Living in a world where social acceptance and the media calls the shots, we find we are trying to “fix” ourselves all of the time. Women, and even men, are given a standard to physically uphold because that is how society defines beauty. It’s a lie and an illusion in which we have become entangled.
Let’s explore the damage this can cause, not only to our physical bodies, but also to our emotional and mental selves. Since it is most apparent, let’s begin with the physical consequences.
Women have images of beauty defined to them by movie stars, models, and other women of high class lifestyles. In order to maintain the socially accepted standard of a beautiful woman, we slather our faces in make up, destroy our hair with dyes and color stripping chemicals, and some even have cosmetic surgery. We do this for what? Oh yes, that standard. Women want to look like other women that people ogle at; it’s a cry from their ego that relates to their own self confidence. Even though the make up smothers our skin and the hair dye kills our hair, we still keep trying. Also, this applies to men as well. There are plenty of men that dye their hair and even wear a little make up to “doctor” their look into being something more “pleasing”.
Personally, I am a woman that is almost 30 years old. I began wearing make up in my middle school years and through my high school years as well. Even after graduating, I still continued wearing a little eye make up here and there. When I entered my mid/late 20’s, I stopped wearing make up altogether. It was at this point I realized that it was all of the products I would put on my face that was causing the problems I was trying to cover up. No more mascara and my eyelashes grow longer and healthier. No more foundation and powder and my acne reduced to almost nothing. No more eyebrow defining pencils and my eyebrows have grown thicker. I was amazed at the difference when I stopped using socially accepted methods to make myself “prettier”. The products are physically damaging, no matter how they try to market them. I can’t even get started on this artificial tanning trend, that is a whole other article by itself.
Now we have the emotional and mental damage this can cause for women and men of all ages. Have you ever asked yourself “Why can’t I be as beautiful as Jane Doe?” Or “Why am I not as handsome as John Doe?” This is where it all begins. These are destructive thoughts that start a train wreck of jealousy and self loathing. I’m not talking about the beauty comes from within, even though it is true, but beauty is everywhere we choose to find it. You are beautiful on the inside AND the outside. Not accepting how we look naturally seems to be the issue that causes the problems.
Perhaps the acne is caused by poor eating habits, stress, or hormones. Over consumption of sugars and processed foods can lead to high spikes of acne. Perhaps the disapproved weight on the scale every morning stems from the lack of daily exercise, coupled with poor eating habits. Depression among other mental health issues can also cause weight gain. Perhaps the exacerbated state of our skin stems from the cosmetics we cost over our faces. Even vitamin deficiencies can lead to skin problems. All of these problems have such simple solutions. What is the problem then? We want instant results. It takes time to detoxify your skin, your hair, and even your ego. It takes perseverance, determination, and knowing that you are doing something truly good for yourself.
TIPS: Drink water, exercise, eat well, instate good hygiene practices, and cut out as many unnecessary chemicals as possible. You will look healthier, be healthier, and even feel healthier. Thus, you will be happier and more accepting of who you are and how you look naturally.