We don’t need to redefine it. We need to stop telling people that beauty gives them worth.
Lately companies have been redefining beauty to be more inclusive, and no matter how good the intentions are this still forces us to look at our bodies and see all the ways we should change them.
I watch/listen to a lot of TV when I am painting and once I started to pay more attention to commercials I couldn’t help but get annoyed by what I heard. Over and over again, we are shown how we should look at ourselves.
Like Pantene with ‘strong is beautiful’. Strong hair and strong bodies.
All I need to do now is work out a bunch and fuel my hair. Bam! Beautiful!
Aveeno and Jennifer Aniston think healthy skin equals beautiful skin.
Does that mean that if my skin looks dry it won’t be beautiful? Better slather on the lotion.
I have to give a gentle golf clap to Walgreens for this one:
The message at least gives me the power to define my own beauty and it’s actually inclusive.
And then there was Dove with the Real Beauty Campaign telling us we are more beautiful than we think:
It’s a great example of how we are too critical of ourselves, and our perception of self differs drastically from how others perceive us. I was on board with it until one woman said, “I should be more grateful of my natural beauty.” and “It impacts everything. It couldn’t be more critical to your happiness.”
Really? Beauty is critical happiness? I call bullshit.
Some messages floating around are more positive than others, but I’m
still going to criticize a message that makes me look at my body with any sort of objectification.
I was all for redefining beauty in the beginning. Everyone
should feel confident with their bodies and minds—but when the conversation is about beauty in any form we are just given a new image to fixate on and a new product to buy.
I argue that we should disconnect ‘beauty’ from our sense of identity in general. Beauty does not equal happiness.
Now, shifting to the commercial that just pissed me right off. Crest.
And omg, nobody is going to pass the fricken ‘Tissue Test’.
But back to the first commercial.
Girl 1: “Why are you deleting these photos?”
Girl 2: “Because my teeth are yellow.”
Girl 1: “Oh, yeah. They are a little yellow.”
Girl 2: (joking outrage) “Hey!”
Girl 1: “Why don’t you use a whitening toothpaste?!”
I just need to say Girl 1 is a shitty friend. She should have said “Your smile is awesome! Save those pictures!”
I have been in this position, though. Looking at a picture of myself and then going “Oh, lordy! Why didn’t someone tell me I looked like that?” I ignored the happiness on my face. I ignored the memory of the moment, and instead thought about the way I looked as if appearing ‘unattractive’ diminished the quality of my experiences.
The beauty industry is the worst.
If someone is trying to sell you a product by telling you it will enhance your appearance, odds are pretty good that they are just preying on your insecurities. Their goal isn’t to make you feel better about yourself. Their goal is to get your money and making you feel bad about yourself is an effective tactic.
Scroll through Pinterest, pick up a magazine, turn on the TV, go grocery shopping, eat a brownie, go on Facebook and you will suddenly start questioning every inch of your body.
We are inundated with click bait on how to have thicker hair. How to have clearer skin. Acne gone forever! How to shape your booty. How to get rid of your muffin top. How to fix yellow nails. How to get rid of bat wings. Perfect cat eye makeup. Sculpt your cheekbones. Get whiter teeth. Shinier hair. Straighten your teeth from home. Burn more calories. Cellulite fixes. Varicose veins, shmaricose veins. Get rid of blackheads with a lemon! How to hide your wrinkles. Eliminate gray hairs. Slim down quickly! How to get the perfect tan. Stop aging. Get longer eyelashes. Blah, blah, blah…
If you can maintain your confidence after numerous sources
tell you all the things ‘wrong’ with your body—tell me your secrets.
Be aware and help change it.
Am I the only one annoyed with how things are packaged and sold to us?
If you are with me, I have a plan. I suggest that we change our perspective. I suggest that we take control of what matters. Yes, health is important. Being confident is important. Feeling good about yourself is important—but does any of this depend external beauty?
So, instead of saying ‘blank’ is the new beautiful—can we just
be awesome instead? Beauty does not have to be a part of our identity.
How about we stop giving power to beauty and appearances and just enjoy the moments we live in?
A sassy new hair cut can give you loads of confidence, but a bad hair day shouldn’t devalue your self worth. The winter weight in my thighs may jiggle more than usual when I walk, but I’m still going to enjoy cooking dinner with my fiance and eating ALL of it. And then I’ll go paint a new piece of art and rock the shit out of my lack of perfection.
The struggle is real.
I admit, I struggle with this every day as a still I see myself as having a lot of flaws—but we need to stop sacrificing moments of happiness just because we don’t look the way we want to. Mostly, I’m really tired of pop culture telling me how I should want to look and then selling me a product to achieve that look!
Moral of the story, if anyone took a picture of you in one of your happiest moments, and you wanted to delete it because your teeth look yellow, your stomach wasn’t toned, or your cankles were out of control, etc.—then this one is for you: