that will be gratifying when we are consuming it but after we have swallowed, it sits in the stomach uncomfortably because it’s difficult to digest. As your stomach can ache and or bloat from eating too much dairy, or foods that are too rich. These foods create acid in the body, this results in acid reflux, inflammation and discomfort in the body. Therefore, don’t be short sighted, besides the plentiful biological reasons to eat healthy there are also beauty benefits, like: 

  • getting strong and healthy hair 
  • reversing the signs of aging and or stress
  • healthy, strong and white teeth 
  • sparkling and clear eyes
  • soft and plump lips
  • maintaining a healthy weight
  • reduce bloating, making the stomach flatter
  • radiant skin
  • healthy nails
Photo by Timo Volz

Eating healthier is eating more plants, the less processed the better. If you are struggling with a big belly, watch your portion size. Also, eat with presence, pay attention to when you feel satisfied. That is the bodies marker of when you should stop eating. On the other end of the spectrum, starving yourself is not going to make you more beautiful, eating disorders leave you nutrient deficient which means you will look sickly, have dull hair and skin complexion.

For more information on incorporating plants in your diet consider reading the following articles

Photo by Dane Wetton

Exercise

Exercise is good for the heart, blood, and detoxifying your body but it also gives you that powerful presence which is part bodily confidence but also increased present moment awareness. Take athletes for example when they are in their element they’re not thinking they’re just doing their thing, with their full present moment awareness. Present movement awareness is where your power is. That is when you are the most powerful. This is why many consider exercise as a meditation and a central self-love practice. This powerful presence makes your energy attractive.

Exercise also makes you physically attractive. When you see someone, who has been working out, their body is impressive and sexy. Your skin also gains that healthy glow because you sweat out toxins through the skin when exercising. Your brain rewards you for taking the time to exercise your physical power by releasing endorphins, that is why you get that post work out feel-good high. Hence the saying, follow your bliss, keep doing what makes you happy and exercise literally makes you sexy, beautiful, radiant and happy.

Photo by Nappy Photography

Here are some Girl Boss articles on exercise

Sleep

It’s so important to be well rested. Cultivating sleep hygiene is so good for your body and brain. But it also makes you beautiful. That’s why it’s called getting your ‘beauty rest’ or ‘beauty sleep’. When you’re tired your skin is dull and thin. Your eyes are strained and you get dark skin around the eyes. Your eyes themselves are not bright and present, they’re strained and blood-shot. Your skin may break out. Your body repairs itself during sleep, therefore while your consciousness roams the astral plans, your physical body the unconscious mind, is doing intricate processing like repairing skin cells and pumping nutrients to where they need to be for optimal functioning, this results in a healthy glow and a peaceful presence. If you’re having trouble sleeping, try exercising as it improves the quality of your sleep, everything is connected.

Maintaining a sense of well-being is serious business and one should look at it as a personal investment. It’s all about getting Girl Bosses to live the life in which you are the most blissful, joyful and performing at your peak. This isn’t something you do once, it is a lifelong commitment, to choose and prioritize your well-being. 

Human beings are beautiful, we are truly a beautiful creation. The secret to boosting your beauty is adopting a healthy lifestyle. Always remember, vanity is not the answer to whatever woes you are going through. Being obsessed with the perfect body and or losing weight in itself is not good for a healthy mind. Therefore, be aim to impeccable with your mental hygiene as well. Exercise, eating and drinking healthily also improve your self-esteem. It’s all about self-love. Which is getting to the place where you love and appreciate who you are.

Photo by Shalom Mwenesi

Vagina Love is Self-Love

The world thinks that vaginas are scary and gross. Maybe it’s because women menstruate? Interestingly, “menstruation is the only blood that is not born from violence, yet it’s the one that disgusts you the most”- Maia Schwartz. Its as if vaginas are dreadful like Voldemort from Harry Potter, “[S]he who shall not be named”. So, we try to relinquish her power by giving her diminutive names or simply referring to her as ‘down there’ like she’s some enigma. Well, this is a patriarchal world and that is not a mystery.

