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Ways to Physically GLOW UP

Updated: Jul 8

Episode No. 9

Where to listen:

What Inspired this Episode:

This episode is part two of the glow-up series content I was doing. The first part of the mini-series is about ways to mentally glow up. Following this episode are wellness ideas and commentary on whether glow-up culture is toxic or not. While episode 11 will give more perspective on this, I want to clarify that I wanted to speak about glow-up culture because the subject is more complex and interesting than what people speak about in general.

Beauty is subjective because our perspective of beauty is formulated on so many aspects. When you think about how glowing up (which is more than beauty but since this part is focused on the physical, I am centering my points around this) there are a lot more layers to it. Geographics because every country has a different beauty standard and since America is a mixture of cultures and diverse backgrounds, it's complex because then you have what is favored in media and what is favored in your ethnic/ racial background. History is another aspect not just because how a lot of times the beauty standard was a reflection of things like whether there recession or not, but also about the creation of the things we use is reflected in culture (ingredients, sourcing, and regulations). Beauty products are created with chemistry, to market products there has to be a mix of psychology and creativity. There is even a section in economics that focuses on the benefits of being considered pretty (the term is pulchrinomics).

Glowing up is not a new topic because truthfully humans have always cared about the way we are presented. The difference is with technological advancements (i.e. social media), humans are constantly working to establish themselves similarly to brands creating this constant worry of being perceived. (Of course, this is a mere theoretical observation and this will be more true for some than others).

Questions I wanted to explore:

  • What is a glow-up?

  • How to start a glow-up journey?

  • What physical changes happen in a glow-up?

  • What mental changes happen in a glow-up?

  • What emotional changes in a glow-up?

  • How to glow up in the summer?

  • How to feel comfortable in my own skin?

  • What to consider before starting a glow-up?

  • How does societal pressure affect glow-ups?

  • How to glow up for personal satisfaction?

  • How can a glow-up affect my energy level and mood?

  • What are the basics of a physical glow-up?

  • How to develop strategic planning for a glow-up?

  • How to develop new skills during a glow-up?

  • How do health, hygiene, and environment affect a glow-up?

  • How to maintain a balanced life during a glow-up?

  • How to avoid extremes during a glow-up?

  • How does makeup fit into a glow-up?

  • What is the importance of mental health in a glow-up?

  • How to manage stress during a glow-up?

  • How to enhance natural features during a glow-up?

  • How to avoid using makeup as a crutch for confidence during a glow-up?

  • How to handle changes in physical appearance during a glow-up?

  • How to maintain security and self-esteem during a glow-up?

  • How does a glow-up affect relationships?

  • What is the role of societal expectations in a glow-up?

  • How to make a glow-up journey more personal and satisfying?

  • How to practice self-compassion during a glow-up?

  • How to avoid comparison during your glow-up journey?

  • How to maintain consistency in your glow-up process?

  • How can a glow-up affect my career or school performance?

  • How to handle setbacks during a glow-up?

  • How to sustain changes made during a glow-up?

  • How to incorporate healthy eating habits in a glow-up?

  • How to find the right balance between physical and emotional changes in a glow-up?

  • How to handle societal reactions to your glow-up?

  • How does the concept of 'glowing up' differ across cultures?

Episode Description:

Welcome to "A Little Atypical," the podcast for 20-something-year-olds passionate about personal growth and building their dream life. Join us on this transformative journey as we explore the key points to enhance your physical appearance and radiate confidence.

Discover how understanding yourself, prioritizing health and hygiene, designing your space, creating schedules and routines, developing your signature self, setting boundaries, and tracking progress can contribute to your physical glow-up.

Whether you're already on your glow-up journey or just getting started, this episode provides valuable insights and practical tips to help you achieve the physical transformation you desire. Embrace your unique beauty and radiate confidence in 2024!

Join us on "A Little Atypical" and let's embark on this transformative journey together. It's time to glow up and create the life you've always dreamed of!

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Music by Remil - Evening Tea -




Trigger Warning


Introduction + What I'm grateful for


-Continuing talking about glow-up -I already made the mental glow-up list -Grateful for my ability to practice detachment

Good experience of the week & Learning experience of the week


-Good: Consistent with content and health -Learning experience: need more strategy with creating

Card pull


-Tarot deck -The star card

Understanding yourself


-Knowing Skin type -Knowing Hairt type -Knowing metabolism rate -Knowing what's in your control -Knowing what things you already love about yourself

Health & Hygiene


-The foundation of a physical glow-up -Sleep, Nutrition, Fitness -PCOS -Shower routine, Hair care, dental care, skin care, clean room -Atomic habits

Creating Schedules and routines


-Morning routines -Evening routine -Results in

Creating your signature self


-Personal style, Go-to Makeup look, scent

Limit Peoples' access to you


-Detachment and boundaries

Look for what helps you to be consistent and track your progress


-Created my digital journal -helps me plan -Different ways to your progress



-Hot Take: Wanting to change yourself in terms of looks isn't toxic -Story of how it was hard to show up for myself -Do it in a sustainable and safe way -Homework: Check out my YouTube videos


Things to consider before glowing up

While glowing up FOR the summer is something I commonly see, I think realistically more people try to glow up IN the summer than any other season. When I used to go to school (both in high school and college), summer was the time I worked hard to be different. Of course, I typically worked or did courses to evolve but doing those things didn’t change that I also wanted to do what I could to feel more comfortable in my skin. This may be a controversial stance but just because someone has a personal goal to change something, it’s not meant to be a personal attack on people who are more comfortable with those traits or even adore having them.

How I like to think about goals pertaining to appearances is we all have different points of confidence and I find it odd how mainly when it pertains to appearances is when we aren’t allowed to have differing views.

For example, when someone says they want to go into a scientific field over a creative one, no one takes it personally because when it comes to careers they understand how one way people find security and fulfillment might not be the same for another. I wish that logic could apply to glow-ups as well.

While I understand there’s a lot to come into play when it comes to beauty (history of discrimination, wealth gap especially with the way people push products as the only way to glow up and they do so by appealing to people's desire of wanting to be liked/validated/ respected, etc.), but I also think that it’s healthier for a person to find a solution to being insecure rather project on other people to make them feel bad so they can feel better.

I also think people can get to the root of their insecurity (whether it stems from their parents, peers, or society) and still want to change. This is because not all desires to glow up is out of insecurity, self-hatred, or spite. People could want to glow up / change because they want the best for themselves or to challenge themselves out of curiosity or interest.

The most important thing is doing actions out of wanting to (not feeling like you need to because a lot of times if it feels like a need, it’s because of someone else’s perspective and can make you resent the action) and doing so safely and mindfully. So I wanted to share things to consider when going for a physical glow-up. Sometimes I remember being younger and wishing more people who shared this type of content talked about this in ways that were more compassionate and considerate so I want to include some reminders and consideration for all ages who want to glow up.

1. What do you want to do this for?

While as mentioned I believe glowing up or caring about feeling comfortable in our skin is important in its own way, I still think the most important thing is to question our motives. Going into a glow-up process with a poor mindset can sabotage you in the long run. You don’t want to end up in a place of radiating hate for the things you once were and bringing people down because you are no longer in that place. It leads to disaster and especially because life happens you don’t know how you will change again or if you’ll stay similar. Learning to be kind to all versions of yourself, having compassion for when things get rough and if you get derailed, and also understanding that if you do it for other people, it’s not sustainable because you can’t control how people think or react over you and while they may be supportive one day, but at some point, it may start to fade if they have their perception of how you should be or allow their insecurities to get to the better of them.

2. The most important things to consider are how your actions are affecting your energy level, mood, and overall "is it creating solutions or new problems "

The thing about glow-ups is it’s easy for it to be a slippery slope especially when you have an all-or-nothing mindset. I’ve been through both extremes where I would be restrictive, I used revenge and rage as motivation, and when I reached a point that was my goal I went to the other extreme of overconsumption because I restricted for so long, I wanted to keep up with people around me to be likable and I didn’t have healthy ways of coping with stress.

I can’t tell you what a balanced life looks like because managing yourself so you don’t go to either extreme takes so much trial and error. I’m not saying it’s impossible but it takes a while to learn honesty without criticism, compassion for your circumstances without making those excuses from accountability, and of course, patience without comparison.

The point is to avoid going to extremes and understand there will be a learning curve especially when you grow up in environments that don’t support finding methods that can work better for you.

