Looks Aren’t Everything

Hey POPsters!

I just watched this TED Talk from supermodel Cameron Russell and wanted to share it with you. Go ahead and click that play button then come back and have a discussion with me.

*you should be watching the video now*

What’d you think of that? It’s good to hear from a real model that the girls in the mags and on the runways with “the thinnest thighs and the shiniest hair” – the girls that society all expects us to look like – these are the girls who are most insecure about their bodies. So many of us think that if we’d just lose another 5 lbs or have flatter abs that we’d be so much happier. The truth is – that happiness is only momentary. It’s superficial. It’s never enough unless you figure out how to glow…from the inside.

Cameron Russell
There’s a difference between a pretty girl and a beautiful girl. And the difference is this: the beautiful girl has CONFIDENCE.

Listen to me when I say that nothing is sexier than a girl who knows who she is, what she’s about, and isn’t afraid to let her real personality shine through regardless of the size of her hips, the color of her skin, or what her job is. She’s beaming with an infectious aura that just draws people in because she’s positive and inviting . When people engage in conversation or activity with her, she leaves them feeling excited! She’s able to compliment others and truly mean it because her cup is overflowing with good energy. (When I refer to cup, I mean the cup everyone refers to as half empty or half full. Her’s is always too full so she can give!)

Nope, this isn’t just cliche – it’s the truth.

A couple weekends ago, I was at a dinner party meeting all kinds of people and eating delicious food. I remember that most of the female attendees were in nice dresses, heels, had their makeup done, and looked very posh. Later on another girl arrived in a button up sweater, a polo, khakis, and flats – almost as if she arrived straight from work. Now, as much as we all shouldn’t judge on first impressions – we do it unconsciously anyway. So from my description you’d ASSUME she was a shy girl who doesn’t like to party and keeps to herself right?

The next couple hours I made a point to get to know her and I was seriously…BLOWN AWAY.

Okay, not that kinda blown away, but I just had to embed that video! Love Carrie Underwood!

Back to the story…it was like she got more gorgeous with every second I listened to her speak. It was really, kinda weird. I mean even physically I started to appreciate every unique feature about her! Turns out she was a young entrepreneur who had started 2 business already! She was witty, intelligent, and had a really cool sense of humor. By the time I left the dinner party, I was inspired to be more creative and work as hard as ever.

A confident girl glows with beauty that no one can take away from her, as long as she knows what she believes in and stands by it.

Now here’s what fitness has to do with it all. I know a lot of us start working out because we are on level 2, searching for a way to achieve the body of our dreams.  You work hard. You see changes. But once your mind clicks and you begin to truly embrace the intangible joys of exercise – there are so many other benefits that come along with it. Start appreciating your body and show it some love. You will see that your positive energy will build up a fiery ball of confidence that will drive you through life.

If you’re feeling unsure about your looks, your weight, your relationship, what you wanna do in life etc…start focusing on what you ARE sure about. And that’s YOU. You are an expert on you. Hone in on what makes you feel alive, what makes you happy. Do more of that. Your fire will burn brighter and you will be able to blaze through everything in your path.

This is the same fire that will take you through some of the toughest workouts of your life.


Tell me in the comments – what makes you truly happy! I’d love to hear!

<3 Cassey

  • Catherine

    Awesome post :D ilysm Cassey :)

  • This is the best post I’ve run across on your site yet! I love TED talks and this one just made the point that I have been trying to understand all along on my journey lately. This, in combination with your amazing words, is why I am able to say that I love my body and mind for what they can do; I don’t hate them for what they can’t.

  • Janelle

    I think that’s the best post I’ve read that you have written.
    Wow, I really enjoyed and needed that.
    Thanks Cassey, have a stellar week

