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As I was reading the news recently, I came across an interesting article that says that women “peak” at age thirty-one in key categories such as beauty, confidence and personality. This contradicts many of the phrases that we have in our society such as “after thirty, it all goes downhill” or that the older a woman gets, the less desirable she is to men (unless of course she’s a “cougar”).

Younger women have always seemed to be getting special treatment, yet according to a recent poll, “thirty-one is the new twenty-one” and there’s a stronger evidence to suggest that older women are becoming more revered. This new research (a poll by QVC) apparently confirms that “with age comes beauty” and with the combination of “confidence, style, and personality,” women show “real beauty.” What does it mean to be “beautiful,” then? We’ve been taught since childhood that being beautiful “from the inside out” is a trait that we should emulate, but what does “beauty” truly mean in the sense of age, especially for those of us women who are strong, independent, and in the prime of our lives?

According to the poll referenced above, there are three components of “beauty” that got the most votes: confidence, style, and personality. What do all of these words really mean, though? What’s the true meaning behind having confidence, style, and personality in regards to age?

1. Confidence – To me, confidence has always meant the ability to hold your head up high and not care about what others think. It’s important to be able to exude this air of self-respect, since in this complex world, if you don’t have faith in yourself first, it’s harder for others to mirror that respect back to you. Confidence has to come from within first and foremost – once it radiates from your pores, it’s easier for you to spread it to others. As you gets older and more accustomed to how life works, confidence typically increases due to life experiences that change and evolve you. It’s true to say that age makes you wiser and able to embody self-confidence, since you know what to expect out of life and have formed a tougher skin. Through being no-nonsense, women radiate beauty – since they’re looking at the world straight in the face and don’t need others to build them up. That straight-forward attitude comes with age and therefore it’s easy to see the beauty in that strength.

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2. Style – Correlated with #1, confidence exuded from the way a woman carries herself with clothes, accessories, and physical appearance is strongly related to style. “Style” can also refer to the general attitude expressed through movement, verbal cues, and eye contact. Only when all of those elements are together can there be a strong, independent woman vibe that encompasses attitude and beauty. While the clothes and physical appearance are related to visible beauty, it’s the underlying side of beauty that really comes with age. If you have that “way” about you that’s only present because you know so much about life, then it’s a wisdom-filled, age-old style that makes you who you are. Style is learned, not immediately present from the get-go. It’s this “learned” element of life experience that radiates the true beauty from within.

3. Personality – Compared to both confidence and style, personality is the most interchangeable element of a person. You’re born with the way you understand things about the world, yet you can change over time. However, personality always seems to stay with you as something that IS essentially who you are – the way you interact with others, view yourself, and take on the world all rolled into one. Personalities can have positive and negative traits, yet in the end, they always seem to balance each other out and create a person that’s like a yin-yang, with both dark and light sides. A person’s personality is a connection to their beauty precisely because personalities evolve over a lifetime and by age thirty-one, who you are is mostly set in stone, but more malleable and easy to manage. Having the knowledge that thirty-one years can provide is invaluable and adds confidence and style to your personality that wouldn’t otherwise be there. Beauty is a combination of the good traits you have, as well as the ability to show them off and wear them like you would your favorite outfit: gracefully and with a smile. Being who you are is important, but it’s also beautiful the way it’s done.

With the combination of traits like confidence, style, and personality, it’s no wonder that strong, independent women at thirty-one are at the top of their prime. Knowing who you are and where you’re going are two of the most important parts of life and as women age, they become more comfortable in their own skin and can do amazing things. Girls, if you get one thing out of this article, it’s that you shouldn’t worry about getting older – your life can only get better. In reality, you can be any age you want. It’s the age that you FEEL that matters, as beauty isn’t only skin deep – it’s in your soul, sisters! Go out and obtain what you want because you’re worth it in the end.

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