Tips for Thought

Glow up is a term that is often used to describe a dramatic physical transformation, but it can also refer to a more general process of self-improvement. A glow up can be about anything from getting in shape to finding your personal style to developing your confidence.

The phrase “glow up” is relatively new in the cultural lexicon, yet it has roots in the fundamental human desire for transformation and improvement. It traces its origins back to the social media era, where visual transformations are often showcased and celebrated. Although it’s challenging to pinpoint the exact moment or individual who coined the term, it’s widely recognized that glow up gained traction on platforms like Instagram and Twitter around the mid-2010s.

The phrase was popularized through viral posts and hashtags, where users would post before-and-after photos showcasing their dramatic transformations over the years. These weren’t just limited to physical changes but also included enhancements in style, confidence, and overall demeanor. The term encapsulated the radiant improvement one displayed, akin to the glow of a light being turned up.

If you’re looking to glow up, there are a few things you can do to get started:

  • Identify your goals. What do you want to achieve with your glow up? Do you want to lose weight, build muscle, clear up your skin, or learn how to dress better? Once you know what you want to achieve, you can start to make a plan.
  • Make small changes. Don’t try to change everything about yourself at once. Start by making small, sustainable changes. For example, if you want to get in shape, start by going for a walk three times a week. Once you’ve mastered that, you can gradually increase the frequency and intensity of your workouts.
  • Be patient. Glow ups take time and effort. Don’t get discouraged if you don’t see results immediately. Just keep at it and you will eventually reach your goals.

What can you do for your mind and body?

  • Take care of your skin. A healthy complexion is one of the most important things you can have for a glowing look. Make sure to wash your face twice a day and use a moisturizer that is appropriate for your skin type. You may also want to consider using a sunscreen or other skincare products to protect your skin from the sun and other environmental damage.
  • Eat a healthy diet. Eating a balanced diet will help your skin glow, your hair grow, and your body feel its best. Make sure to eat plenty of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Try to limit processed foods, sugary drinks, and unhealthy fats.
  • Get enough sleep. When you don’t get enough sleep, it shows on your face. Aim for 7-8 hours of sleep each night.
  • Exercise regularly. Exercise is great for your overall health and well-being, and it can also help you glow up. Exercise can help you lose weight, build muscle, and improve your skin tone.
  • Find your personal style. What makes you feel confident and beautiful? Experiment with different clothes, hairstyles, and makeup looks until you find what works for you.
  • Develop your confidence. Confidence is one of the most important things you can have for a glow up. Believe in yourself and your ability to achieve your goals.

Remember, a glow up is about becoming the best version of yourself. It’s not about changing who you are but embracing your unique beauty and potential.

We must also accentuate the holistic approach of a glow up. 

The trend isn’t solely about the aesthetic enhancement; it includes mental, emotional, and spiritual development. Embracing positivity, cultivating a resilient mindset, and nourishing the soul are pivotal facets of this journey.

Mental and Emotional Enhancement

Mental health is often neglected but is cardinal to a true glow up. Indulging in activities that enhance mental agility and emotional stability, such as reading, meditation, or even engaging in intellectual discourses, can be instrumental. For example, Sarah, a college student, realized that her glow up was incomplete without addressing her anxiety. She adopted meditation and mindfulness, leading to a calm demeanor and improved concentration and academic performance.

Harnessing the Power of Community

In self-improvement, the role of a supportive community cannot be overstressed. Connecting with like-minded individuals or joining groups focusing on personal development can offer resources, encouragement, and a sense of belonging. Jane transformed her life by joining a local yoga group, where she improved her flexibility and made friends who inspired her to adopt a vegan lifestyle, amplifying her glow up.

Advantages and Disadvantages

Every coin has two sides, and glow up is no exception. The advantages are manifold, including improved physical health, enhanced self-esteem, and greater societal acceptance and opportunities. Individuals who have undergone a glow up often report a heightened sense of happiness and fulfillment.

However, there are potential disadvantages that need to be navigated carefully. Pursuing an aesthetic glow up can sometimes lead to an unhealthy obsession with appearance, potentially spiraling into disorders related to body image. There’s also a risk of alienation if their pre-existing social circles do not well receive one’s transformation.

Keeping the Balance

Balancing the internal and external elements of a glow up is vital. For instance, while John focused on physical fitness and aesthetic appeal, he prioritized mental health, ensuring his self-worth wasn’t solely anchored on his physical appearance. He balanced his rigorous workout routine with journaling and therapy, ensuring that his glow up was as mental and emotional as it was physical.


In the beginning, “glow up” was associated predominantly with aesthetic changes, often celebrating puberty’s end and the entrance into adulthood. However, as the phrase infiltrated mainstream culture, its meaning expanded. People began to associate “glow up” with a comprehensive, multifaceted transformation—one that is not just skin deep but permeates every aspect of an individual’s existence, including emotional, mental, and spiritual well-being.

As social media continued to evolve, so did the interpretation and application of “glow up.” It became an anthem of empowerment, self-love, and individual evolution. In a world obsessed with instant gratification, the “glow up” narrative inserted a refreshing perspective, emphasizing the beauty of progressive, personal development.