What’s Beautiful?

When do you feel most beautiful?

Is it when you are all dressed up for a special occasion?

Or when you have your hair or makeup a certain way?  Or wearing a certain outfit or accessory?

Or maybe you are like me and it’s when you accomplish a goal?

At that moment, I feel unstoppable.  I feel strong.  I feel beautiful.

One of the first times I really experienced this was during the summer of 1999.  I spent six weeks going through Cadet Basic Training (CBT), also known as “Beast Barracks” at the United States Military Academy at West Point.  I do not remember a lot about that summer…it’s mostly a blur of images and moments that remain in my memory.  But I remember the last day – we were on an 18 mile road march back to West Point after spending a week living in tents outside.  The ruck march was a requirement in order to successfully complete CBT and begin our first academic year at West Point.  The route was extremely tough – there were several large hills (including a ski slope) we had to climb – all while carrying our rifles and 35 pounds in our ruck sack.

Thanks to my classmate Kevin for this picture!

It was the hardest physical challenge I had experienced and there were numerous points that day where I didn’t think I would finish.  But, I did.  And I remember how amazing it felt.  I felt invincible.  I felt powerful. I felt strong.

And even though I hadn’t showered in days, was soaking wet with sweat, and had a face covered in camo, I felt beautiful.

Being and feeling beautiful – for me – has very little to do with how I look on the outside.  It’s all about how I feel inside. And feeling strong, confident, and powerful makes me feel beautiful.

Which is why I’m excited to team with Under Armour to help promote their What’s Beautiful campaign.

Under Armour Women set out to redefine the female athlete by creating What’s Beautiful, a program that encourages women to share their fitness journeys and receive motivation, free gear, and support from Under Armour along the way.

How does the campaign work? 


Head over to UA’s website to check out the inspiring women who are already participating in this challenge!!

At the end, ten women will be chosen to fly to Florida to train with elite UA trainers, receive nutrition advice, and enjoy spa treatments.

For more information on the Under Armour What’s Beautiful Campaign:

So tell me…When have you felt most beautiful? 


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FitFluential LLC compensated me for this Campaign.  All opinions are my own

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    29 thoughts on “What’s Beautiful?

    1. Normally I do not learn post on blogs, however I wish to say that this write-up very pressured me
      to check out and do so! Your writing taste has been amazed me.
      Thank you, quite nice article.
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    2. Great post!!!

      It’s been a lot of fun reading everyone’s perspective on #whatsbeautiful for them.

      I think you are one beautiful bad ass mother runner!
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    5. I think I felt most beautiful after the birth of my daughter Sophia. I wasn’t sure if I’d be able to follow through with my birth plan of a natural birth, but when I was finally holding her in my arms and realized that I had done it without any assistance I felt so strong and beautiful, invincible even. I was surprised by my own strength. And that made me feel beautiful.
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    6. I love this post and I love your story and hearing what “beautiful” means to you. I completely agree that nothing beats the feeling of achieving or exceeding a goal or proving to yourself that you have what it takes. It’s an incredible feeling. I truly love this campaign from Under Armour and how it’s brought female athletes together.
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    7. What a great post, Michele! I love that Under Armour has this campaign going. I love when I set a goal, especially with long runs, and then finish it. It definitely hurts towards the end but I just think about how awesome I will feel when I’m done and that gets me through.

    8. I feel most beautiful when my husband tells me how beautiful I am and how much he loves me. Even after my unexpected C-section last month, he finds just the right words to make me feel secure and love that 10″ battle scar.

      • Bernadette, I can totally relate; it’s awesome to have someone who makes that scar feel just as beautiful as the rest of you 😉

    9. The Under Armour campaign reminds me of the Dove campaign a while back that was designed to celebrate female beauty in ALL shapes, which I think is cool.

      I can’t really connect with the “feeling beautiful” part, but the “feeling powerful” part for me exists when I push through something that I need to do but don’t want to do, or go beyond what is customary and “normal.”

      In general, I find courage to be beautiful.
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    10. Although saddened that UA doesn’t want to give any guys spa treatment, this is a really great post. Everytime I read what you have to say, Michele, I come away thinking that you really get it. Perspective, dedication, and beauty are just the beginning. Keep on spreading your strength and awesome.
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    11. Totally agree with this–feeling strong and powerful is beautiful to me. Sweaty and in my running clothes, having accomplished a goal–that beats dressing up and looking “pretty” any day! Love what UA is doing with this campaign!
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