Prioritizing Positivity Not Perfection


“If you begin to understand what you are without trying to change it, then what you are undergoes a transformation.”  - Jiddu Krishnamurti

Upon finding an article where Mila Kunis stated that it's 'bizarre how everyone has the same facial features now', I related to her sentiments in a sad way. The truth is there always have been certain trends within the make-up/beauty world. But when I look around the world at the moment, it seems to be less about enhancing your own already beautiful features, but about instead changing them entirely. It's dismal seeing an army of people unaccepting of their own beauty and favouring to alter their features.

As a young woman, who wants to live a free and fulfilling life to the best of my abilities, I've begun to navigate what are the necessities to my happiness. Our exterior bodies are beautiful creations, but it’s our words and actions that can touch peoples lives. We should prioritize what we do, and not how we look. What feeds the soul is love, friendships, passion, peace and following your dreams. I do realise that make-up and hair are incredible art forms and there are many artists I admire in those areas. Although indulging in enhancing our best features through make-up and being creative is an important part of a lot of peoples lives, we should be making sure we don’t place too much worth on this.

A recent movement by Jameela Jamil, 'I Weigh' shone a light on how there are so many more important things than our looks; personal growth, recovery progress, friends, family and just having fun and adventuring. The instagram page was born out of a concern for the issues around self esteem problems. Combating a culture that would rather see women worry about their weight rather than flourishing in their talents.

“Every minute we spend thinking about how thin and gorgeous and perfect we aren’t, is a moment that we aren’t thinking about growing our business or our education, or our family or the fun in our lives.”

I once did focus and put a lot of pressure on the way I looked when I was younger. This lead to me edging away from my true self, trying to look like who I thought was beautiful, rather than realising I was beautiful. Instead of having a healthy, loving, accepting view of myself, it was an unhappy egotistical energy that held me back.

In our superficial society we are often told that our likeability is determined by our looks. This leads to self esteem issues and a never ending cycle of trying to reach an unrealistic goal among many young people. I’ve found I’ve almost had to unlearn the lies that have filtered through modern media and into my brain. I understand photo-shopping, light, make-up and how much work and effort can go into making people look a certain way for just one photo. Therefore now I can fairly judge myself and others, and not make unfair comparisons to the fake beauty standards of Victoria's Secret and celeb selfies.

Being comfortable in your own skin may be a slow process but it’s so rewarding. It may be a bit of a battle but you have to remember there's a lot of money in the business of making you feel bad about your body. You've got to fight the urge to judge yourself too harshly. When you begin to realise the world doesn’t fall apart when it sees you in your natural form, you’ll have more clarity and confidence within yourself. Maybe you'll even feel a better connection with the world, as nothing in nature apologises for the way it looks, it just lives.

If you focus inwards, you can see where your true self thrives. When you're truly happy in your skin, you won't need to hide it or change it. The more we connect with our souls and less with our eyes, the more we can make genuine connections with people and grow within ourselves. Rather than when we put all our energy into our exterior looks, consuming and worrying about things that make us look like the current version of attractiveness. We're focusing on something other than what serves our soul, our dreams, ambitions or the people around us.

I am in no way saying make up is a negative thing in itself, wear as little or as much as you prefer to. It's a fabulous art form, and you can create all sort of funky looks. Just don't use it to hide yourself. Don't fall into the trap of the cult of perfection. Focusing so harshly on your exterior is a waste of your time. Time that could’ve been used on enjoying your life and feeding your soul with magical experiences.

 

More in Self-Love:

GOOD ENOUGH?


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ever since I can remember, I have based my value on marks, on grades, on percentages

on sheets of white paper with black, standardized text, asking standardized questions 

questions that mould intelligence, creativity, individuality of a beautiful child’s mind into a numerical value

a score out of 100

a red-biro fraction in a red-biro circle inked in the top right-hand corner.

that ink seeps into my skin, is etched into my soul; carving out what it means to be liked, to be successful, to be worthy,

worthy of love

worthy of being far, far away from that fear of failure and all that we are told comes with it;

worthy of holidays, of a nice house, of presents at christmas

things us children are told come hand-in-hand with ‘financial security’, with ‘a stable career’

with money

with happiness.

 

but now I am not a child, and I know that this simple equation is not all it seems

although I will never forget that my one ‘B’ grade in an ocean of sparkling ‘A’s’ was in maths

I still can believe my less than satisfactory brain when I think

that this mathematical equation is one that is,

in fact,

incorrect.

a subtracted mark from that all important score

a mark I would agonize over; would question teachers about 

never feeling satisfied

never feeling proud

never feeling quite good enough.

 

and as a girl becomes a woman

it is too easy to fall into into another trap society has set 

placing self-worth on the external 

placing self-worth on our image or on our ‘health’

where in reality as our physical health maybe momentarily increases

our mental health steadily dwindles.

there was a day when i looked into the mirror to see the progress of my teeth growing in 

not the progress of my ‘abs’ as a marker of my ‘fitness’

a day when we were told our ‘bottoms were a seat’ and not a marker of attractiveness

of admiration

of envy

a day when we did not know beauty was linked to an image of a ‘perfect’ female form.

 

the word anxiety creeps its way through an innocent child’s skin

red ink, swirling, into my bloodstream

and settling

deep in my stomach

wrapping one arm around the space that once, I trusted 

a space that so effortlessly nourished and cared for me

and the other arm around my mind

it’s fingers skillfully placing a tint over my eyes

undetectable

making me see life through glasses of fear

of hate

of insecurity 

before closing it’s arms together, in a toxic embrace

forming a link between my worth and what I choose to enter this area of my body

or what I choose not to

creating irrational fears that see-saw from being so obsessed with health

wanting to improve

wanting to be better

to not feeling worthy of the money that nourishment costs

hidden behind the frugality of a loan-dependent student 

to not feeling worthy of nourishment unless, maybe, if following certain rules

because following rules is a perfectly measured recipe that bakes a sugar-free, fat-free cake of success

 

a see-saw between the achievement of being so clean, so pure

and the achievement of being empty and thriving

a see-saw between the fear of never reaching my best self

and the feeling 

of not having one

 

because if even if that red ink writes 100/100 

like it has on occasion for now-trivial past achievements

 

even if i rebuild my outer shell that has shrunken in the laundry

as my self-esteem was washed away with the suds of perceived ’imperfection’

 

even if what i see in the mirror does finally satisfy me, even with a number on the scale that does not inflict worry or concern

 

even if the red ink completes that circle

once again encompassing my worth and compacting it into the top right hand corner of a piece of paper i’ll never see again

 

would I then be freed from this never-ending cycle that society has created?

these expectations, ideals

images

the fears that almost are ingrained into our genetic makeup

 

the circle of the grade

the circle of the percentage

the circle of my stomach

the circles of my eyes

the circulating thoughts in my mind

 

maybe then

I would feel

good enough.

 

 

 

 

 

- Alexandra Murray-Reynolds (@thehippychickpea)

find more at thehippychickpea.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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More Poetry:

the whisper


The whisper

In the stillness of my soul

I find you

You are there

Quietly whispering to my heart

Unfolding the mysteries of life

 

There´s not one thing you don´t know

Not one thing you don´t understand

Everything I desire lies in the depth of your spirit

Revealed through the guidance of your voice

All I need to is listen

 

That´s the art

Focusing on the things hidden

For us to be found

Things that seem unimportant

but contain the secret of life

You´ll only discover

when you take your eyes of the storm

And ganze into His

 

More Poetry:

Source: https://www.instagram.com/p/Bd35zgAHpCQ/?taken-by=tearstopraise