I have never been one to spend a lot of money on glossy magazines as I have come to realise over the years that I usually don’t get my value out of them. In many cases it’s not exactly high level journalism more like high level sensationalism and the stories versus adverts claiming they will transform your life if you buy their products are generally way out of balance. I am however guilty of taking an extra five minutes or so to flick through these glossy beauties and check out the pictures, latest headlines and occasionally speed reading an article or two of interest when I do my groceries. Now we all secretly love it when we see these seemingly perfect human beings gracing the pages who never normally have a hair out of place or a pimple in sight displaying normal everyday body issues just like us mere mortals. In actual fact I’ve heard that spreads on Celebs without makeup are some of the highest selling editions.
It is little wonder we have become a society obsessed with how we look and how everyone else looks right alongside of us. Constantly comparing ourselves to the elusive world of beauty and fame, worrying about how our peers perceive us. It reminds me of what my Grandfather would tell me growing up “Janie, if you knew just how little time other people spent thinking about you, you wouldn’t worry in the first place”. Now to a great degree these words ring truer today than any other time in my life however I am still acutely aware of our deep human condition to want to be accepted. With all of these magazines, movies, television and advertising we are all at the mercy of this big money making industry of fashion and beauty.
Now don’t get me wrong, I love to look and feel beautiful. I love wearing beautiful clothes and nice jewellery, hats, bags and quality shoes. I’ve looked after my skin with a daily cleanse and moisturiser routine since I was eleven years old and for the most part I look after myself and take a lot of pride in my appearance. What prompted this article was one of the most recent magazines I happened to pick up which was showcasing high profile celebs and their cellulite. I have to admit, a warm sense of satisfaction swelled within me when I saw that some of the most beautiful women in the world also have this seemingly unattractive issue. Even better was their attitude towards their bodies, defiant and confident. Without someone there to airbrush and photo shop them, they are just like me, just like you.
Most of us are our own worst enemy, avoiding the mirror unless necessary and when we do look in that said mirror our internal dialogue goes to work. “Gee you’re looking old” “Fatty boomba you need to go on a diet!” “Wow, you’re ugly” “Who would be attracted to you?”… Sound familiar? If you had a friend that spoke to you like that every time you met with them would you keep hanging out with them? Then why do we treat ourselves like this?
It’s taken me a long time, however I have worked on it daily until I can now honestly look in the mirror and tell myself that I am beautiful. I’m certainly not model material however I don’t need to be either. There are still things I’d change if I could. I’d like to have nicer teeth, longer lashes, and tanned skin, a better nose and maybe even be a few inches taller. However then I take check and realise that I can get better teeth and change my nose if I really want to go through that pain. I can also get a spray tan and fake lashes. With all the travel I do these days I realise being vertically challenged has its advantages as I fit quite comfortably in planes and trains and have no issues sleeping.
However, what I do have is so much more important. I have two eyes that see with 20/20 vision, I have two arms, hands, legs and feet that work perfectly. I can run, walk, swim, throw, catch, hold, pick up and hug in a nanosecond of the thought. I have an incredible mind, a healthy body, I rarely ever feel unwell, I get plenty of sleep, I have great hair and I’m a good weight for my height. When I remember all of these things I am beautiful just the way I am. I even embrace my cellulite because this is part of me, it is a natural part of being a woman and to disown this part of myself is telling my body that I am not enough and that is so far from the truth.
My best friend and I have made a pact with each other that when we have children we will never put ourselves down in front of them. I spent my childhood watching my mother complain about how fat, ugly, old or stupid she was and she always seemed to be on some new diet. She was none of these things and yet as an impressionable young girl I bought into this false belief and made it my own. After all, she was my mother and I was part of her so I must also be just like that… right? Children are so perceptive and are like little sponges as we all know. If we want our children to value and love themselves, believe they are beautiful, perfect and worthy of all that they desire in life than we too must hold this belief about ourselves.
“Even the most unfortunate person has something so truly beautiful about them; maybe it’s their eyes, their smile, their hair or their personality.”
Of course it is important to look after ourselves, have a healthy lifestyle and dress nicely, to feel good within ourselves and not to impress everyone else around us. One thing I have realised is that there is always going to be someone we are looking at wishing we were more like them however there is always going to be someone looking at us wishing they were more like us. I have heard it said many times that in a room full of people that the most beautiful person in the room is not the best looking; it’s the person with the most confidence and self-belief. When I think back over my life this is so true. The people I’ve found to be the most attractive are not necessarily all that good looking, however they are confident, loving, fun and at peace within themselves.
We were all born perfect so what makes us think we somehow become less perfect? We are all imperfectly perfect and becoming more each and every day. You ARE beautiful enough!
Until next time,