The art of “glowing up” is a very intricate, elaborate and individual process that usually happens over three to six years and sometimes even up to 10 years. Urban Dictionary defines a “glow up” as an “incredible transformation,” or “to go from the bottom to the top to the point of disbelief.” Essentially, glow up is another phrase for going through puberty, but the glow up process focuses on the improvement of physical appearance, individual style, overall attractiveness and maturity, in contrast to puberty, which basically focuses on physical and biological developments, such as facial hair for boys and periods for girls. However, if you are one of the people that has a permanent babyface and never seems to age (um, congrats), your glow up will probably only apply to your maturity and style. For general purposes, however, most people look different from middle school to senior year of high school due to their glow up.
The glow up process can start off incredibly slow, and it is not until the later years of the process that you actually see results and the outline of what you will look like and who you will be as an adult. People generally begin their glow up as early as sixth grade but may not even know it. Glow ups are usually complete as early as the summer before your junior year or as late as the summer after your senior year. Please note that glow up does not mean you should wear a bunch of makeup at 13, so that you suddenly look like a senior in high school. Your glow up must be natural, and it is a necessary phase in life.
Your glow up is also the time to find your interests, your aesthetic tastes, your dislikes, your talents, your pet-peeves and even your purpose. This first phase of your glow up is what makes the process so long, and it usually takes two to five years. The second phase takes up the last one to three years. If you’re not satisfied with your body shape, this is the time to hit the gym or to think seriously about your diet, because what you do now and how you take care of your body now will affect the condition of your body in 30, 40 or even 50 years according to HelpGuide. You’re also finding your individual style, like what clothes and colors you like best on you. This is the perfect time for rebranding yourself.
You know when your glow up is complete or if you are nearing the end of your second phase if you feel more confident in yourself and if you are more calm and content with what you look like and how you act. Your glow up is complete when you love yourself unconditionally, and your love for yourself, your body, and your interests will not waver because of the opinions of others. People who have fully glowed up have mastered the skill of appreciating the beauty of others without doubting their own beauty.
If all this hasn’t happened yet, do not fear. Don’t think that because you are not as confident in yourself as others, that you have failed at glowing up or that you are lesser than anyone who is confident. Some people are just naturally more confident than others, and some people show their confidence more overtly than others. Gaining confidence is another process in itself, but once you acquire self-confidence, despite how long it takes, your glow up will be much more enjoyable.
All that being said, please remember that each person’s glow up process looks different. If your friends are glowing up faster than you, do not get discouraged. This is your individual journey to adulthood and maturity. Some people who were too busy worrying about other people’s glow up, grow up without glowing up, and they realize that they are unhappy and easily discouraged and grumpy. You don’t want to be a grumpy 50-year-old who hates everything. Patiently waiting for your glow up to happen is one of the most important things to ensure full success at the end of your glow up. The most important thing is to make it completely natural; otherwise it won’t happen correctly.