Patriarchy simply put, is the belief that men are the head of the family. Women are seen as less than men, and then children come last in terms of familial and community influence. The penis is seen as more powerful because it penetrates a woman during sexual intercourse. And because of this action, men are seen as having more physical ability than women. This belief is so embedded, that people are convinced God is a man.

Photo by Mariam Soliman

The result is that vaginas are misunderstood and neglected. Some girls don’t know what their feminine essence even looks like. She also has a fragrance and this too is disparaged. There is a whole industry that tries to get women to alter the smell of their womanhood with harsh chemicals. Trust me your flower doesn’t have to smell floral, to be seen as one.

Photo by Eye for Ebony

Tragically, labiaplasty is on the rise. This is cosmetic surgery on the vagina to change her appearance, to make her lips smaller like those of porn stars. The bottom line is that woman don’t feel like their vagina’s are beautiful. I don’t know if it is the male gaze that has created this perception. Or, is it a result of woman constantly comparing themselves to the images they see in the media? As pornographic media is mainly made by men, it is probably due to the combinations of these two reasons.

Why do we constantly compare ourselves to others?

Theodore Roosevelt said, “comparison is the thief of joy”. If there is one sure-fire way to make yourself feel miserable it’s to judge yourself inadequate in relation to others. I think people compare themselves to others because they want to feel accepted, that their existence is valid and that they are approved of by society. This makes sense as we are social by nature. But this does become problematic when you can only approve of yourself only after you have gained the approval of others. So as women, it is problematic when we can only approve of ourselves and our vaginas when we feel men have approved. We need to love and approve of ourselves and therefore, our vaginas.

Photo by Boris Smokrovic

There is nothing wrong with your vagina. She’s mighty and she wants you to acknowledge her. We all know she’s capable of powerful things like birthing new life and epic healing orgasms. I think vaginas are beautiful, and like a snowflake, no two are exactly alike. We should embrace our unique vulva’s. It’s essential for self-love.

Show love to your vagina, because that is caring for yourself. Do not douche or use invasive chemicals to cleanse her, wash her with clean water. I do not think her natural scent is embarrassing or shameful. Stand up for her, no means no, don’t let men pressure you into having sex. And, if she’s not sufficiently turned on it’s okay to say I’m not ready for penetration, I want more foreplay.  Your pleasure is just as important as your partners. Women have become chronically dissatisfied with hetero-normative sex. In a study conducted by OMGyes, it was found that only 17% of women orgasm from vaginal penetration. If you’re a woman this is no surprise but if you’re a man reading this, yes you read that right. Only 17%.

“From 2015 to today, we’ve conducted in-depth interviews with over 3,000 women, surveyed over 15,000 and conducted the first-ever nationally (US) representative studies about the specifics of women’s pleasure and touch with over 4,000 more women, ages 18-95 – in partnership with researchers at Indiana University School of Medicine, Indiana University’s School of Public Health and The Kinsey Institute. Our research has been peer-reviewed and published.”

OMGyes.com

The truth is many women fake orgasms. The time has come for us to be honest with our lovers and say, this is just not doing it for me. The patriarchy thinks, that vaginas are just for birthing babies and men’s pleasure. But the truth is most men don’t consciously believe this, they would love to be the stud you dream of in your fantasies. So, we women need to illuminate the true path of female sexual ecstasy for our lovers and therefore, ourselves.

Photo by Leighann Renee

Protect her, use protection. Don’t be scared of buying condoms, it shows you are taking care of yourself. With South Africa’s high HIV/Aids infection rate we just can’t be having sex without condoms. A realistic adult insists on protection. Unless you and your partner are planning for children of course. 