  • christie

    Cassey,I just ran across your video’s last night on you tube & Honestly I have been so excited to exercise
    & frankly to watch any of your clip because of your beautiful yet contagious spirit! it is more than the exercise or atleast that is what i am finding, you often hear people say to work out you’r (Body,Mind & Spirit) &I agree with that for we are a 3 part being! Cassey from an outsiders perception I think you exude the part of; when you wrote~Listen to me when I say that nothing is sexier than a girl who knows who she is, what she’s about, and isn’t afraid to let her real personality *shine through (“regardless”) of the size of her hips, the color of her skin, or what her job is. She’s *beaming* with an (*nfectious aura*) that just draws people in because (*she’s positive) and (inviting!!!*) . When people engage in conversation or activity with her, she leaves them *(feeling excited!*) She’s able to *(compliment*) others and truly mean it because her cup is overflowing with good energy. (When I refer to cup, I mean the cup everyone refers to as half empty or half full. Her’s is always too full so she can give!) *( &) is my way of saying this is my view of you! & thank you for the advice of; “start focusing on what you ARE sure about. And that’s YOU. You are an expert on you. Hone in on what makes you feel alive, what makes you happy. Do more of that. Your fire will burn brighter and you will be able to blaze through everything in your path.” Cassey,I could go on & on about what i have learned in just a few clips of your’s & how you model it so well & this goes beyond the exercise,it is embracing all of ME & having fun with it!

  • kelly

    this is a truly awesome post! thank you

  • Lydia

    Cassie, this is truly the best post ever written! You have some great articles and this one is truly amazing!!! :D The saying, “we make our own happiness” is so true. Earlier today I saw someone from high school on facebook, she is absolutely beautiful and has definitely won the genetic lottery. It made me feel insecure about my looks, and I was wondering if I was pretty enough. I found out that she is shaving her hair – which is also gorgeous(!) for charity, and it made me think, “wow she is beautiful on the inside as well!” Then I got even more insecure about my personality and was I doing enough for other people.
    Confidence and insecurity are things I have been thinking about recently and this post from you really helps me and I hope it can help everybody else too.
    We make our own happiness and we are responsible for ourselves, so lets make everyone happy and confident!

  • Ailin

    Aaaah that was what i needed. Thanks girl! <3 xo

  • D’lisa

    WOW! I am balling right now. this post was so moving thank you so much for this. I just started your workouts today and I have come to realize I was doing them for the wrong reasons. Now I know what I need to be focusing on.

  • Liv

    This post actually made me tear up!

  • Wow – Thank you so much for posting this! Seeing her compare her modelling photos to who she actually is was amazing.

    Love the blog x

  • Katy

    Thank you so much for posting that video and sharing your thoughts. I struggled with an eating disorder for close to 3 years and I can say from first hand experience that what you said about beauty and happiness is completely true, one does not equal the other. At 5′ 7″, Ive weighed as little as 95 pounds, and I can tell you that I wasn’t any happier then than I am now at a healthy weight. I had this idea engrained in me that if I could just lose more weight things would fall into place, that I would be more attractive, successful, secure and just generally more happy. In reality, since I was investing so much time and energy into my appearance, I didn’t have time to enjoy the things in life that really create happiness – friends, family, experiences, creating memories – I isolated myself by defining my own self worth in such superficial terms.

    I think you put it perfectly when you said that there is nothing more beautiful than a woman who knows and loves herself, who is happy to be in her own skin and lets her personality shine. The women that I look up to in my life embody that, they are all incredibly beautiful though none of them fit the “ideal” image of womanly beauty our society perpetuates. This doesn’t mean that they don’t have insecurities, those never go away, but they don’t let those insecurities govern their life, they know that there are much more important things than the size of their thighs or the shininess of their hair.

    I got on a bit of a tangent there..but really this was a great post. Thanks for being your beautiful self and inspiring others to find that in themselves :)

  • alex

    Something my father has always told me is “don’t compare your insides to other people’s outsides.” So much of the time we assume someone has a great life based on how they look or what they have, and if we don’t know them, we attribute their happiness to those things. I understand from a lot of experience how difficult it can be for a woman with insecurities about her body. Sometimes I slip into thinking that people who are thinner than i am must be happier because they do not have to worry about having thick thighs. Or I feel jealous of those who aren’t thin, who admit that they ought to lose some weight but don’t really care enough to do it. I feel jealous because to them, their thighs are not the something they stress out over.

    It has taken me years to try and come to some self acceptance, to not compare myself to every girl I see. Maybe part of that comes from maturity, finding things I am interested in career wise, and building closer relationships with friends and family. However, it also helps me to eat healthy and exercise. I do enjoy exercise, which i think is true for many people once it becomes a habit. I also prefer healthy food to not healthy food. It makes me feel better. I don’t like feeling bloated and lethargic. I still treat myself a great deal.

    self acceptance is such a gift, and unfortunately some of us have a harder time achieving it than others. As women, we were dealt a pretty serious handicap in this department. The way we think its cool to constantly put ourselves down doesn’t help. The other day my friend told me i was beautiful and i responded “but my hair is dirty.” she said when someone tells me I am beautiful, I should thank them, not find some way to contradict them.

