“Am I beautiful?”
This is a question that crosses our minds, some of us daily. Sometimes it’s a thought that flows through our minds when we pass a mirror or our reflections in a window.
We are a culture obsessed with beauty and it seems always in search of eternal youth and perfection. We never seem to be satisfied with what God/nature intended.
Our reasons may differ but the fact remains the same. We see those magazines filled with celebrities and models and wish we looked like them and less like us. We stare into the mirror on a daily basis and groan or sigh, wondering why our genetics weren’t kind enough to turn us out like Gigi Hadid or Scarlett Johansson. (That’s just the way nature rolls…)
I am no different and chances are if you are truthful with yourself, you are no different either. You can pinpoint a time whether it’s now or in the past where you have been concerned that you aren’t living up to the beauty standards that have been set for us.
I love the movements that are in place now to help break those barriers and help women embrace who they are. The Dove Real Beauty Campaign comes to mind. (Where do I apply?) No seriously. I both hate the way I look and embrace the way I look so much that I would be perfectly comfortable posing half naked in my under-roos, flaws showed off for all the world to see in one giant F-U to any haters. There has to be something incredibly freeing (albeit nerve-wracking) and confidence boosting in that.
(Seriously Dove… sign me up)
I personally go through times where my confidence is high, I accept that I am no longer the skinny little pretty bitch I was before I had kids, other days I wish I could be that thin and youthful again and sometimes I just want to blend in with the crowd and not be noticed.
My face is where I am really noticing a huge difference as I age. (duh)
There is a game on Facebook right now where you show a comparison photo from High School versus what you look like now. There is a 20 year difference between my photos. As you can see, I am barely recognizable (In my opinion) and most people thought that the first photo of me was actually my daughter. (Well…she IS stunning…)
Obviously I knew I had aged, no matter how much I joke about denying it…. but I guess I am not aging well? Or maybe I am? The fact remains that it’s all in my head. (Or in the heads of other judgmental bastards… but what can you do?) Other people looking at me may see something else through their eyes.
I joke about plastic surgery and Botox. I won’t lie, I have thought about it. I think the thing that stops me from actually following through with it is the fact that authentically I wouldn’t feel like myself if I did. I don’t think it would set a good example for my children either. I want them to be confident no matter what and to not feel as pressured (or sad) as I have. I’ll admit it’s hard to do when you are constantly on a ‘I hate my looks-love my looks’ inner battle.
God made me the way I am. While I wouldn’t mind tweaking his creation here and there, the bottom line is my Christian guilt would probably sink in and I would end up regretting messing with what he intended. Though I do break that rule and change my hair color and style A LOT (innocent fun!) but then again, my motto is…. Hair grows back!
Reversing plastic surgery? Yeah… that doesn’t sound like fun. (or possible)
I am not going to pretend to have any answers, because clearly I am a bit of a nut job on this topic myself, but if you feel the same way I do… then I hope you are doing what I do.
Always remind yourself: Those celebrities you are constantly comparing yourself to ARE airbrushed in print. They have the same flaws (the under eye circles, acne, crooked teeth, noses, cellulite) but thanks to the magic of airbrushing they are able to grace the cover looking flawless.
Those celebrities have TEAMS of people working on them. Personal trainers, Stylists, Hair Stylists, Make Up Artists…. yeah, if you or me had that same luxury we would all look like a million bucks too. We can learn these tricks ourselves and take care of ourselves (which a lot of us do) but it can be exhausting and a bit overwhelming. I try to save my nicest make up and nails for when I am actually going somewhere. I’m a stay at home mom, so if I bother with makeup… it’s basic on a day to day basis, unless I feel I need to ‘boost’ my confidence and throw on my red lipstick. (I don’t know what it is about me, but man do I feel like I can rule the world when I am wearing red lipstick!) I wish I had the time again, where I could spend hours playing with my make up, learning some of these newer tricks but honestly, every time someone says to me: “Have you tried contouring?” I really want to respond with: “Have you ever tried peeing with children knocking on your door every few seconds? I’m lucky if I can put mascara on without a kid related crisis! Contouring! Sounds like a time consuming make up luxury!”
On a normal day I am lucky if I can get ten minutes set aside for make up when I am getting ready. So what you see with me- is what you get. What I look like, is what I look like. My usual five minute speed make up sessions aren’t too bad. (Provided I don’t get mascara all over my eyelids by accident) but I do miss the days when I felt I had time or when I felt I was enhancing my looks rather then hiding and covering my flaws.
My nails while trim, never have polish unless I am going away or off to a wedding or decide to experiment with the kids on something trendy or fun. My life isn’t posing for magazines and making out with Channing Tatum *Pause for a visual….sigh…*
My life is scrubbing toilets, doing laundry and arguing with younger versions of myself to eat vegetables. My fun and carefree days of spending hours in front of the mirror are long gone.
Sometimes I am jealous of my husband and his low maintenance/still stays adorable appearance, he seems to be aging nicely and becoming even more handsome with age. Meanwhile I am over here with very apparent changes of aging, wider hips, circles under my eyes and no more of that youthful glow I once had.
Today I woke looking like I could audition for a zombie movie. After make up, I feel a bit better, I have now escalated into someone who the zombie may bite… but I know that today is ‘just one of those days’ where I will pretend that I am confident in my look and get on with life. (You know, AFTER I write this awkward blog entry)
Tomorrow, maybe when I look in the mirror I will feel that I look better. Maybe I will have more time to play with my hair and make up so I can enhance what I have. Maybe I wont be so tired from a crappy nights sleep. Maybe my attitude will be different.
Every day is different.
The whole point to this post is not just for me to get my crap out of my head and onto paper, but so that others can see they are not alone. You-the person reading this who has the same issues that I do when you look in the mirror. It’s not just you. It’s all of us. It’s even going on in that head of the pretty girl you see walking down the street.
No matter what. Remain confident.
Look and feel amazing?
Be Confident about it.
Don’t feel so beautiful or aesthetically pleasing?
Be Confident Anyway.
(Chin up, Chest Out!)
Youth is fleeting, that is just reality.
Don’t listen to anyone who insults you or tells you that you are ugly and unworthy.
Because lets face it. They aren’t perfect. If they have to say that to you, then they are pretty ugly themselves, thus making the insult void. Pay those fools no attention.
Beauty? It’s always there. It’s not just about how we look. It’s in the way we act. It’s in the way we think. It’s in the way we express ourselves.
Just remember to tell those around you that they are beautiful, and do it often and out of the blue.
Maybe something as simple as that can help erase those negative thoughts we can be plagued with and this world can slowly turn into a much better place.
(Blog inspired by today’s Daily Prompt:Aesthetic )