Wear breathable underwear to prevent yeast infections and its more comfortable, not this tight synthetic fabric nonsense. Look at her with a mirror, she’s not a monster whom you’re afraid to make eye contact with. But she is powerful and deserves to be adored, just as she is. Find a partner who respects her, but don’t forget to respect your vagina first.

How All Returning Varsity Students Should Boss Up

This article is dedicated to those who are returning students, and have a desire to improve their ways. These ways could be academically, physically, mentally and just ones overall health. But of course we can all learn from this, even ‘freshers’ or first year students.

The university experience is by far one of the most challenging and tiresome, as returning students we can all detest to this. I think the most challenging aspect about it is trying to find the balance between everything. You obviously want to do well at school, perhaps you’ve already had these visions about your academic success, and you already know what you have to do in order to achieve your ultimate academic goal. But reality doesn’t always unfold the way we plan it, and this can be frustrating. Well, it is for me. It doesn’t unfold the way we planned for it because we constantly have to remember that we are more than just our academic journey. Perhaps if we wanted to be highly successful beings we’d have to have a plan for our mental health and activity, our spiritual journey as well as our physical health… oh let’s not forget balancing our social life. Oh god how do people do it? How? Please share?

What I’ve learnt from those who are ahead in life than I am is how imperative it is to be organized and the best way to be organized is to possess a diary, and start scheduling. Yes, schedule. Become that girl ‘Oh, I would have to check my schedule/diary and get back to you’ it’s 100% okay. I don’t know why we think that we can remember everything that has to be done, the cool thing about a diary or schedule is that you don’t have to actively remember everything, as soon as you know that something has to be ticked off from your to-do list, instantly write it down and your diary will remember it for you. All you have to do now is be disciplined enough to do what you have scheduled to do when you have scheduled to have it done.

Yes, our biggest friend and enemy at the same time has to be unfriended and unfollowed, PROCRASTINATION. Procrastination is the enemy of progress. Why do we procrastinate? It has been found that one of the biggest reasons humans procrastinate is because the workload seems unmanageable, therefore we opt to do something that does not require as much effort, like watching a series, even if we binge watch, it still does not require that much effort. How can we resolve this? Once, a woman I value to be considerably wise told me that ‘you shouldn’t think that everything has to be done all at once, that is utterly impossible, and that is when you will feel overwhelmed, and the result of that is that you will get nothing done. What you should do instead, is make sure that you do one thing at a time, and no day should pass without you haven’t done anything, even if it’s just one thing.’ What you choose to have done will be what you consider to be the most important things to do on your list. You can judge that according to time, like which is more urgent than the other.

Once you have mastered your academic organization and scheduling readings, writing down lecture notes in your own words, that assignment, and that test you will be able to find time to schedule other things that add value to your well-being, like socializing. Socializing is just as important as doing well at school, the only difference is applied energy, and that is why some people get carried away with this. It seems so much easier to just hang out with friends than it does doing anything involving schoolwork. But this is where your priorities are questioned, which is more important and which is more rewarding? How about going out as a reward, and it doesn’t have to be something big all the time, even if you have completed something minor. For example, ‘okay I’ve completed all the readings I intended to have done and made notes, sure I can meet with my girl for a movie now’. Socializing doesn’t always have to be big and loud either, dinner is a sufficient way to get your mind off many other things.

Exercise! I cannot distress this enough, physical exercise is just beneficial in all ways possible. You gain a feeling of happiness; this is due to a change in hormones.

Side note: the minute you sense yourself slipping into a depressive state just head to the gym or for a walk, put your headphones on and break a sweat.

This extra blood flow and release of serotonin (hormone responsible for happiness and satisfaction) will improve your current mental state. Exercising adds agility and motivation in many aspects than just the physical, which is very useful when one wishes to complete anything.

 There are some things that we are unaware of that we may have to schedule in but are important to our perseverance and ultimate survival, such a thing is your spirituality, it is your grounding element. Whether religious or simply spiritual it is important to have constant retreats where you tend to nothing else but you and your spiritual journey. This is where the source of your doings lie. This is where your journey begins and is where your journey on this earth ends. Therefore, maintaining a healthy relationship with your spiritual self is crucial to your success as a person.