    I think it is so important to have communities like this where we can relate to one another and seek out positivity and self care. self-acceptance comes easiest to me when I am in touch with the fact that we are all on an equal plain, that there is no justification behind judgement. We are amazing women!

  • Tam.

    Thank you Cassey for sharing these beautiful words! It’s very inspiring!

  • Tanya

    Honestly, I found your words to be a lot more inspiring than Cameron’s! While she had some insightful and thoughtful wisdom on this matter, your post seemed more genuine and real. You were able to relate a real world example of how confidence is key. I understand that Cameron is trying to say that everyone is insecure even the most beautiful people. However, you were showing us how to find beauty from within as that is the true form of beauty. The overall message being positive, while Cameron’s, I feel, trended towards the negative. Please don’t take this as Cameron bashing! I just think that you, Cassey, did a better job of inspiring me than Cameron did.

  • Emily B

    Thank you so much casey for posting this. It was so inspirational and opened my eyes to “a whole nee world” and a new fresh perspective.
    As you mention it i realize confidence is more beautiful than any pair of double ds and flat abs and made me see that when I’m working out I should focus more internally so that while flat abs would be awesome the REAL goal is FEELING good and comfortable because at the end of the day that is what matters most.
    Thank you for making my day and inspiring me and making me feel like there are girls out tjere like US who believe that beauty still lies on the inside more than out and that we, as women, are not just pretty dolls to look at… We have voices opinions and purposes (and were not sexual objects)
    If you ever feel like youre not making an impact let me tell you, you have made an impact on me that will last me a lifetime.. Please never stop doing this blog because it is so inspirational and real!
    All the best,

  • Polska Blondynka

    This video is truly inspiring in my opinion. She did a wonderful job giving us a scoop of what the industry is like and what it can do to you. She’s a beautiful woman — and not because of what is on the outside. It really does shine through — and it is true! a confident woman radiates.

  • Morgan

    Dear Cassey,
    Thank you.

  • Emily yap

    I think all the POPsters here said it all. This post was really the best one yet. I always thought when fit people, slim people aka the ‘perfect’ people say that ‘oh no it’s what’s inside that matters’ I find it kind of cliche like as if they know how it feels. And I’ve come to realize from this post that they do know how it feels. We’re all in our own fitness journey and they’re just ahead of us, more experienced and they know how it felt like to be in our shoes. We’re all heading towards the same goal. Just because they’ve reached it first doesn’t mean that we wouldn’t. They speak of experience because when they look back, they realize that all these time, it’s how it makes you feel in the end. You feel better of yourself and it automatically leads you to think that you can achieve something cause you’ve done it!
    It really opened my eyes. And this is the best motivation I’ve ever got! Thanks Cassey! You know you’re awesome and you know you’re the best! Love ya lots!

  • faith

    haven’t had a chance to listen yet, but by the way, Carrie Underwood’s Blown Away is a great song to run to…perfect tempo and energy…glad you posted it

  • Jessica

    I appreciate all that was said here- but there’s one recurring refrain that I think needs attention: “It fades.” The idea beneath that, that there is a clock time to radiance, is untrue, if you wish to make it otherwise. A friend of mine was a model and actress in the 70s, a successful one. She left the industry and moved to Barbados, where she is a painter, a teacher of self-defense to local girls, a writer, a figure in her community. She’s in her late sixties and even to a superficial eye, is GORGEOUS. She’s fit, her hair gone gray and usually bound up with flowers, she is outspoken and interesting, and according to her, life really began when she moved and made that change. “S” lives for herself. She takes very good care of herself, yes, but that is so she can keep doing what matters. So don’t put a lid on the number of years you are “attractive”, or “relevant”. I am sure “S” will be inspiring and beautiful for as long as she lives on earth.

  • i truly enjoyed her speech; it’s great to hear things like that because society and the media can really give you a false sense of reality, my goodness. she seems so down to earth. love her!