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