Like I mentioned before the most challenging aspect about all of these is about finding the balance. But as I’ve listed, once you find your academic balance the rest can follow, in no particular order too, it depends on which you find the most mandatory, but all are equally important. Once there is a sense of organization and you find that you can manage your time better, then there is noting that can stand in your way, you could even get a part-time job, take on more responsibility but you shouldn’t reach a stage where you’re choking. Create a healthy balance.

Moulding Your Career While Studying

Amongst other things, the aim of going to study in a tertiary institution is to get that paper. The one that certifies that you are knowledgeable in whatever course you’ve enrolled for. But what happens when 300 students receive that same diploma/degree that you have and graduate along with you? Now that is just considering the students in your college or university. Let’s take that number and multiply it by the number of institutions which offer the same course you just graduated in. I don’t know what the exact figure is, but I do know that it is a lot.

How do you then set yourself apart from the other thousands of students who’ve got the same qualification as you? How do you make sure that your CV stands out and recruiters see you amongst all those who’ve got the same skills as you?

These are the two main questions I think you need to keep in mind while studying. Yes, the immediate need is to submit assignments on time and pass semester tests and exams. But what happens after all of that? According to Stats SA 430 000 people were unemployed in 2017 and 7.3% were graduates. This number of unemployed graduates is horrifying to be honest and begs the question of whether a tertiary qualification is necessary. That, however needs an entire article dedicated to it.

The simplest answer to these questions is this; you need to get involved in things than can assist you to develop your career outside of the formal structures of learning. Do not confine yourself to only learning in lecture halls, find learning and development opportunities separate outside of that. Tertiary institutions are actually structured in aa manner which is conducive to this learning and development. Campus itself is a community of various industries which can assist you in building yourself for after varsity.

Working on campus is a viable option to consider while you’re studying towards getting that paper. Campus radio and newspaper are great starting points for aspiring broadcasters. Do not despise small beginnings because you do not know what they can lead to. A Girl Boss like Hilisani Ravele’s campus radio experience has been a contributing factor to the success of her career. She has co-hosted shows on Power FM and 94.7 to name a few. Even if you do not become a broadcaster, being on radio or writing for the newspaper will develop your communication skills and give you invaluable experience.

Here’s a brief list of other developmental avenues to consider while studying:

  • Internships and volunteer programs – these provide great work experience and also indicate how your able to balance school and work
  • Involvement in SRC and campus societies – these will expose you to how the working world is like through the various seminar/events the society organizes. You can pick a society which is both social and purposeful; for example, being part of the student’s law society as a law student is rudimentary.
  • Part-time work: retail stores/tutoring
  • Campus work: tutoring/ radio/newspaper/ IT services – working on campus is great because you would have access to it easily. There are various services provided by the varsity/college to students which need student to work in them. For example; the IT department helps students with issue they have with their own laptops; these services administered by “student employees”.

See your qualification as the bare minimum requirement to getting a job and work towards making your CV stand out from the rest of the applicants’.

I unfortunately did not have the foresight while I was still in varsity regarding all of this. Do not buy into the dream that all you need is a qualification and for that reason, finding a job will be easy; because a rude awakening awaits. By the time I realised the importance of truly moulding my career while studying, I was halfway through my second year and only had about a year and a half to try and up my game. Had I known the importance of this from orientation week in 1st year, I would’ve been more proactive about giving myself a competitive advantage from the onset.

Finding Different Ways to Exercise

We recently posted an article (https://girlbosssa.com/2019/02/13/the-healing-powers-of-celery/) that looked at the Healing Powers of Celery. But more specifically the article covered how we could go about achieving our body goals focusing on 80% clean diet and 20% exercise, the 80/20 rule. Health and fitness gurus are constantly developing innovative techniques to assist with physical exercising outside of the conventional gym institute. Nowadays heading to the gym only counts as a singular approach, and there is more than one way to obtain physical satisfaction.

