What each person finds beautiful varies widely. But certain things seem to be universal, and sometimes we meet someone and are immediately struck by her looks. However, what actually forms the complete picture of beauty is her personality, the way she carries herself, how she interacts with others, how she dresses and her body language. Probably, the most attractive people you know are not those who you found stunningly beautiful at first sight, but those to whom you were attracted by all their other positive attributes.

Unfortunately, other external factors come into play when we think of beauty, subconsciously dictating our perception. The media is is partly guilty of portraying, and promoting what the beauty standards are, all to serve one purpose: to make us believe that wearing certain clothes, buying certain creams and cosmetics, following certain diets, going to the gym for that perfect body, will make us beautiful, young and irresistible.

However, what all this really instills is self-loathing, insecurity and in some cases—while chasing that ideal self—emotional and financial bankruptcy, from turning to cosmetic surgery or any other expensive anti-aging measures. In Venezuela, banks will give you loans specifically for cosmetic surgery! In the U.S. you can also get credit cards or payment plans solely for this purpose.

Dove got it right in their Dove Campaign for Real Beauty with the slogan: Every girl deserves to feel beautiful just the way she is. It promoted a healthy, realistic body image, and encouraged women to post pictures of themselves online with all their imperfections.

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While we may try to become more beautiful by wearing makeup and dressing a certain way, there is more we can do to enhance our beauty through cultivating those aspects you find beautiful in others. It’s about being brave enough to call forth your self-confidence and allow others to find out who you are, including your flaws. After all, that’s what beautiful people do, and it’s a lot more important than spending hours in front of the mirror.

Here are some of their “beauty” secrets:

  • They are self-confident. You can tell a person is confident by the way she carries herself. She feels comfortable in her own skin and appears relaxed. She exudes self-respect and usually treats others in kind. People who are self-assured are not afraid to show themselves as they are, including their weaknesses.

  • They have a sense of humor. The most likable people are those who can make others laugh or are able to laugh at themselves, too. Laughter is contagious and there is nothing as beautiful as a smile. Smiles are disarming.

  • They are sincere. This trait is also a sign of self-confidence. Voicing one’s opinions while risking rejection is empowering. When you can trust someone you feel more connected, and honesty fosters this trust.

  • They are approachable. Beautiful people don’t build walls, they bring them down. They are open and this makes others feel accepted and important.

  • They are compassionate. They are understanding and accepting. They practice empathy and feel people’s pain as their own. This means they are not so ego-driven and do sincerely care about people.

  • They exude joy and positivity. They are passionate, exude enthusiasm and are charming. Who isn’t attracted to people who make us feel energized and positive? Of course you want to go back for more.

  • They are humble. People who are especially talented but don’t boast about it, come off as even more extraordinary.

While it is true that biology has a lot to do with who we are attracted to and find attractive, there are things you can do to enhance beauty. Your attraction to certain people also has a lot to do with your own self-perception. If you have a negative self-image, you will mostly attract that which you actually don’t want.

We see beauty, but mostly, we actually feel it. Once you get beyond the looks, beauty is a very emotional, and far less physical reaction.