In my post Beauty is on the inside and other cliches I talked about the difference between being obsessed with perfection and enjoying enhancing your appearance with make-up and hair products. Recently I began reading The Female Eunuch by Germaine Greer for research. While I don’t agree with everything Greer says and some parts are now not relevant (the book was published in 1970), I really liked the chapter about beauty. It’s normal to have reservations about your appearance, but as Greer argues, we should be mainly not only be okay with our natural appearance/body, but should love it. You don’t have to be arrogant, but find a way to convince yourself that we are each different, and come to appreciate yourself and the natural appearance of others.
If we could stop striving to become the ‘perfect’ woman (or man), then there would be less ‘frankensteins’ as I like to call them (and yes I know Frankenstein was the creator, not the monster). Frankensteins are created when a person sees a part of someone elses body that they like and try to change their own to be the same, most of the time this either ends up greatly exaggerated, or just doesn’t fit with their natural appearance, and the result is ugliness. For example, I have pasty white freckled skin and auburn hair, if I started hitting the sunbeds or used spray tan I would look ridiculous. There are tons of orange women parading our streets, it ain’t a good look ladies, you’d be far better off accepting your pasty skin and just using blusher.
I don’t say these things lightly, I have experience. I was a size 8 before I got sick and now…I’m a few dress sizes bigger. It’s frustrating and yes most people will look at me and think “don’t order the cake” but it’s not the end of the world, worse things happen. As long as I’m eating healthily then I won’t waste my time worrying about the odd treat or the size of my waistline, I’ve come to accept my bigger self, and hopefully soon come to love it.
When I was teenager I hated my freckly knees and did all I could to cover them up, until freckles came in to fashion one summer, and my friend said they were a cute oddity. Not everyone loves them but I do, my friend helped me see my spotted knees in a different way, and now I like that I’m the only person I know who has freckles on every joint, as if they all congregated at the bends.
Perhaps there’s a part of yourself that you could see in a new light?
“For women, there is one aspect which is common to both situations: demands are made upon them to contour their bodies in order to please the eyes of the others. Women are so insecure that they constantly take measures to capitulate to this demand, whether it is rational or not” – The Female Eunuch