Sunday, February 6, 2011

Let Your Light Shine- Beauty at 40

You Light Up My Life: The BFF is the poster-child for inner and outer beauty.

Her character shows on her face and plays an integral part of her charms.
 People are like stained-glass windows. They sparkle and shine when the sun is out, but when the darkness sets in, their true beauty is revealed only
if there is a light within.

                                                                                     -Elizabeth Kubler-Ross
 Beauty is not in the face;
beauty is a light in the heart.    

                                                                                   -Kahlil Gibran
Beauty at Forty. My BFF is going to kill me. I am posting pictures of her without a stitch of make-up, lack of sleep and a really, really bad week. She is unapologetic in her vanity, and is in our circle, considered a great beauty. Has been for a few decades. She is now 40.  When we met, she was 19, had a fake I.D., a wild streak, and looked like America's Sweetheart- only with a  tattoo, a couple pairs of doc martens and a penchant for bad boys. Ah, good times. We became fast friends the moment our matching cowboy boots met in 1988, and she's been a good friend ever since. The BEST.  

She's always been a looker, losing her baby fat sweetness at 20, and grew into a svelte action figure. She has worked out religiously for a couple of decades now, swears by Pilates, and is proud of her body. She dresses to the 9's anytime she pleases. She's a fantastic dresser! Although my favorite looks of her are when she is wearing sweats, has bed-head, and a naked face.  

Beauty is character. She has never confused herself with her glamour-side. Oh sure, the BFF enjoys dolling up, and feeling beautiful, but has never been too attached to it. The BFF is not the type to run into the bathroom to throw on some make-up if there's unexpected company. A T-shirt, shorts and flip-flops do in a pinch. And when she shows up all plain-jane and still stops traffic, well, you just gotta love her. Doesn't hurt that she's smart as a whip,  down-to-earth, funny and a fiercely faithful friend. It all adds to her glorious-ness.

She is a beautiful Four-Oh. She recently celebrated her fortieth birthday, but like most of us at 38, she had worried. She fretted that she was going to lose her looks, succumb to a crow's feet stampede, become a frump, and turn invisible. But, by her 40th birthday, her worry dissolved into indifference. Maybe it's because she really likes herself, is comfortable in her own skin, still looks hella hot, and loves her life. And, at 40, this woman is a paradigm of beauty.

Beauty is As Beauty Does. I guess I should be showing you pictures of my girl all dolled up, 'cuz she is a stunner. In fact you can see a few I posted here, here, here, and here. But I want to show her in her natural glory, where her personality outshines any lipstick. Here she is being beautiful on just 4 hours of sleep, is a bit undone without a whisper of a cosmetic, and had just endured one of the shittiest weeks of her life. Looking chock-full of character and beauty. 
Watch your thoughts, for they become words.
Watch your words, for they become actions.
Watch your actions, for they become habits.
Watch your habits, for they become character.
Watch your character, for it becomes your destiny.                                                         
And that, my friends is the beauty of a woman with character.

(photo credit: Bella Q) 


xNTA said...

This was an excellent post. I loved it. And your bff is absolutely stunning with and without makeup, she is gorgeous. Even better? She's not just a pretty face it seems. :)
Have a great one! x

the Citizen Rosebud said...

Thanks, xNTA! Yeah, she's good peeps.
PS: I'll check out your blog tommorrow!

Unknown said...

What a wonderful tribute to a sweet friend! I think women who age gracefully should be celebrated. Thank YOU and your bff for being a part of that celebration! ~Serene

Marta said...

inspiring post! and you bff is so beautiful!

Anonymous said...

She has a fantastic smile! I've found that age has its compensations in peace of mind and do NOT envy anyone their bumbling youth.

Lovely tribute to your friend.

Liv said...

What an awesomely sweet love letter to your best friend! She is absolutely gorgeous! At 32 I do sometimes fret a new wrinkle and stubborn greys but my stunner of a best friend, at thirty-five, is the most glamorously fabulous rock chick alive, despite life constantly knocking her down. Some people are just lit from within. Really lovely post!xx

My Heart Blogged said...

She is gorgeous. I don't mind aging, as long as I do it gracefully. I hope I look as good as she does at 40. It's also good not to take beauty too seriously. It's okay to be bare faced, it's still beautiful.
My Heart Blogged

Stephanie Loudmouth said...

This is amazing, Bella! You have such a way with words; I love when your posts become personal. Her freckles are so cute :)

the Citizen Rosebud said...

well put, Liv an Vanessa. Beauty really does start from within. Or at least stays when you find it on the inside.

Anonymous said...

RQ (and what is your preferred address? Obviously not Raqui)

Love this a 41 year old.

I enjoy your blog and links to your friends. Such great variety from my usual friends. Glad you "friended" me on FB.

Mel (sis)

The Wh0le Story said...

I love this! She has a beautiful smile that just radiates.

Penny Dreadful Vintage said...

She is an absolute beauty, that smile is a winnner. And when you see people looking so dolled up on blogs ALL the time, it is really refreshing to see people without make-up or hair done and still looking happy and fresh and gorgeous.

