annie kip

coaching & strategy

Style with intention

A podcast and blog hosted

#9: Being Vulnerable And Showing A Little Bit Of Ugly

Trying to appear “perfect” might feel safer, but being vulnerable and showing your whole self – and not caring what other people think – will actually draw other people closer to you. It’s true!

Here are the biggest takeaways from this episode:

  • The role of a little bit of “ugly” (i.e. being vulnerable) in genuine attractiveness. (Hint: one doesn’t exist without the other.)
  • The power of vulnerability in establishing connections.
  • How we sometimes confuse authenticity with “ugly” (hey, we’re always our own toughest critic!).
  • My experience with  deciding to show one part of myself that I worried was “ugly” and finding new confidence and ease.

Hey there!

Thanks for tuning-in!

Today I’m going to share a little secret with you: genuine attractiveness can’t exist without being vulnerable – and showing a little bit of what you might consider to be “ugly.”

I’m using the word “ugly” loosely – to indicate all those parts of ourselves that we’d rather hide. You know, the parts you’d rather not have people know about – the parts even you don’t want to look at. They aren’t really ugly – but it may feel that way. It’s really just feeling vulnerable.

When we’re willing to show people our whole selves – it’s risky. What if we’re rejected? But not showing ourselves may even be riskier.

Being vulnerable makes people attractive, because it makes them real.

How close do you feel to that friend who never lets her imperfect, “ugly” side show?  I know I’m not clamoring to sit on the couch and pour my heart out (ugly cry and all) to Ms. Perfect, are you?

Join me as we dig into the benefits of embracing vulnerability and showing people who we really are (hint: it’s what makes you truly beautiful!).

As always, my goal is to make it quicker and easier for you to access more ease, joy, and intention in your life…because happy looks really, really good! 

Enjoy the show!


Today’s bonus content is a checklist of 9 questions you can ask yourself when you’re deciding whether or not to consider “Showing Your Little Bit Of Ugly.”

I’ve asked myself these very same questions many times (especially when I was deciding whether to let my hair go gray or not!) and I’ve learned new things about myself each time.

The answers you give to these questions might surprise you too and will definitely help you think your “little bit of ugly” and maybe see it from a new perspective.




Welcome to the Style With Intention podcast, where we talk about how to use your personal style as a tool to create a life you love.

We believe choice is empowering, complacency is boring, and happy looks really, really good!

I’m your host, Annie Kip and today we’re talking about something that doesn’t come up very often in my world – of style and interior design – and that is the value of “ugly.”

Yes, it’s my job to identify what looks good, what makes people feel amazing, and to help you clarify your unique style – in a nutshell, I’m all about making things look really, really good – but I’m also here to tell you…

Genuine attractiveness can’t exist without a little bit of ugly.


Showing Vulnerability

I know that might be counter-intuitive, but it’s true.

Think about it – who do you feel safest with? The person who thinks you’re perfect — or the person who knows all of your faults and weaknesses and loves you anyway. How about the girlfriend who only shares the stuff that’s great in her life – never any fights with her spouse, or frustrations with her kids, or problems at work – her life seems pretty perfect. How comfortable so you feel sharing yourself with her?

How close do you feel to someone who never lets their imperfect, “ugly” side show?

Our ugly sides connect us…

When you know someone’s weaknesses or faults, you hold the power to hurt them – and when you choose not to use that power to hurt and, instead, you hold that information carefully and tenderly – it bonds us with each other.

Our ugly sides and our imperfections and our mistakes makes us vulnerable to each other.

Whether it is physical “ugliness” in the form of a scar, the embarrassment of making a terrible mistake and having to ask forgiveness, or the gut-wrenching “ugly cry” you only do with people you trust.

Vulnerability makes people attractive, because it makes them real.

Imperfections make celebrities seem more accessible. We can relate to them more. Think of Keira Knightly’s crooked teeth, or Harrison Ford’s scarred chin, or the singer, Seal’s, facial scarring. Each of these people is widely considered immensely attractive. If they looked different, they wouldn’t be the same. These “imperfections” make them who they are to us. Their imperfections give them humanity. It makes them seem a little more vulnerable. There’s something so endearing about seeing this very human quality in a public figure – it makes them more real and we love them for it.

Sure, there are the drop-dead gorgeous movie stars, who seem absolutely perfect, but aren’t we always looking for their humanity? Some chink in the armor? There are whole TV shows and magazines devoted to catching celebrities looking fat in a bathing suit, making an awkward face, or being caught with their pants down somehow.

The lesson is that we shouldn’t be afraid of appearing imperfect.

We should embrace it. Our personal style choices should reflect who we really are. What really makes us feel good inside.

There’s no sense in trying to guess what the rest of the world is going to find acceptable – so just pick what works for you. Listen to the unique “whispers” – those messages you get from your brain which tell you what sparks your good feelings, what choices will bring you to a higher emotional state.

Yes, it’s counter-intuitive – that making personal style choices without caring what other people think, will actually draw you closer to other people – but it’s true. When you show who you really are with your personal style, it gives people something to grab onto and relate to.



Recently, I’ve decided to let my hair grow out gray and not dye my hair to keep it all brown. It’s been a surprisingly vulnerable choice. I’m showing who I really am – a 52 year old woman who is aging. It helped me to make this decision when I mentioned to my son and told him that I didn’t want to look old – and he said, but you are old, mom. He didn’t mean it in an unkind way – it was factual for him. It was the truth.

My hair is turning gray – and it stressed me out more to try to keep it brown, and felt more out of alignment with what I believe in – than letting the gray show.  All style choices aren’t easy or comfortable. This one has taken me a little getting used to – but I feel more and more comfortable with my choice and I definitely feel more in alignment.

The beau has been really sweet with me about this  (even though I’ve felt very vulnerable!) and encourages me to do what feels right to me. I still want to feel attractive and pretty and he still holds onto that for me, letting me know that he actually likes my hair and the fact that I’m letting my hair go gray. He likes my hair and also, finds that willingness to go against the norm and do what feels right for me – attractive as well.

Whether you are someone’s spouse, their parent, or their friend – to be closer, you’re going to have to show yourself – be vulnerable – particularly, that side of yourself you might rather hide and not consider your best parts – you have to do this to really connect.

Our vulnerability connects us. It brings us closer and makes us feel each other’s humanity. We can all relate to feeling vulnerable. Everyone has felt that way at one time or another. Those closest to us are the ones who have earned the honor of seeing us at our worst moments and they get to see that side of us more often.

You will only find out who really holds you and your “ugly” parts tenderly, by sharing those parts of yourself a little bit and then a little bit more. Don’t be afraid of what makes you unique or different – or even ugly – make the choices that light you up, be unafraid of judgement, because those choices may be just the thing that we need to see to know who you really are.

It’s so much better to be interesting than safe.

Use what makes you unique as an advantage. Think of it differently – think of your style choices as an asset and a tool for showing the world who you really are.

Today’s bonus content is a checklist of 9 questions you can ask yourself when you’re deciding whether or not to share that part of you that you’ve been hiding…you know, the thing you consider “ugly.”

I’ve asked myself these very same questions many times (especially when I was deciding whether to let my hair go gray or not!) and I’ve learned new things about myself each time.

The answers you give to these questions might surprise you too and will definitely help you think about Showing Your Little Bit Of Ugly and maybe see it from a new perspective.


being vulnerable and showing your ugly side