on Mother's Day

The 10 Understated Qualities of a Truly Beautiful Woman

Reflections on our perception of beauty

by Dr. Sherrie Campbell


There is no doubt that there is great value assigned to external beauty.

For some, how they look physically is simply an expression and celebration of their internal beauty, but often those who are physically attractive are emotionally unattractive. To be beautiful inside and out, you must possess more than a pretty shell.

10 Understated Qualities of Beauty

1. Elegance
Elegance is that dignified grace about your appearance, movement, personal style or behavior. To be elegant is to be strong and assured in who you are and to move gently within that energy.

When you possess elegance you are graceful even amidst a challenge. You are able to handle yourself in a noble and ethical manner. You hold good posture, your energy has a mystery, softness, strength and cleverness to it. You are vulnerable yet self-assured. Elegance is the undeniable quality of the depth of your personal wisdom.

2. Kindness
The kindness of your spirit, how you treat, think about, and speak to others comes from a genuine and sensitive place. You are kind, even to those whom you do not care for. You are aware that you can love someone even if you do not like them. Being kind may be perceived as weakness or vulnerability by others, but you know that kindness is one of your strongest influences. If you can’t say something nice, you have the control to remain quiet. There is no other human quality that will get you further in life than kindness.

3. Composure
Composure is the beauty of self-control. Life is always going to bring its challenges. Without a sense of composure it is easy to allow conflict-situations and relationships to unnerve you, but when you have composure you understand the concept of less equals more. The less you react, defend, explain, become fearful or controlling the more command you have over a situation. Having composure allows you to stand tall with grace in the face of loss, challenge and also not to be overly boastful when it comes to your success. Composure allows you maintain a certain stillness in the face of life’s changes.

4. Courage
Be willing to dare greatly in your life. It takes courage to love fully, to change yourself when necessary, to feel deeply, to leave love when it’s scary and to chase your dreams with passion and an unwavering tenacity. You are aware that to become courageous you must do courageous things. You also know it is not loudness of your mouth but the depth of your character, to keep going no matter your circumstances, which makes you thrive.

5. Confident
When you are self-loving you naturally possess a quiet confidence. Your self-awareness, dedication to self-development and personal growth provides you the knowledge to succeed at nearly anything you seek. Because of your life experiences and inner depth, you can be certain positive things will happen in your life because you depend upon yourself to have the information and willingness to do the work necessary to get to your result.

6. Deliberate
You are clear and persistent about who you are, where you are headed in life and what you want from your relationships to be happy. In being deliberate people know where they stand with you. You get what you want in life because you are clear in saying what you want. You use each challenge life brings to positively refine yourself. This refinement keeps your life clean of negativity. Being deliberate keeps you pointed in the direction of your dreams, connected to your true loves and to living genuinely as who you are. In being deliberate your life is not set up on pretenses. Who you are does not change from person to person or situation to situation.

People gravitate towards what is real

7. Intelligent
Intelligence is about knowledge, but even more so about emotions. In being aware of your emotional patterns you are endowed with the flexibility to handle challenge and change, allowing you to unlock smart solutions to your problems. With a well-rounded intelligence you carry yourself in a stately and unafraid manner. You are secure that there are a multitude of choices available, so there is no need to be reactive. In being emotionally grounded you have the ability to keep your eyes on the bigger picture turning obstacles into opportunities.

8. Humble
Life isn’t all about you, in fact, you prefer to celebrate the accomplishments of others as much as your own. You are proud of who you are but have no need to add histrionics to your success. Most of the time you prefer being in the background, working hard and allowing your success speak for itself. You are sensitive and want the best for everyone. You do not see yourself above others as you are secure enough in yourself that the trap of comparison doesn’t interest you. You enjoy your life for what it is and do not feel entitled to more without the commensurate work to back it up.

9. Honest
People gravitate towards what is real. You are simple, upfront, gentle, but direct in the ‘being’ of who you are. You are content to live life patiently and know how to wait well. For you life is about being authentic and following your heart and nothing else. You are someone others can depend upon as you have no ulterior motives. You are relationship oriented not agenda oriented. You believe the truth is the only path to success and deep intimacy. You do change who you are based on who you are with. You are who you are and your priority in life is to feel happy and satisfied.

10. Loving
There is nothing more appealing to others than to be in the presence of a loving person. When you love yourself you have endless love to give. For you love is a verb and it is expresses itself through loving kindness, touch, your smile and sense of inner joy and vitality.

You are warm towards others and kind to yourself. There is nothing you wouldn’t do to help and this loving approach is taken into every area of your life from career to parenting. Further, you apply love as a form of discipline and setting boundaries when necessary.

There are times when the only way another can learn and grow is for you to either have to withdrawal your love, or to set boundaries around it, in an effort to protect your generous nature. Love is not just a gentle emotion, it is also firm. You know that in order for you to remain loving you must protect your heart and put yourself first in negative situations. Through life’s experiences you have come to learn that some people can stay in your heart, but not in your life.

To be truly beautiful, it is these understated qualities of beauty which are sustaining. To possess any of these will increase your beauty exponentially. Who you are internally is the marker of your impact on the world.

Sherapy Advice: Let the kindness of your character say more about you than what you see in the mirror.


Ms. Campbell, PhD is a veteran, licensed Psychologist with two decades of clinical training and experience providing counseling and psychotherapy services to residents of Yorba Linda, Irvine, Anaheim, Fullerton and Brea, California. In her private practice, she currently specializes in psychotherapy with adults and teenagers, including marriage and family therapy, grief counselling, childhood trauma, sexual issues, personality disorders, illness and more.

She has helped individuals manage their highest high and survive their lowest low—from winning the lottery to the death of a child. Her interactive sessions are as unique and impactful as her new book, Loving Yourself : The Mastery of Being Your Own Person. She earned her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology in 2003 and has regularly contributes to numerous publications, including Intent.com, Beliefnet.com, DrLaura.com and Hitched.com. She is also an inspirational speaker, avid writer and proud mother. She can be reached at Sherriecampbellphd.com.