I’ve been saving this piece in my “draft” items for a while now. One day I woke up and just went on a little bit of a rant….In being a beauty blogger, I surround myself with everything that is “beautiful”. It got me thinking about what does it mean to be beautiful anymore? I had been doing some shopping and overheard conversations and when I went home, I wrote this because I was so frustrated with the conversations I heard and I thought long and hard about what, we, as women do to ourselves emotionally. So now, I am finally going to share this piece. It’s not the normal post for my blog, but I think it’s important to understand what we are doing to ourselves.
I am very hard on myself. I always have been. I think as women, we are programmed to tear ourselves apart. I listen to most of my friends and family and realize, it’s not just me. I listen to the constant criticism each women puts upon themselves every time they try on a new piece of clothing. I see size 2/4 women talking about how fat they are or that the dress made their stomachs stick out. I’ve heard mother’s telling their daughters that if they lost a couple pounds they would look much prettier in a dress. All of this got me thinking and I asked myself, where does this begin??
I’m about to dig deep here people. Very deep. This isn’t something I do normally, but I feel that it’s important for even just one person who reads this, can walk away feeling better about themselves or to remind your daughters, nieces, cousins or friends that they are beautiful! I don’t mean this to be offensive to anyone, I am just expressing my personal opinions.
In my younger years I was thin and probably would have been considered fairly “normal”. Then it just changed. My body was weird and didn’t fit me. I gained a lot of weight. There are plenty of reasons why I think this happened and it all stemmed down from genetics (my dad was a big guy), a poor diet, divorced parents and what I found out later in life, hormonal imbalances. I hated myself and how I looked. Still to this day I freak out looking at my childhood photos because I see a girl who hated herself. I can see myself screaming on the inside in every one of those photos. It’s sad, but it’s the honest truth. I have one baby picture out of me, that’s it.
I feel so bad for girls growing up in today’s society. I hear stories from teenagers and the things they talk about and I’m amazed. I feel like these problems were around when I was growing up, but it’s a totally different level now. I hear girls in high school getting plastic surgery, talking about how a size 2 is considered plus size and literally degrading others around them. Girls have always been mean to each other, but think about all of the social media they are exposed to and what they can do. Remember Mean Girls? Sadly, I think that a lot of parents don’t set good examples of what it means to be a strong woman. Girls see their mother’s getting plastic surgery, Botox, dieting every day and they themselves talk horribly about women they know or about themselves. The cycle continues with women.
I can’t say I grew up feeling awesome about who I was. I felt like this oddball person who didn’t fit it and I wanted to change everything about myself. I remember crying in the dressing room so many times and not understanding why I couldn’t find clothes to fit me. I remember crying because I wanted to be more like my mom and not my dad. She was skinny, but sadly, my dads genes took over. I don’t remember hearing someone tell me that it was ok to be different or that we needed to love who we are and be proud of it. I just remember not fitting in and hating everything about myself and trying to figure out how to fit in with my “skinny” friends. I 100% hated myself growing up. Just typing that makes me feel so incredibly sad.
It’s not until now and I’m 32, that I can say I have grown to appreciate me and feeling somewhat ok with being different. I’ll never be a size 2. I’ll always have some imperfection that I’m not happy about. Do I still cry about certain issues? YES!! I’m human, but I have a loving husband who tells me I”m beautiful and makes me realize that I might not be so bad after all! There will always be things that I don’t like about myself, but I realize now, I can only focus on being healthy and I have to be ok with the good things about myself and move on. I don’t think there is a person out there who doesn’t wish they could change something about themselves. This isn’t to say that there aren’t “skinny” people out there who wish they weren’t so small that they could gain weight. Everyone out there has something they wish they could change.
I realize I blog about makeup and fashion. Two subjects that can spark self doubt and insecurity within women, but I never blog to make women feel bad or ashamed about not knowing about makeup or how to dress. I blog to pass on the tips and tricks I’ve learned, so that maybe the girl with acne can find a product that helps her or she can learn how to apply concealer correctly. Or maybe the girl, like me, who isn’t a size 2, can know that it’s ok to still love fashion and to know that she doesn’t have be to ashamed of her body. I blog to help women. To allow them to maybe learn some things they don’t know about or have access to.
I think we all need to encourage younger women to really take a look a themselves and be open to being different. It would be such an amazing world if girls could stop feeling like they needed to get plastic surgery in order to be “perfect.” What they are too young to understand, is that there is no such thing as being “perfect.” We need to work on teaching women the value of a good self-esteem. Tell your daughters, cousins, nieces and friends how beautiful they are. You never realize how much a compliment can mean to someone. If you know someone who is struggling with themselves, help them. Maybe they just need some advice or someone to talk to. Instead of talking badly about how they dress or how fat someone is, take a moment to realize what it might be like to walk in that person shoes for a day. Remember that all of those celebrities that we look up to have a hair stylist, makeup artist, trainer, dietician and a wardrobe person available to them 24/7!! Have you ever googled celebrities without makeup? It might make you feel SO MUCH better about yourself when you see them without makeup!
I wish I could have known the person I am today, a long ago. I hate that I wasted all of those years hating myself and my body. I wish I could have told myself that there were parts of me that were great and that what I wanted for myself, wasn’t realistic. I have two nieces who I hope grow up to know how beautiful they are. I hope they never have to look in the mirror and feel ashamed or bad about how they look. I hope I can always be there for them and teach them about things I wish I would have known about (like how to use a flat iron!!) and give them advice on issues they are struggling with. It’s all about love people. As corny as that sounds, we all need to love a little bit more and quite being so damn mean to ourselves and each other.
I’d love to hear your thoughts. Good or bad! I know that there isn’t a woman out there who doesn’t tear herself apart at times, but I’d love to know if you have children, nieces, cousins, friends, what do you do to remind them about what it means to be proud of yourself or appreciate and work with what you have. I simply wrote this post because I am tired of the degrading way we treat ourselves and each other. There is no perfect.