Authenticity and beauty go hand in hand...
My dining room, with the living room in the background.
Style is as unique to each individual as a petal is to a flower. Things I find fabulous you may find ho-hum.
But as I've gotten older, one of the things I have discovered is that even though something might not be to my personal taste or style, I can still see the beauty in it. A lot of times, being able to do that means seeing something through someone else's eyes.
I'm not big on super modern, contemporary decorating. One of my friends, however, is. And you know what? I love her house. Absolutely love it, even though it's not my taste. Partly because she's my friend, but mostly because her love and enthusiasm for what she considers beautiful shines through. And it's nearly impossible to be in the midst of that and not appreciate it.
My friend's fabulous dining room.
Another friend of mine has a love of green and earth tones, with a sort of contemporary country flair. Her dining room in particular is great, as you can see above. And though it's not necessarily how I would choose to decorate, as you can see from the photo of my dining room, I really love her sense of style. (And if I thought I could get away with it, I'd steal that wardrobe from her in a heartbeat.)
Many people would never consider a pink-dominated living room. For me, there's just no other way - it suits. And you know what? Even though my friends would never have such a thing, they love it because it is so me. The lesson? By embracing what we each feel is beautiful and putting it out there for the world to see, we have put forth part of our true selves. And people respond to it because it is authentic.
My pink love seat.
Same goes for your personal appearance, too. How many times have you run across a woman who makes you think "I could never dress that way," but you find yourself drawn to her nevertheless. You know why? Her sense of herself is on display and you recognize that and are responding to her authenticity.
Embrace beauty in whatever form you want. If you're not quite sure where to start because you aren't sure what your tastes are, hang on. We'll get to that.