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Lately, I’ve been on this random appreciate your own beauty vibe. I’ve started to appreciate my own inner beauty zen. I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s best to love the body you’re in now while on your way to the body you want. Life is all about loving the now because the now is all you’ve got. It’s best to appreciate those qualities, traits and beauty that are uniquely yours. Face it: self acceptance is the new sexy. So when I read an┬áhonest and unpretentious article in Marie Claire, it was actually inspiring. An inspiring read in a fashion magazine, this doesn’t happen everyday, but it happened that day. As an African-American woman born in West Africa, raised in Europe and the United States, I so appreciate the wisdom in the piece, where French women boldly set their own standards of beauty, embrace their individual uniqueness and experience life to its fullest.

The following are some important nuggets I took away from the article.  Here are five things every woman can learn from French women about life and beauty.

1. Embrace your own natural beauty and swag

Yes, you have swag. There’s a beauty and powerfully sexiness about you. You just need to stop trying to fit into society’s or the media’s idea of beautiful. You have magic. You were born with it. Let your inner glow shine. Know you’re beautiful not because of what you wear but because of who you are.

2. Don’t be a slave to trends

Trends come and trends go, but authenticity is forever. If you like it and feel comfortable in it, then rock it. Rock it well. Rock it with confidence. The clothes don’t make you. You bring the clothes to life. Let your style tell the world who you are, not who you’re trying to be. Be you. Wear clothes that compliment you, your style, your spirit and your values.

3. When it comes to makeup, less is more

When people see you, they should see your face, not your makeup. Lip gloss and mascara are your friends. Take care of your skin. Let it breathe. Don’t wear so much makeup that you appear unreachable or unapproachable. Too much makeup shows others you’re trying too hard. Plus it’s time consuming. Relax. You’re already beautiful. Get out there and show the world your natural glow.

4. Teach your daughters, nieces to love themselves

French women take life lessons from their mothers very seriously. Their style and swag are a result of nurturing. They learn to relax because their mothers have thought them self-confidence. They aren’t slaves to fashion because their mothers stress inner beauty and the importance of enjoying life. Teach your daughters to love the skin they’re in and help them discover their own style, swag and inner beauty, and they’ll never become a slave to fashion, self-absorption or thirst.

5. Embrace and enjoy the beauty of aging

If we’re all blessed, we’ll live to be 102. Loving life means embracing the aging process. Take care of your body, exercise and eat healthy. But don’t be a slave to the knife or Botox. Your wrinkles are part of your charm, wisdom and refined beauty. Don’t try to relive the silliness of your twenties. Move forward with time, embracing new experiences, learning from old mistakes and rediscovering your undying natural beauty.