Btw, until I read a post from you last week, I had no idea you were 40 (or was it 42? I can't remember). I was shocked, I thought you were my age or younger! (ie, 31). Being happy and creative is what it's all about, clearly x

Lee Oliveira said...

My partner is 40 and older he looks more in love I am with him. ( i hope i look good like him when I reach my 40's)...
He's beyond gorgeous and very happy still after 7 years together.
Lee x

Anupriya DG said...

What a beautiful post dear! Both of you are soooooooo lucky to have each other as friends!!! She's absolutely gorgeous.......I hope I can have 1/10th of that glamour when I turn 40!!! :)

Anonymous said...

She has a lovely smile! I am lucky to have a best friend who is beautiful inside and out too :)

Comewhinewithme said...

She is really beautiful! I hope she will appreciate this wonderful post! Lovely written!

Enter my follower giveaway!

Anonymous said...

I don't think she's going to kill you. She'll probably be happy because this is such a beautiful post.

Isquisofrenia said...

sucha good quote so true !
yeah girl i annonced it back in november hahha

Demie said...

Hey girl great post and generally very creative blog.I feel like I should follow you.Love your black and white photos.You could follouw me back if you'd like to.

Peace & Love
Demie xxx

Pam @ over50feeling40 said...

Bella, I love this post and I am going to use it for teaching my high school girls!! Amazing words!
Also, your BFF is gorgeous...I wanted to say that before I looked at the other pictures...but she is a beautiful woman without fixing up! Thanks for sharing and giving me something to share with all of my girls!

the Citizen Rosebud said...

@Demie: consider yourself followed!
@Pam- I'd be honored if you shared this with your girls. My goal is to really show by example and words that our beauty isn't a prop to get love, but a cause and effect that we are loved. First we love ourselves!

Good Eye said...

AMEN!!! I can't even tell you how much I love everything about this post. I'm 36 & I feel adrift in a sea of teenage fashion bloggers. It's so exciting to find a fashion blog that celebrates WOMEN, not youth. Your friend is fabulous & so are you. xoxo

Kristy Elena said...

i LOVE this post. i love seeing beautiful, confident women at every age, it's one of the great things about the blogosphere because we actually get exposed to that. i will never be the type of person to put down youth because i feel like that just creates the problem on the other side of the spectrum -- but i get really tired of seeing teens dolled up to look like women in their 30s, 40s, so on and so forth. it's really ridiculous.

i love everything you wrote as well and i think this tribute you made for your bff is really sweet. what an inspirational post. this is just one of the many reasons why i adore you!!!! =)

Kristy Eléna - Full Time Fabulous
Vogue Gone Rogue
Twitter: @kristyelena

mispapelicos said...

She is fantastic. What a brilliant idea to take on to the fringe age of 40- 50- 60 to show style.
Mil besos corazón.

Annie Spandex said...

She is absolutely beautiful! This post is also beautiful.. <3

Raquelita said...

What a great post and tribute to your gorgeous friend! Happy belated birthday to her!

Anonymous said...

A beautiful post of a beautiful woman by a beautiful woman. I love this Bella. Nothing inspires me more than the confidence, grace and character of a beautiful woman. x

Fabienne Jach said...

That just warms my heart, that's total sweetness right there. I wear my forties loud and proud. There's no shame in having wrinkles around my eyes from smiling too much. That the kind of face I WANT to have! There's a saying about women and aging which ends with something to the like of a woman in her 40's has the face she's earned. I take that in a very positive manner.

You know what the best part of this post is? It's a reflection of you and what's in your heart. As far as I can tell you just got even more beautiful. Love!

Casee Marie said...

Lovely Bella, this post is just stellar. Your BFF is gorgeous and I love how effortlessly she owns her beauty. I appreciate so much when women flaunt their natural beauty, whatever their age, and embrace their look. You see so many women of all ages trying to trick the rest of the world into thinking they belong to some other generation, and for what? It all comes down to the fact that we are who we are and the most beautiful thing we can do is accept it, show the world just what we're made of - no matter how long we've been made of it! Thanks for the inspiration.

P.S. I also want to thank you for your sweet comment on my feature at Anika's blog. I feel terrible for not replying before now, but I just wanted you to know that it really made me smile! And blush. And generally delight in being me.

Beautifully Invisible said...

Finally catching up on my commenting! I read this when you first posted it but never had a moment to come back and PROPERLY say what I wanted to. There is absolutely no denying that your BFF is absolutely stunning. To me, it doesn't matter how gorgeous someone looks when they get all dolled up - if you cake on enough makeup just about everyone will look good. What TRULY matters is their natural beauty, and your BFF just oozes it. It's no wonder you two connected as you did because you are a natural beauty as well - you both just glow, and I love it!

Also - I adore the way you write. Absolutely adore it. Your descriptions always suck me in, and even though I haven't had much time to comment lately, trust me when I say that I have loved reading every single word of your posts!

Ulla-Marie said...

I can not even go to the mailbox without makeup, but I think that many other women look their best without make up. And I love the look, a pale face and just a lipstick. Makes no sence.