Be Your Own Kind of Beautiful

Be-Your-Own-Kind-of-Beautif

By society’s standards, I’m not beautiful. I have curves in all the wrong places. My hair often resembles something out of a horror film, instead of a Pantene commercial. And my style, which can only be described as lazy girl chic, consists of sweats and no makeup. Obviously, I’m a far cry from the photoshopped perfection that graces the cover of every magazine.

Yet, I wouldn’t change a thing. I’m not a photoshopped beauty. I’m real – stretch marks, laugh lines, frizzy hair and all. And I’m beautiful in my imperfection.

Society has trained us to think that there is only one standard of beauty, one absolute truth. But that standard fails to recognize the diversity across the globe. There are so many body types, skin colors, facial features, and fashion styles that are waiting to be recognized.

There is no one way to be beautiful. There are many.

 

beauty standards, beautiful

 

While we do often rage against the images of perfection all around us, we still tend to fall victim to the limitations that society’s beauty standards have set. So we primp in the pursuit of beauty.

Almost every surface of our bodies are shaved, waxed, and plucked to a smooth like perfection. Every blemish is concealed with makeup and every grey hair with dye. A few pounds are contoured off our faces, while eye shadow is used to widen our eyes. False eyelashes provide that flirty fluttering look. And rosy cheeks offer a gentle glow. These days, even a natural look takes makeup.

Once our faces are expertly painted, the real fun begins. We wiggle into Spanx to contain any flab. And shove our breasts into bras specially designed to not only add a couple of cup sizes, but to make them stand up at attention. After all, we have to make sure our curves are in the right places. The final piece to the beauty puzzle comes in the form of 3 inch stiletto heels that will leave our feet throbbing for days. But, damn if they aren’t cute and make our calves look awesome!

It may take us hours to do what Photoshop can do in minutes, but all’s fair in the pursuit of beauty, except when a woman dares to leave her house without primping to perfection. Then she’s attacked for looking too tired and unattractive. If she refuses to remove every single stray hair on her body, she’s a gross hippie. If she doesn’t follow the current fashion trends, she’s frumpy and a candidate for What Not to Wear.

Why do we rally against the airbrushed representations of women, but turn around and attack those who choose to embrace their natural beauty? If we hold all women to the rules of high heels and makeup, we are only reinforcing the standards that we are trying to change in the media. We are narrowing the definition of beauty to one set standard and dismissing all the other forms of beauty around us.

So instead of attacking other women, encourage them. Praise that fashionista for her amazing style. Or give that girl props for embracing her natural beauty. Don’t let the media rob you of your ability to see the beauty in the world around you. Embrace it. Love it. Live it.

Be your own kind of beautiful and let everybody else be theirs.

 

What does beauty mean to you? Do you enjoy primping or are you of the lazy variety like me?

  • Preach, girl! I have been working very hard on myself lately. To accept how I am with all my flaws. It is hard to be strong when the people and media around you are saying this is what you are “supposed” to be.

    • It does make it a bit more difficult when we are being told everything we ‘should’ be or how we ‘should’ look. But society doesn’t always know what’s best for us. And it often has a very warped view of beauty or a definition too narrow to actually include non-photoshopped women. I say make your own standards of beauty. 🙂 You are beautiful just as you are!

  • To me, you’re beautiful! Inside and out.

    I’m happy with no makeup on and you don’t want to see what my legs look like right now (I screamed when I saw how hairy they’d got suddenly) but make up is there to be used if I want it. I don’t think I have to do a damn thing to be beautiful. Society is fucked up, not us.

    • Thanks, Leah! 🙂 You’re such a beautiful person, inside and out, as well.

      And my legs can probably give yours competition! Haha. I do use makeup from time to time, but these days I’m pretty much rocking the natural look. LOL. 🙂

  • so well written girl. as you know i’ve struggled with my body image for over 16 years (shit i’m old!) but what I really don’t understand is – and you worded it perfectly: Why do we rally against the airbrushed representations of women, but turn around and attack those who choose to embrace their natural beauty? – we all say that skinny is not healthy and its better to be fit and strong and healthy and love yourself, and blah blah – but we obviously don’t support it fully as a society because the airbrushed shit is still present. I don’t think we should focus on weight – because some people really can’t help it and it’s not fair to them, whether they are ‘underweight’ or ‘overweight’. what’s important is loving ourselves and treating ourselves right. end of story.

    • Thanks, Kristen. 🙂 The thing many people tend to forget is that there are all kinds of body types. Yes, being healthy and fit should be a goal. But women of all shapes and sizes can be healthy and fit. That super skinny girl may just burn calories faster. It doesn’t mean she’s not healthy. Or that overweight girl may just hold on to more weight, but she might be able to out run you. People make snap judgements based on weight and never really bother to get to know the whole story. I agree with you – what’s important is to love ourselves. 🙂

  • Love it! I appreciate that you approached this subject from the angle of “do whatever makes you happy and don’t judge other people for whatever makes them happy.” Because SO many articles about self-esteem and body image turn into “don’t wear makeup! don’t fall prey to what the media wants!” But some women DO genuinely enjoy wearing makeup. There’s no reason to attack either side. Just do what makes you feel the most comfortable and most like yourself! 🙂

    • Thanks! I’m a big advocate for living life on your own terms. I think many people forget that while we shouldn’t feel that we HAVE to wear makeup or high heels, many women love to. Even I like to wear makeup from time to time. I think we just need to make room for all kinds of beauty and styles. 🙂

  • I love this. I’ve constantly criticized myself for not living up to all these insane standards and lately have really tried to be and preach body and self positivity for everyone. It’s so nice seeing others get to the point where they think “Why am I spending my life not loving myself exactly for who I am?”

    • I’m so glad that you are trying to be more positive about your body! 🙂 I think life is a lot more fun when we can love ourselves exactly how we are. We are perfectly imperfect. And you are beautiful!

  • I’ve always struggled with body positivity. Sometimes it’s hard to comes to terms with yourself, flaws and all. But it’s like a muscle that you can grow every day through practice! x

    • I love your comparison! We can grow it everyday. I think it’s just about being a little bit nicer to ourselves. 🙂

  • I’ve never worn a lot of makeup or been good at makeup or hair, but I also don’t tend to go out without at least foundation on. For me it’s more about I want to feel good, though I’m sure some of that is influenced by the society standards. I hate doing my hair, I tend to just dry it and go 🙂

    • Hah. I just air dry my hair and go! I’m very lazy when it comes to doing anything with my hair. Curly hair is just such a hassle. I think we shouldn’t feel like we HAVE to wear makeup, but can if we want to or like to. 🙂

  • Really liked your line, “While we do often rage against the images of perfection all around us,
    we still tend to fall victim to the limitations that society’s beauty
    standards have set.” Because I think so many of us struggle to not compare ourselves with the women in the magazines or the girl down the street. It’s a never-ending and a never-win situation. I think the sooner women figure this out, the happier they will be.

    • Yes! But that’s the challenge, isn’t it? I do hope women everywhere will realize that we shouldn’t be comparing ourselves to each other or magazines. But I think it’s made even more difficult by the constant criticism women receive by society. For example, the horrible comments Iggy Azalea received from Snoop Dog after she was photographed without makeup.

  • You are such a beautiful person inside and out and I get happy by visiting your blog. 🙂 I do appreciate individual style and people who dare to be different. In my office I’m the one that is different. I’m fat! I’m bold in the way I dress and I don’t sculpt my face every morning before work. My make up regime consists of mascara and red lipstick and that is it. I don’t feel like I need to cover up my face in all kind of foundations and concealers that just clog my pores up. My skin is beautiful as it is even if I have a pink face! There are far too many people in this world letting themselves being manipulated and brainwashed by media and other people’s opinion, why not stop for a second and make your own mind up instead of being one that follows the crowd?

    • Aww, you’re so sweet, Mookie! Thank you for your kind words. You are also such a beautiful person inside and out. I love your bold fashion sense and killer curves! 🙂 I also have a very pink face, so much so that my brother in-law used to think I was always wearing blush. Hah. I love that you have made up your own mind and hope many other women will do the same!

  • I think that it is really hard not to see our flaws, but I think they are what make us unique. I do prefer to put some effort into primping but only because I feel better when i put the effort in.

    • I think there can be so much beauty found in our flaws. 🙂 And I’ll admit I do feel a little bit better when I primp. I’m just too lazy most days since I work from home. Plus, the pups would just cover me in dog hair anyway.