“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.