Nursing home residents in their 80s and 90s talked about what beauty means to them. Their answers might surprise you.

Two nursing home residents
Courtesy of Lottie
  • A nursing home in the UK asked its residents about what beauty means.

  • Many of the residents are in their 80s and 90s.

  • They say confidence and embracing your unique self make you beautiful.

It's said that beauty is wasted on the young, but residents at one UK nursing home — many of whom are in their late 80s and 90s — say they still think about beauty and what it takes to be a beautiful person.

"Beauty is all about your energy," Meryll Bradley, 97, told Lottie, a senior care platform.

Bradley still has plenty of energy on the cusp of her 100th birthday, something she attributes to taking care of herself. Treating yourself well can go a long way to making you feel beautiful, she said, but that doesn't have to involve fancy pampering or self-care. In fact, she recommends starting with the basics.

"Listen to your body. Treat your body with respect. Do all the things you should do, eat all the things you should do," she said. "Really, you don't have to be fussy."

Embracing who you are is the most important step, the seniors said

The most common piece of advice that the residents shared has nothing to do with physical appearance: they agreed that embracing who you are is the most important aspect of beauty.

"Don't look at others," said Teju Taylor, 61. "Be yourself and be confident in who you are. Don't try to be somebody else — you are unique."

Woman getting her nails done
Teju Taylor getting her nails done.Courtesy of Lottie

The more you get to know yourself, the more you'll be able to shine, according to Ray Deahl, 88.

"You are born unique for a reason," he said. "It's important to accept it."

Add to that a little self-love and confidence, and you'll always look and feel beautiful, Bradley said.

"I think, be yourselves," she said. "Love what you're doing."

A great haircut and outfit will go a long way too

Ray Deahl, 88, may live in a nursing home, but he's still meticulous about getting weekly haircuts. He said that whether you're King Charles, President Joe Biden, or even a busy parent working from home, keeping up with your hygiene routine is essential to feeling good.

Man on wheelchair
Ray Deahl is 88 and loves getting haircuts.Courtesy of Lottie

"A good haircut, fresh shave, smart shirt, and compliments," he said, all make Daehl feel beautiful.

Don't worry about being perfect

Bradley grew up posing for her uncle, who was a photographer. But she said that these days, people put too much pressure on themselves to look picture-perfect all the time. Ditch the idea that you have to be "perfectly posed," she said, and focus on capturing memories.

Kindness is essential too

Beauty runs much deeper than physical appearance, according to Taylor. Especially in social settings, kindness and vibrancy can make you stand out.

"Beauty is not just the outside of someone, but the inside as well," she said. "Somebody that is approachable, nice, you know, and can mix with people" is simply gorgeous.

You've got to keep yourself accountable

When you do something that's not so beautiful—which we all do every now and then—it's important to hold yourself accountable, said Bradley.

"Be honest with yourself and give yourself an awful bashing if you've done something wrong, and say, 'now, don't you do that again,'" she said, pointing her finger for emphasis.

Put even more simply, "Don't throw the litter away in the street," she said.

Read the original article on Business Insider