What REALLY makes a Woman Beautiful?

By JANE E. BRODY

One of my most beautiful friends is hardly what our society would call a classic beauty. At 5 feet, 4 inches tall and 120 to 125 pounds, she is absolutely average, statistically speaking. Clearly, she is not centerfold material: her belly protrudes a bit, her waist and neck are somewhat foreshortened, her thighs are slightly flabby and her face is round but lacks the delicacy of a cherub.

Yet nearly all who know her see her as beautiful. Why? Because she sees herself as an attractive woman who looks good for her 40 years. She is pleased with her physical persona and it shows in how she walks, talks, dresses, laughs and listens. Her dazzling smile projects beauty from the inside out.

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