Like it or not, somebody is eventually going to take it upon themselves to comment on how you look. But often they’ll use words that can be hard to interpret. For example, what does “you look radiant” mean?
Other examples that can throw you off (they do for me) are whe someone says you look tired. Or, they might say you look “flushed.”
Perhaps one of the most mysterious is the term “radiant.” The inference is that it means you look good. But how, exactly? What does “you look radiant” really mean?
The notion of looking radiant goes back to the 19th century. Wealthy nobles would host dinner parties where everyone dressed up. The women would wear thick makeup, deliberately designed to enhance various features of the face.
What does radiant mean?
Eventually, the term radiant came along, literally meaning that people were “radiating beauty.” Before long, the word entered common language, and we’ve been stuck with it ever since.
Fundamentally, it means that you have a kind of healthy glow. It’s the look that some young people get after spending a day doing physical activity in bright sunshine.
They look reinvigorated, happy, and their skin shines. Sometimes it even has a dewy overlay.
People will often substitute the word “radiant” for “glowing” too. Both of these terms essentially mean the same thing. You look so good that your face is literally brightening up the rest of the world.
Why ‘you look radiant’ meaning is confusing
Of course, the reason the word creates so much confusion is that it isn’t just referring purely to aesthetics. People also mean it in the sense that you look happy or healthy. In other words, it’s also a reflection of processes going on inside both your body and mind.
Philosophically, the notion is hard to get your head around. But there are practical ways to help understand it. There are the basics you’ve likely heard more than a few times now, such as:
- Sleep long enough
- Get plenty of exercise
- Eat fruits and veggies
But there are other methods too. For instance, hyaluronic acid skin treatment can help you look more radiant. The substance leaks into the face, plumping up the skin so it appears fuller, rounder and potentially more youthful than before.
There is also evidence to suggest that the milk thistle herb supports all-round radiance by promoting healthy liver function. With this supplement, the body is better able to process toxins and eliminate them.
Radiance as part of the culture
In many ways, radiance is the ideal. It’s what many people would like to achieve, were their lives not so stressful. It’s a sign that you have achieved health and contentment, and it signifies that you’re in a good place, both mentally and physically.
In many ways, it is something that is very similar to beauty. Many philosophers define beauty as “that which is hard to achieve.”
In the past, being slightly overweight was actually a challenge because rich foods were so scarce. So, when you see images of beautiful women depicted in art, they’re always curvy.
Today, thinness is hard to achieve because of stress, the food environment, and personal well-being problems. Perhaps being slim has become the standard of beauty because of its relative rarity.
The same thing applies to the concept of radiance. It is notoriously challenging to achieve because it is a polluted, sleep-deprived world.
For a lot of people, surviving the day is the challenge. They’re not thinking long-term. Thus, radiance never quite happens. As someone who runs their own business, I totally get that!
‘You look radiant’ is a compliment
When somebody tells you that you look radiant, they’re trying to compliment you. The person usually wants to lift you up but do so in a way that isn’t sexual.
How you react to this depends on your personal mental space. You might like the idea that other people think you look good. At the same time, you may not want them to comment at all.
Usually, though, being radiant implies that you’re already in a positive frame of mind. You take the uplifting things that people say at face value and appreciate them.
You also like to share your secrets with other people. Eventually, you become a kind of guru.
Being outwardly cheerful is great for both physical and mental health. Achieving radiance or a healthy “glow” is vital for delaying the onset of disease and helping you make the best use of your health possible.
Knowing that you look great on the outside can also be a big stress-buster. It’s something that allows you to stop focusing on how you appear and instead, looking outward at the world. Remember, if you look radiant, many people will want to know your secret.