As noted, what really contributes the most to one’s physical health is your diet. If we can simply get this under wraps than we are more than half way to reaching our desired body state. Eating 80% clean requires that we become more conscious about the foods we feed our body. If it does not fuel you then it may not be necessary. The best way to go about a clean diet is becoming informed about what you are consuming. Actively participating by reading food labels, understanding how many calories are required per day according to our Body Mass Index (BMI – Weight and height combined), eating more wholesome foods etc. In the past the idea of eating 5 – 6 meals a day is what was regarded to be the ideal, especially when trying to minimize unnecessary binging. However, not everyone is designed the same, and eating only when we find ourselves hungry is just as sufficient. The trick is eating well, with the occasional ‘cheat treat’.

Working out from home

I like to consider myself as somebody who is inconsistently consistent when it comes to maintaining an exercising routine. What I mean by this is that a long period such as 6 months could never go by without me engaging in some physical exercise, and by engaging I mean for a good 3 months. But I usually die out. That is why is has become imperative that I find other means to keep fit outside of the gym, because I speculate that the biggest reason behind my fall is boredom or simply finding the process tedious.

Home Workouts:

To be quite frank, the most amount of weight I have lost was outside of the gym, simply working out in an open space at home. Cardio was my main focus, as I knew that I needed to shed more fat. But shedding fat alone is not enough, as what helps your body maintain a certain weight is toning. This is muscle that is layered over the fat, so basically it is the process of converting the remaining fat into muscle, which would make it harder to revert back to fat. YouTube should be your best friend as there are plenty of free home videos at your disposal, catering to all type of workouts, ranging from toning, cardio, core strength, you name it. Alternatively, you can purchase DVDs or buy online videos. There are videos that don’t require for you to have any equipment.

I don’t know about your social media timelines, but mine is trending with home workout videos. Lately this has been my go to source, and it is as simple as monkey see monkey do. You can also Google or use Pinterest to source still imagines that guide you, e.g. 10 burpees, 30 squats, 1 min wall sit, I find that all of these are just as effective.

Yoga:

I just love yoga because it goes beyond hardcore training; it is also a spiritual exercise that coaches you on breathing as well as raising your consciousness. It highly underestimated but in all of my yoga classes I have died, because they are so intense.

There are different types of yoga practices, some focus on breathing, some on stretching and other strength. But it is definitely effective and you will break a sweat. YogaTrail is an app Iove to use. It provides you with classes that are happening nearby and in your city. It gives you information about the instructor, it also tells you which classes are free or not. You can reserve your spot for a class on the app and even go as far as communicating with the instructor. YouTtube is an alternative great source for practicing yoga in the comfort of your own space.

Hiking:

Even though I regard myself as inconsistently consistent, I still never seem to be fit enough for hiking. It always seems like I should opt for beginner level even though I want to think that I am at least intermediary level. Hiking is not joke, but it is refreshing as being out in nature has the propensity to relinquish and refresh one soul. But you must be prepared, especially when hiking with people who are experienced the sport, you will fall behind and you will work those quads! Download and look at the Komoot app for trails and information near you, it is helpful!

Boot Camps:

These are fun and exciting, especially if you enjoy outdoor training. I use to love boot camps that take place at the botanical garden. The energy is high and everyone is in on same mission. It is also a great way to make friends. You develop a fitness circle and in most cases your friends will push you beyond what you can push yourself. I honestly love boot camps, because I find outdoor training to be the most effective form or exercise, especially if you have established goals.

There really is no excuse as to why we cannot reach our desired weight or fitness level. The most work we have to do is find internal motivation, which should be easy because you are the person who is not happy with the scale or whatever reason. Training boosts our energy levels, it releases endorphins and hormones which make us feel good and happy, it is the ultimate solution to any of your internal and physical problems!