I’m going to admit something I’m not proud of. But I promised to be honest with y’all, so here goes:
I feel better when I look better.
Yep. All those things we say about good hair days and a little color on the lips and some cute boots . . . I feel better when I like how I look. And the opposite is also true: if I’m not feeling good about my appearance, I hold back. I’m less confident.
And that drives me crazy. Because as the often offensive but always insightful Sarah Silverman said:
If you’ve spent a little time around here, you know quite well how I feel about the beauty industry. Beyond the nasty ingredients and the obnoxious marketing (Have you seen the commercial with Jennifer Aniston using Aveeno?) this is what bothers me most: their pervasiveness, their size and their influence. “150 Best Beauty Buys!” Really? 150? That’s a full-on assault, and it’s impossible to ignore.
The value placed on appearance, especially for women today, makes me ill. If ANY woman holds ANYTHING back in life because she is not confident in her appearance, then we are failing each other. And we seem to think makeovers are the answer, that we can empower women by molding their looks into a more culturally defined idea of beautiful. Pretty sure that’s more of the problem and less of the solution.
Women have the capability to tackle and solve the huge problems going on in our world. We’re amazing and smart and creative and compassionate and so, so powerful. And none of these qualities are at all dependent on how we look.
But, back to my own confession, how we showcase these qualities often depends on how we FEEL about the way we look. And that sucks.
In this business, we get to hear a lot of women reveal their insecurities. Sun spots on my face. Wrinkles on my chest. Breakouts on my chin. The lesson I’ve learned is no one else notices your hangups, because they are too hung up on their own. Can we all just agree to get over it?
Think about the people you value in your life. Does their physical appearance have anything to do with the way you feel about them? Then why do we let physical appearance have anything to do with the way we feel about ourselves?
Easier said than done, I know. From the time we’re young, we are inundated with pictures of flawless women selling us the things we need to become flawless. But they’re only selling because we’re buying. We’re willingly handing our money over to companies that play on our insecurities, draw us into the comparison game, and pit women against each other, all in the name of selling their product. So let’s stop.
I will if you will.