Five Life Lessons I Learned After Reading The Art of Being a Woman by Véronique Vienne.
1. There’s gratitude behind giving a standing ovation.
In the entirety of my twenty four years on this earth, I have never once wanted to be a mean girl. When I say that, I mean that I always wanted to be a woman who actively includes others and encourages them to be themselves. I believe that happiness comes when you share kindness with others and a connection is created when you expose yourself as having a kind heart. My first take-away from this book, was this lesson: there is gratitude behind giving a standing ovation. There is so much to be said about cultivating a kind heart and showing it. Ultimately we as women have the ability to be sympathetic and sometimes even empathetic. These traits alone, can bring us much closer to a more fulfilling life of happiness. So don’t be afraid to compliment others, or to take a moment to applaud someone for something small, because in the end those words will travel a very far way
2. Saying goodbye to jealousy.
Time to take jealousy and flip it completely upside down. In the book, the author talks about how women perceive jealousy towards other women. She explained a new way to look at the meaning of what it is to be jealous. As women, we compare ourselves to others constantly and now with social media, it is so easy to feel like we aren’t doing, or being enough compared to others. Every woman has their “je ne sais quoi” and we need to appreciate it instead of using it against ourselves to belittle our own qualities. Instead of hating on a woman for being who she is, look at it like a source of inspiration to uplift your own life. When you start feeling these moments of jealousy, look at it this way: other women are teachers not competitors. We are here to learn from each other instead of compete with each other.
3. Prince Charming doesn’t have to be the one to save you.
“A knight who disappoints a damsel does her the greatest favor- that of reminding her that she doesn’t need to be rescued after all.” This was the first quote I highlighted while reading this book. It resonated with me so deeply because I came from a family whose knight disappeared on them. After my parents’ divorce, my mom picked up the pieces and seamlessly created a new normal for our family. It was her unwillingness to back down from a crisis and her ability to recover all by herself that has always inspired me to become as independent and strong as she was. The idea of a man coming in on a white horse to save you is a fantasy that I used to watch in Disney movies all the time. The fantasy is appealing and sounds romantic, but in reality, I find my strength in knowing I can take care of myself.
4. The better way to measure beauty.
Whenever I discuss beauty with other women, this quote from Audrey Hepburn always comes to mind: “The beauty of a woman is not in a facial mode but the true beauty in a woman is reflected in her soul. It is the caring that she lovingly gives the passion that she shows. The beauty of a woman grows with the passing years.” In the book, the author talks about the way we define beauty in “makeovers.” But there are ways to express beauty that don’t have anything to do with your appearance. I define beauty by how eloquently a woman can carry a conversation, or by how interesting her facial expressions or body language are. These are the little things that add to a woman’s “je ne se quois” and makes her undeniably beautiful in her own way. My take-away about this lesson is that beauty is in the eye of the beholder and in Paris, this truism is taken literally, meaning that no one is ever unattractive. Looks are by no means the measure of your beauty.
4. Your family will always be your shelter.
The time spent with family, is the time allowed to shut off from the world. There is a comfort in knowing that family was there from the very beginning and you can always be yourself with them. They have seen all your seasons and how you have changed. Honoring these relationships and keeping them strong is so important as you get older, and that’s something that can get difficult when you hit your adult life and have the challenges of balancing everyday commitments. This is the one lesson I know I needed to hear.
| Photography by Lauryn Alvarez & styled in partnership with Mimi Ranft from Albright Fashion Library LA | For purchase head to: The Art of Being a Woman