The Beauty Of Connection: Why People Love Bonding Over Beauty Tips
One of the things I love most about beauty is how it helps us connect—both with ourselves and others. We've talked before about how taking care of your skin or hair can help you get in touch with yourself, your priorities and needs, and how you view yourself. But it's also a conduit for community and relationships: We can bond over beauty rituals, learn how to care for ourselves through those around us, and connect with complete strangers on topics both frivolous and serious.
"Beauty seems surface level, but it's something that once you start talking about you can get really deep on. If someone talks to me about a breakout on their skin, usually we end up talking about something that's going on in their personal life. So it becomes this thing you can really build relationships around," says Brooke DeVard Ozaydinli, host of the Naked Beauty Podcast. In this episode of Clean Beauty School, we chat about community building through beauty, how our relationships influence our sense of self, and the best word-of-mouth product recommendations.
How beauty influences our relationships & how our relationships influence us.
For many of us, our first experiences with self-care and beauty are through our closest relationships—be it family or friendships. For example, DeVard Ozaydinli tells me about how seeing her mom's rituals informed her own, especially now that she's a mother. "I had very few images of Black women indulging in beauty [portrayed in the media] growing up—so that's why seeing my mom take care of herself was so important," she says. "I can remember it so crystal clear: Putting on the lipstick, the fragrance, and laying out the clothes. It was the ritual of getting ready. Even being at a very young age, I understood that this was her process."
But our sense of beauty and our relationships are symbiotic, too. We don't simply learn how to take care of ourselves through others—we also learn how to view ourselves. Whether we realize it or not, our relationships, and the quality of those relationships, affect our sense of self. "One thing I always ask my guests is, 'When do you feel most beautiful?' and so many people answer it 'When the person I love sees me.' I think it's so amazing to hear because there's something about that person's love that's transmitting onto you and making you feel beautiful and good about yourself," she says.
The research shows this too. In 2019 the American Psychology Association published a meta-analysis of two decades of research, finding that positive social relationships and social support helped shape the development of self-esteem. They also found that when people have low self-worth, it negatively affects their relationships. Clearly, relationships and feeling good about yourself go hand-in-hand.
It's an important reminder to think about the impact we're making on the people in our lives: Caring for those around you and caring for yourself can be two sides of the same coin. Throughout the episode, we talk about this and more: It's filled with our own experiences, relationship anecdotes, and—of course—stellar beauty recommendations. If you're craving community lately, tune in.
Alexandra Engler is the beauty director at mindbodygreen and host of the beauty podcast Clean Beauty School. Previously, she's held beauty roles at Harper's Bazaar, Marie Claire, SELF, and Cosmopolitan; her byline has appeared in Esquire, Sports Illustrated, and Allure.com. In her current role, she covers all the latest trends in the clean and natural beauty space, as well as lifestyle topics, such as travel. She received her journalism degree from Marquette University, graduating first in the department. She lives in Brooklyn, New York.