Pretty, beautiful, gorgeous. All words, in some way, shape or form- are words we attach to our self-worth. Our desirability to the target sex. But what does that say about us? That our main goal or existence is merely for the attraction of another’s gaze? This notion has been sold to us since the beginning of time, validation is sought from outward things. Buy this to achieve this, fix this to look this way, act this way to gain follows. Not sure, any of it sounds very appealing, so this week on the blog, I try to make heads or tails of this journey of self-discovery and not falling for the fraudulent beauty hype we have been sold for so many years. Read and let us know if you agree with my points.
I came across an article which claims to have calculated the exact age at which we “women” will feel/feel their most sexiest. Now ignoring the fact that any trope which claims to be able to wave a wand and can tell you about a whole group of people is always problematic, but what it did get me thinking about is the progression of how we feel about ourselves and our bodies. Despite not feeling too thrilled to be approaching 38, what I can safely say is that I am very happy to be in the skin I am in now.
Life is too short to spend it at war with yourself
1) I Will Not Be Purchasing or Using ANY Form of Anti-Aging Products
It’s the funniest thing, everyone wants to be young, in some way shape of form, if not the “beauty” industry wouldn’t be nearly as successful as it is. Selling us countless ways in which we can tap back into some fountain to regain something we’ve lost. The thing is, do we really want to go back? Like really really? Because the answer for me is hell nah. You wouldn’t be able to pay me enough to go back 15 years, nah son- I’m good on so many, many levels it almost hurts. Don’t get me wrong, maybe I could do with my 20 something year old’s ability to eat anything and not feel sick, or my fearlessness when it came to the clothes I wore and how I fully embraced the wild notion of dressing how I felt. But one of the main reasons, I will not be purchasing anti-aging products is mostly because I don’t believe in them. I disagree with he very premise. Growing old is a privilege, 100% a cliche, but to me, it’s so so true. To be able to look at your body and it reflecting a map of your life in the form of scars, stretch marks and wrinkly laugh lines, how is that not wonderful? Why would you want to essentially erase your age or to make it ambiguous in some sort of way? I would be lying if I also didn’t admit that I have sensitive skin and the handful of times I took my fastness and even considered using these products, I have always broken out in a rash. They’re far too rough on the skin and in some cases aren’t actually beneficial, we’re buying an illusion. So! I’ve taken this as a sign from the universe. I don’t want to look like I’m a child, I don’t want to erase all of the lines of stories on my face and end up looking like some sort of puffed up Dracula.
Women who invest in themselves go further…
2) I Will Be Seeking Out Meaningful, Authentic Interactions
I know this isn’ very specific to beauty, but follow with me for a little bit. People look at you and they underestimate what you can do, they see you as some sort of fragile thing to be coddled, to be protected when all you want is to be seen for something deeper than surface level. Being a vertically challenged 5’1 person, tends to do that, you don’t take up much “physical” space in a room. I know this will come across conceited and maybe I should apologize for it, but for the sake of this blog post, I won’t. Yes, I know that I may be attractive to some people, but so what? I will no longer be accepting that as a viable compliment. Especially when it comes to dating. I want more, I want deeper. Tell me about how I made you rethink something, tell me how my words or writing captivated you, tell me about how funny I am ( because I am ), discuss with me on a topic that will make me see things from another perspective. I want thought provoking, funny, informative conversations. I want something that is genuine and rooted in something much more real and of value than simply how I look. These words are music to my ears; not any of the superficial fluff people enjoy throwing around here and there. Substance.
3) I Will Not be buying into the Capitalist/Patriarchal Tropes Being Sold to us.
I didn’t intend to get political or even too “heavy” when it came to this post, because I want to protect my peace, but what better way can we fight capitalism and patriarchy than by simply not buying into the tropes they are trying to push? We feel worst about ourselves, and the more money lines their pockets. They have literally found ways to monetize our lack of self-love. The more we are not happy with the way we look, the more money a very small number of men profit from our insecurities. Their fear is that we will actually be content with ourselves and what we have. We will no longer seek to be fulfilled by things, by wealth, by greed or by consumption. But the fact of the matter is, we don’t need much, we already have what we require, we just don’t believe in ourselves enough to make it happen. We look outward to find fulfilment or validation, but at the end of the day we know this isn’t it. So, I for one will not be buying into any of the tropes for sale as a means to try to keep up with the Jones’, because the fact of the matter is I never will be able to keep up and I don’t think I want to.
4) I Will Speak Kindly To/About My Body
Piggybacking off my train of thought in the opening paragraph, I want and will be solely celebrating the body I currently have. This one. Not the one I used to have. This one. The one with the stretch marks, the uneven skin tone, wrinkles on the corner of my lips, the increasing white hairs; not to mention the saggy boobs. This body got me here, this body has stories to tell and this body belongs here. I will work out as a means to keep active and improve my mental health, but I will not be cruel to myself if I miss a day or several. I will eat to nourish myself and not use negative self talk to put myself down or diminish the way I look. My body deserves to be celebrated and appreciated for how far she has taken me and how much further we will go. When I speak kindly to her, I not only mean the physical on the outside, but also the steps I will take to improve my self and the inner work to become the best version of myself I can be. I’d take that any day, and while I feel like most people would want to have their old body back or perkier breasts, it’s not something I personally would want back. Why? Because it didn’t come with the knowledge I have now. The experience or the deeper understanding of who I am. I didn’t respect my body like I do now. I didn’t give it the credit. Yes, I was slimmer, yes I pulled off body con dresses like nobody’s business, but I also didn’t feel sexy, I didn’t know what that meant. I didn’t know my body. It took me from place to place, but for lack of a better word- I fully took it for granted. I will give myself and her grace, because I deserve it.
Life ebbs and flows, we can’t be the same people we used to be, as romantic as that sounds, too much has happened to us, why would we waste that knowledge? It might have come with tears and a lot of sweat, and may have dropped some dead weight along the way, but all of that is priceless. No one is meant to look absurdly different from their age, it’s a ridiculous fantasy we will never live up to, so I say save yourself the stress and smile more and LIVE life, not for the superficial.