Women are on a mission to stay young, tight, and beautiful! Primping, priming, painting, crimping, extending, removing, gluing, taping, sucking-in, bleaching, waxing, plucking, etc. etc. etc., the things we do to ourselves to achieve and maintain beauty.
We know beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but here is what the dictionary says:
a combination of qualities, such as shape, colour, or form, that pleases the aesthetic senses, especially the sight.
That basically explains why the Kardashians are so beautiful! They’ve manufactured themselves into the right shapes and colours! And all of us? We’re just trying to catch up.
We buy products that celebrities endorse, we try the workouts they publicise, and eat up the fad diets they promote (celery juice anyone?).
I write this as I cradle my stomach, and think I would do anything to have a beautiful flat tummy! Will this body obsession ever go away? It’s like we are striving for “perfection”, this balancing of the bust-to-hip-to-waist ratio and this obsession can be consuming af!
A brief moment in beauty history
Did you know hair removal started with the Egyptians. They made tweezers out of seashells to get rid of unwanted hair. “In ancient times, hairlessness signified social position and wealth.”*
Long, straight hair was all the rage way back in the day. Hair was how women showed their femininity. Some cultures would even punish women who had sexual indiscretions by shaving her hair off! And if a woman wanted to be liberated? She’d shave her own hair off!
So, is all this primping and priming necessary? Pre-pandemic was the last time I went for a Brazilian and it was more painful than usual, so I said FUCK IT, and we stopped half way through! Why endure the pain knowing you have to do it again only 4-6 weeks later?
F U C K T H A T!!!
…the ’70s are back in style now anyway, right?
The first time I plucked my eyebrows, I was in grade 9, and it hurt like hell! Having mad thick eyebrows, I picked up the tweezers after noticing some of my new high school friends were participating in this beauty ritual. I stood in front of my bedroom mirror, and just started thinning out my thick, Italian brows, tears welling my eyes. Eventually, the pain became too much, so I took a razor to my brows to get the job done quicker. The result? A bald spot on my left brow… what a hot mess!
Self-esteem wise this notion of beauty makes a lot of sense. When we look good, we feel good, we do good. This will lead to exuding confidence and these positive vibes will radiate onto others, which will be reflected back to us. So like a boomerang effect of positivity. So yes, it’s important we look fresh and presentable. But with all the beauty services advertised to us these days (i.e. fat freezing, injections, noninvasive face lifts), we may be taking it too far! How much have you spent on cosmetic work? I’ve spent thousands, and guess what? It didn’t cure my low self-esteem.
When I was a teenager, I used to spend hours getting ready before heading to my part-time job as a cashier, making sure my hair and makeup were just right. And now? I might just slap on some moisturizer and call it a day because I’m trying to embrace my natural beauty, which to be honest, has been a great practice during pandemic. You’re home all day anyway, so might as well let our hair dry naturally, right? And why not give your skin a breather and leave the makeup in the tubes?
“I love and approve of myself.”
Beauty doesn’t need to be pain. Beauty needs to be acceptance of our bodies, flaws included. How do we get there? We get there by affirming ourselves, by loving ourselves from the inside out, and mirror work is highly effective!
Here are some wise words from spiritual teacher Louise Hay:
I believe the best way to be good to your body is to remember to love it. Look into your own eyes in the mirror often. Tell yourself how wonderful you are. Give yourself a positive message every time you see your own reflection. Just love yourself. Don’t wait until you become thin or build your muscles or lower your cholesterol or reduce your fat ratio. Just do it now. Because you deserve to feel wonderful all of the time.*
So how about we remove the pain, and change the saying to Beauty is Love.