You ever have one of those days where you just stare at yourself in the mirror first thing in the morning and feel disgusted with your appearance? The bags under your eyes. The medium-large sized pimple that has appeared right in the center of your forehead. Your hair, untamed like a lion’s mane. The way your body is shaped. So then you go and weigh yourself only to realize you’ve gained four pounds which makes you feel guilty about going back for seconds during dinnertime and eating not one, but two pieces of chocolate cake the night before. You’ve read that five pounds gained or lost is visible to the human eye and so to battle against gaining that last pound, you starve yourself for most of the day. You then decide to measure your bust, waist and, hips to see what body shape resonates with yours and the quiz you take online tells you you’re a spoon. Don’t even ask me what that means because I’m still trying to figure it out for myself.
It’s upsetting that we live in a world where multi-billion dollar industries are built around making women feel more insecure with themselves so that products can be created to help us feel beautiful again. Sometimes I try to imagine a world in which makeup and hair products didn’t exist. What would the definition of beauty be then? If Photoshop had not been invented, what would the covers of magazines look like? Perhaps more real, raw, and natural. At least that’s what I imagine.
Don’t get me wrong, I love playing with makeup and doing my hair. I love getting all dolled up before a night out of town. I love dressing up and feeling good about myself. But there are days when I take all the makeup off and brush out the curls in my hair before going under the covers where I stop and glance at the mirror long enough to pick out all the flaws that were covered up just moments ago. If only you could place a filter on your face in everyday life like you can easily do on Instagram.
So how do we go about fixing this? Whatever the ‘solution’ may be, it’s not an easy one and I think we can all vouch for that. For me, I guess I’ve decided that when I feel at my worst, when I feel that I am not beautiful, I try my best to make my life more beautiful. I write more often to release all my thoughts and let go of some of the negativity that floods my brain. I surround myself with people that choose to be in my life, not because of my appearance, but because they genuinely like my company. I find comfort laying in bed hungover after a night of too many cocktails with my best friend beside me, glancing at each other and giggling at the mascara that has left marks beneath our eyes, eyeliner that has faded from both sides of our eyelids, and fake eyelashes that are drooping over our eyeballs only to tell each other that we have never looked better.
I think part of the reason we doubt ourselves so much and why we are so critical towards our appearances is because some part of us subconsciously believes that if we are not always at our best, perhaps people won’t want to be around us and maybe then we will become more lonely than we already are. I think the only real ‘fix’ for that is to surround yourselves with people who love you despite your flaws. Maybe we should turn the question of whether people wouldn’t want to be around us if we weren’t beautiful to the question of whether you would remain friends with someone if they gained a little more weight. Or whether you would go to the mall with your friend who chose not to wear makeup that day. The question seems pretty rhetorical if you ask me. So why do question it when it comes to ourselves?
I think we are all beautiful. I think the word ‘flaw’ is a negative way of defining differences. I think if we stop looking at these differences in a negative light by replacing ‘flaws’ with ‘uniqueness’, we could maybe someday come to love those parts of ourselves. Maybe a lot of you guys have already come this far. I think we have a long way to go in terms of the media’s portrayal of women but I also think we can start changing it ourselves by altering our perception of our own beauty. Maybe a world in which real, raw beauty is praised can take full formation rather than the whole ‘apply-10-layers-of-makeup-but-make-it-look-natural-crap’ (I say knowing I’ve posted one of those tutorials on this blog in the past — haha hypocrisy at it’s finest), and maybe, just maybe, we can be a part of what makes that happen.