I once overheard a man say, "Women who know and appreciate their body know how to move...and that's sexy." Well, what do you know, it's not all about the long legs, round butt and big boobs! Sometimes we get too caught up in comparing ourselves to others or thinking that we have to look a certain way in order to be considered attractive. The truth is, the most attractive people are those who appreciate their own unique qualities and have confidence in themselves. This can only come from self-acceptance and self-love.

Being an athlete has taught me how important it is for my mind, body and spirit to be aligned. When I was boxing, I'd have to prepare my mind for competition so that my body could follow the lead. Then, it was imperative that I meditate and nurture my spirit to seal the deal. Once that ritual was complete, there was no stopping me. This is the way I approach every aspect of my life, and it enables me to walk to the beat of my own drum. This inner confidence that I have is one of my most beautiful gifts, and I would not trade it for anything, not even smaller feet (I wear size 11 1/2)!

I don't have to be thin, have long, silky hair or any of the other things that our society considers to be beautiful. And neither does anyone else. All we have to do is change our minds and open our eyes. Only then can we appreciate all the features and unique qualities within ourselves. When a woman feels beautiful from the inside out, she exudes confidence and an unstoppable glow. She brings a smile to people's faces because her energy is so positive and contagious.

This type of beauty is much more valuable than simply having a "pretty face" can ever be.

What is it that you value more than physical beauty? Comment below.

Laila Ali made her professional boxing debut in 1999, following in the legendary footsteps of her father, Muhammad Ali. She is an athlete, wife, mother and champion of health and fitness. For more about Laila, go to


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