3. In terms of a physical glow-up, the basics (health, hygiene, and environment) are non-negotiable along with the development of strategic planning and skill-developing

I don’t know if you ever saw the beauty pyramid but for a glow-up, I do think it was a very reasonable and realistic approach. Health mainly refers to fitness, diet, and sleep- but mental health does affect how you interact with things so I would consider that as a health aspect as well.

Hygiene is again one of the things mental health could affect. This is why for people this aspect doesn’t come easy for, the trick is to make the task as appealing as possible. For me, showering is my biggest sense of peace because it makes me feel refreshed but for another person, it can be too much so I will try to talk about this as carefully as possible.

To make this appealing this can look like shorting the time frame (because sometimes the struggle is just getting in there but once people are there they don’t want to get out). It can also be having a playlist only for the shower. It can look like getting inspired by someone else’s shower/ hygiene routine. You can make a shower routine for different energy levels.

In my journey, my biggest struggles with basics are my sleep and my environment. The biggest contribution to this cycle is my uncertainty about my career path. However, I am patient with myself with learning new ways to be better in those areas regardless of my circumstances. With the environment, it’s because I sort things neat enough to give the illusion of being fixed without actually decluttering because when I go through my stuff I :

1) Get overwhelmed by the amount so it continues the cycle of “out of sight out of mind” instead of dealing with the clutter

2) I get distracted with memories while I’m cleaning and that emotional reminder makes things harder to throw out

And sleep, I just have very inconsistent energy levels which I had to look to get checked out (finally was able to book an appointment but the unfortunate news is that the appointment isn’t until the fall because that was the only opening available) and on top of that sleep for the longest time was how I coped with stress so unlearning that behavior to learn to be in reality to solve my problems has been a long time practice.

I’m not proud of these behaviors, but I am sharing them to highlight progress over perfection. Also obviously you could learn higher tiers of the process but just make sure have at least 60% of the basics locked down. My suggestion is because in my experience I was using those things as covers.

Having my hair done, nails done, brows done, etc. felt more like a need than a bonus to be considered acceptable. College and ironically being a beauty major made me want to embrace my most natural self and tend to my features (like my 4c hair that always had weave or braid back to back with no breaks- yes my hair was damaged but it’s so much healthier now).

I still love beauty and makeup and would never ridicule people for enjoying those things and having fun experimenting with them. So many people in my major told stories about how those curiosities led to them knowing what they wanted to do for a career. Make-up artists, product developers, Estheticians, fragrance evaluators, marketers for beauty companies, beauty researchers, trend analysts, etc. are all careers their curiosities led to and it’s inspiring. However, I caution people using it as a crotch for confidence.

I feel humanity has too many things we rely on for confidence: likes and follows, makeup, alcohol, and different types of smoking (to fit an aesthetic or fit in with friends)

While some may be more extreme and harmful- especially for younger people who want to glow up, makeup is meant to be the enhanced you and/or a way to express yourself. Please be mindful to not use it as a way to hide or as a bandage for your insecurities.

Also, makeup expires, and trust me when I say I regret how much I spent on certain products in 2015-2019… I still have a good amount that I don’t use because I am scared of how it will affect my eyes, but feel like they are too pretty to get rid of.

So since I covered my other points in the 3 above I am just going to end off here. But before I go one last reminder: Glow-ups are personal. Not only what someone does might not work for you, but it is okay to do what you can in your own life and not follow everything to a T. Glow-up culture should not feel like this draining endless to-do list. It should not feel like this thing that is black-or-white succeed or fail. Glowing up is a journey where we are meant to lifelong learning. Circumstances change, mindset changes and especially if you are under 25 (myself included) the way you physically look is evolving. I remember being confused when I got curvier, that my hips kept growing (and of course feeling lowkey annoyed because I wanted the growth spurt I didn’t get as a teen - I have accepted myself being short but a girl can dream of magically becoming 5’3) and just very much mentally unprepared for emotions happening because a good amount was hormonal and no one talked about this (even in places that it should’ve been … health class).

I wish I could say "Looks don’t matter" but I would be lying, but remember it’s not all that does. What matters is you feel secure in yourself without damaging yourself in progress. I know how when you don’t feel like you look your best it affects the way you carry yourself in the world. The way it can affect your relationships (romantic, platonic, familial), how you show up at work or school, and your ambition to go for the things you dream of. This is why I don’t like to judge people for their way of being because no matter how you frame it and approach the topic multiple things can be true at once and telling people to just love how they look lacks so much consideration.


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