The Real Cost of Beauty

I’ve been struggling to write on this topic for a few months. The real cost of beauty is much more than a monetary concern. At every corner I see a radical ‘solutions’ for self worth and physical beauty, I’m trying to determine if it is formed out of desperation or necessity. There are the ‘simple fixes’ like contouring makeup tutorials, heavily filtered or photoshopped images, eyelash extensions as an everyday choice, using It Works fat loss wraps instead of going to the gym. Then there are more drastic options, hair extensions that ruin natural hair, choosing plastic surgery instead of a diet change, botox parties…I just saw an invite for a BOO-tox party! That last one was a huge wake up call and led me to finally writing this post. BOO-tox, really?! I can say that for myself, botox is far above and beyond my cost for beauty.

Many of these seemingly innocent acts read as vain to gal like myself, who wears workout clothes every day and sweats for a living. Maybe it was the way I was raised. As a young child I knew that my mom was a naturally pretty woman who didn’t invest a lot of time in her looks. She had four kids after all. Easy breezy, momma Giddy!

Flash forward to high school, fashion and personal style were absolutely paramount in my life. I now realize I was trying to express myself through wacky outfits and heavy makeup because I didn’t have the confidence or language to convey my passions. Plus, in a very basic b*tch way, I wanted to be considered one of the pretty girls. Well, maybe more of a weird/cool/hottie any guy would like to chat up. Didn’t work by the way! #latebloomer

I started my fitness career in college and learned that getting all gussied up was not worth my time. There were better things to do, like coaching triathlon clinics or playing on the club tennis team. I gained confidence through my body’s ability to perform, not a perfectly winged eyeliner. As a now thirty year old woman I can say I feel similarly. Don’t get me wrong, I love going for drop dead fabulous every now and then, but I don’t depend on looking perfectly coifed to feel marvelous. I’m lucky that my cost of beauty is low, I strive to depend on intrinsic motivation to feel worthy.

Society’s addiction to perfection in beauty is much more than personal, it’s sociologically cyclical. The signs we send to daughters, nieces, girls in our neighborhoods is palpable. If we look perfectly plastic every time we step out into the world these young girls will question their natural appeal. Young ladies wonder their worth and find their self esteem flailing at younger and younger ages. They start to think they’re not pretty enough on their own and they better change things real quick if they want a date to prom.

Should young ladies need a sheet of makeup, stiletto heels and a strategically placed cell phone to take the most flattering selfie in order to be desired? Hell to the no! I think we can all admit we didn’t appreciate our youth as much as we should have. Soft skin, not a wrinkle in sight…sounds wonderful, right? More than ever girls need to know that beauty is beyond long blonde beach waves, skinny/sun kissed legs and giant baby doll eyes encompassed by spider like lashes. I sometimes still struggle with the fact that I will never look like that, fulfilling the super model beauty ideal. Barbie mentality strikes again! Uhhhhh that darn Barbie, at least Mrs. Robbins finally got a reality check.

The real cost of beauty goes far beyond  your bank account. Consider your sanity, self esteem, and once again that message you unknowingly advertise. Think of that money you spend on your hair, skin and wardrobe. What about your internal beauty? l find that the funds I choose to build my internal beauty to be far more rewarding; personal development books, life coaching, yoga. It has taken me many years to find the right balance and realize that my happiness (my giddiness!) is far more sophisticated than materialistic wares.

With all the cash you allocate to beauty are you happy with what you see, with how you feel? Maybe it’s time to change your routine, to look within rather than to your reflection for confidence and worth. We, as women, are a powerful group. What we do and say and present to the world matters. Is the cost of your beauty worth it?

the real cost of beauty

I wanted my natural beauty to shine through in these photos, mascara and lipstick only. Thank you Marni Wish Art Photography!



22 thoughts on “The Real Cost of Beauty

    1. It is amazing that that is a trend right now. I love when people let their natural inner beauty take the drivers seat. That is so cool that your son recognizes that!

  1. This is a great post. Not to mention the amount of toxins that are in make-up, beauty-enhancing gimics, etc AND animal testing :,( I used to spend lots on keeping up my platinum blonde roots and full faced makeup, but then I really started looking into things. Thank goodness I started my toned down routine to tinted moisturizer before I got pregnant because even that is too much on some days ! No wonder your beautiful mother didn’t have time for that. Beauty that shines through from the inside is priceless!

    1. Thanks Kae. I have seen that becoming a mom changes a lot of people’s beauty routine and I love that you are embracing it! You are beautiful just the way you are, no extra gags needed.

  2. Alli,

    Thank you for the reminder that it’s not about what we put on, but about what our heart is like. It’s definitely something I need to remind myself about more often because I would much rather spend money making memories than on makeup that comes off at the end of the day.

    Cheers, J

    1. That is a great point and goal Jenna! I can tell you have a beautiful spirit as well as an exterior, I know you have many wonderful adventure ahead of you.

    1. Tia, I love that you own your casual outter beauty. That can be a very tough place to get to. I know what you mean about comparisons, it is so hard to not feel small when we see photos of overly perfect celebrities or even people in our real lives. No matter how perfect they seem you are still beautiful no matter what. They can’t change that.

  3. Great post but I say to each its own. I wear extensions bc I enjoy changing my hair and it’s not damaged bc I get it treated regularly. I like make up but I also like a fresh face on my down time. Now I wouldn’t do any type of surgery but I say to each its own. You look great without make up btw. I look forward to aging gracefully without Botox but I’ll probably still love make up 🙂

  4. While I agree with most of these sentiments, I do think some people love to dress up and wear makeup because it’s fun, and they enjoy those items. I know I personally buy fashion and makeup not to keep up with the joneses, but because I like it, and I like the way I look with makeup (and without). I think it’s up to every individual person, but I do hope that each person loves their own inner beauty and natural outer beauty and look at clothes and makeups as a way to enhance, not change or to be like someone else!

  5. I totally understand where you’re coming from! Growing up I did the opposite of you as in I refused to wear makeup or dress up because I never thought it was worth it. I wasn’t confident in myself so I just didn’t try. Now I see the value in putting your best foot forward but I’m 100% ok with running out with no makeup and workout clothes!

  6. I totally see what you are saying. I was all about makeup in high school and now I’m trying to get back into it but just not as much. Natural beauty is where it’s at.

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