How to Accentuate The Positive

I was with a group of people recently that included a woman who had a really nice behind.  Slightly curvy, firm, and encased in a well-fitting pair of pants, it showed off her trim thighs perfectly and drew admiring glances from men of all ages.

So what’s so unusual about that?

The behind and legs in question belonged to a grandmother in her sixties!

When I saw her being watched by men from three different generations, and drawing jealous glares from women in the older two, I nearly laughed out loud.  This woman didn’t have a perfect figure, but she knew how to show off what she DID have while cleverly camouflaging the rest.  It just goes to show you that knowing yourself and having confidence in your assets is alluring at any age.

So let me ask you something:  What do YOU like about yourself?

Lustrous hair?  Amazing eyes?  Beautiful skin? Awesome shoulders?  Tiny waist?  Great legs? Beautiful hands?  Trim figure?


Most women shy away from that question.  They can typically offer a laundry list of things they DON’T like about themselves, but very few can pinpoint what they DO like.

I understand.

As women, we’re raised to be demure and modest.  We prefer to have others notice our beautiful features without calling attention to them, and we typically dislike it when other women flaunt their assets (or perceived assets) inappropriately in suggestive clothing or a “look at me!” manner.

I don’t blame you.  I live near a college campus and can tell you that I’ve usually had my fill of overexposed body parts before 8 am.

What I’m suggesting is a completely different approach.

Take a few minutes as you’re changing out of your clothes to bathe or put on your pajamas to take a good look at yourself in a full-length mirror.  Look at yourself from front, side, and back angles.

Now make a mental list of what you like about yourself.

Is it:

*Your face?

Find a hairstyle that compliments your face or pull it off your face completely with a ponytail or chignon.  Find tops and earrings that draw attention to your face.

*Your shoulders?

Find tops and jackets that show off your shoulders (nothing too daring for work) and reemphasize your authority and allure.

*Your waist?

Look for garments that taper in at the waist instead of hiding it behind a bulk of fabric. Add a belt, scarf, or ribbon at the waist to draw attention there.

*Your legs?

Wear skirts and pants that flatter your legs and finish it off with a great-looking shoe.  Don’t hide your gams behind ankle-length skirts or shapeless, non-descript pants.

*Your hands?

Keep your nails polished and your jewelry simple (and clean!) to emphasize the beauty of your hands.  Wear sleeves with wrist details that call attention to the hands, like ruffles, embroidery, or cuffs.

See how easy this is?

You don’t have to have a perfect figure to draw attention to the things you like about yourself. Simply emphasize what you like, and camouflage what you don’t.

As the old song goes,

“You’ve got to accentuate the positive,
Eliminate the negative,
Latch on to the affirmative,
Don’t mess with Mister In-Between”

(Johnny Mercer and Harold Arlen, 1944)

Unfortunately, most women DO mess with “Mister In-Between.”  If they like their waist but not their hips, they wear a tent-like top over all of it.  Love the calves but hate the thighs?  It’s shapeless pants or an ankle-length skirt.  Have lifeless hair but flawless skin?  They do nothing from the neck up.

What a shame!

With self-esteem running at an all-time low in this world, you need to latch on to those things that are going to draw compliments and bolster your confidence.  Kind words from others or a long, lingering glance from a handsome man half your age could be just the tonic you need to face another long commute, another run-in with the office know-it-all, or another evening with small children who won’t appreciate all you do for them until they’re parents with small children of their own.

So why don’t you give it a try?

Find something that you like about yourself and make an effort to show it off over the next few weeks in a positive, flattering way.  Make note of the comments you get and see how it makes you feel.  You may be surprised at what it does for your self-esteem.

Who knows?

Maybe like the grandma with the amazing behind, you can master the art of accentuating YOUR positive and draw both admiring — and envious — glances for years to come!

Need some specific ideas for using accessories to help “accentuate the positive?” Download a copy of ACCESSORY MAGIC:

to see how easy calling attention to your assets can be.


Diana Pemberton-Sikes is a wardrobe and image consultant and author of “Wardrobe Magic,” an ebook that shows women how to transform their unruly closets into workable, wearable wardrobes. Visit her online at .

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