Poise… and Other Time Tested Beauty Tips

Poise…I think that this word is not used much in our vocabulary these days. Perhaps it is because so few reflect on the importance of the word in our lives.  Since I wanted to create a picture for my friend who had chosen this word as her One Word Challenge for this year, I looked at dictionary.com to give me a bit more of an idea of just what this word was about.

Here is what I found:

1.  a dignified, self-confident manner or bearing; composure; self-possession: to show poise in company.
2.  Steadiness; stability: intellectual poise.

To rest in equilibrium; be balanced.

Synonyms:  aplomb, balance, bearing, diplomacy, confidence, cool, serenity, tact, tranquility, grace, elegance.

Those last two words, grace and elegance, bring to me the picture of Audrey Hepburn, after the transformation as Eliza Doolittle, in My Fair Lady (the film version of George Bernard Shaw’s play, Pygmalion, 1912).  She was transformed from a crude and brash Cockney flower girl into a beautiful woman who spoke with dignity and held herself with a dignified poise...there is that word…poise. 

Because of that mental picture, I chose to include in my One Word picture a quote that is often attributed to Audrey Hepburn, whom many women uphold as the ideal to true beauty in a woman…not only because of her physical beauty but also mainly for her inward beauty which showed itself in the way she interacted with her world.  She was known for her involvement in many charitable causes, in fact, in her later years, her acting became secondary to her work on behalf of children as she traveled the world making known the plight of children in need. Her beauty showed itself in the very way she carried herself. It is more like an aura of grace, elegance, and dignity…with a touch of playfulness. 

The quote that I used in my picture is actually just a part of a much longer quote; many parts of which I see posted online all the time quotes coming directly from Miss. Hepburn.  As I am a bit of a stickler for giving credit where credit is due, I will include the entire poem written by Humorist Sam Levenson. He was also the one who said, “Insanity is hereditary: You can get it from your children.”  Hmmm…wise man.
Soon after becoming a UNICEF Ambassador, Audrey Hepburn went on a
    mission trip to Ethiopia, where years of drought and civil strife had caused
terrible famine.
A.A. ©Derek Hudson/Sygma/Corbis

The following was written by the late educator-humorist Sam Levenson for his grandchild and read by Audrey Hepburn on Christmas Eve, 1992; Ms. Hepburn also used it on occasion when she was asked for beauty tips. [From Audrey Hepburn by Barry Paris, 1996, Putnam].

                      Time Tested Beauty Tips

For attractive lips, speak words of kindness.
For lovely eyes, seek out the good in people.
For a slim figure, share your food with the hungry.
For beautiful hair, let a child run his, or fingers through it once a day.
For poise, walk with the knowledge that you never walk alone.
People even more than things have to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed and redeemed; never throw out anyone.
Remember, if you ever need a helping hand, you’ll find one at the end of each of your arms. As you grow older, you will discover that you have two hands, one for helping yourself, the other for helping others.
The beauty of a woman is not in the clothes she wears, the figure she carries, or the way she combs her hair. The beauty of a woman must be seen from in her eyes because that is the doorway to her heart, the place where love resides.
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 and the passion that she shows.
The beauty of a woman grows with the passing years. 

As I read this, I cannot but think of the words in scripture:

Let not your adornment be merely external but let it be the hidden person of the heart,  with a gentle and quiet spirit, which is precious in the sight of God. ~1 Peter 3:3-4

We as women are bombarded daily with the message that our beauty is merely external. Don’t believe me?  Just spend some time watching commercials aimed at women. While God’s word does not forbid us to care about our external appearance…it does point out the fact that our outward beauty should reflect our inner person.

Just recently I shared with the girls in my Bible study that when I look in the mirror I am almost surprised at what I see.  That reflection is not quite the beautiful woman of God that I ‘feel’ and carry with me every day. You see…it’s not anything I have done to create that beauty. It is the work of the Holy Spirit in my life, in my inner self, my heart, and soul. He has made me beautiful! Oh sure…there are times when I have marred that beauty with my own selfish desires and walked in disobedience to His Word and to be the woman I know God has called me to be. In those times, I am just…well…ugh...UGLY!  I can’t cover that up with makeup or beautiful clothes and shoes that ROCK! No…only by acknowledging that ugliness and repenting of my selfish choices…by turning and walking, yet again, in obedience to His Word does that mantle of beauty fall on me once again.  And I have to say…all the beauty treatments in the world cannot give you the inner peace, poise, and confidence that walking in obedience does. 

Poise...after reflecting on the meaning and related scriptures, I realized it is an excellent word...it says so much. There are depths of this word that pertain to how we are to be as God's women...I pray that God opens up doors of opportunity for you to plumb the depths and apply them to your life...as you are poised on the edge of all that God has for you in the journey!!!

Do you do the One Word Challenge each year? You can find out more here: One Word Challenge.

P.S.   From Amber (my friend for whom I created the One Word Picture, Poise)…

“My word for the year is Poise…and I have definitely been in circumstances that have required me to present. It was certainly the right word for me. And I smile and think of God's provision in this area”.


  1. I love Audrey Hepburn, Gay. What a classy lady, and the perfect picture of poise. Great tie-in to how poise looks on a Christian woman. Blessings to you as you pursue that in 2013!

    1. Thanks so much for stopping by, Susan. Your encouragement means so much to me!

  2. Love this! Thank you for sharing. {visiting from the PW linky}

    1. I am so glad that you enjoyed it. Thanks so much for stopping by!!


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