This post is inspired by the popular Pinterest site, Don't Compare Yourself to Celebrities.
"To sell beauty products, advertisers must constantly convince you to fix, update, or conceal something about your natural look. This sends the message that the authentic you is repulsive. Problem is, the "perfection" in ads, catalogs, and movies is mostly computer-generated, always changing, and unrealistic...."
Check this site out; you'll learn a lot.
What I learned
Digital manipulation is insane and indefensible. We are being shown images that are not real, and deep inside our brain is filing away the data. But the photos I found most striking were the very few celebrities who were genuinely au natural - with no makeup.
They could be anybody on the street. They could be real people. Wow.
You're not stupid. You know Hollywood and the media are not real. But something inside you is probably still surprised to see it. You are constantly being shown images that are not real, and deep inside your brain is filing away the data.
Makeup is performing a low-tech version of the digital crime of airbrushing. It's a great reason to stay away from mass media, but it's been in everyday life for centuries too. We often don't want to accept that we look like that too. We are image-conscious - conscious of what we look like, captured in a media moment.
"fix, update, or conceal something about your natural look" "the authentic you is repulsive"
- Your skin is not good enough the way you woke up this morning - cover it to make it look smoother.
- Your eyes are not big enough, add some colour to make them look bigger.
- Your eyelashes are not long enough, extend them.
- Your eyebrows are not dark enough; shape and redraw them
- Your lips are the wrong colour...
Just Good Grooming?
I welcome all comments on this anti-social idea, but one I expect to hear is:
There's nothing wrong with looking a bit better with a bit of makeup - it's just part of good grooming.
We all understand what we expect to see when a woman is "making an effort" or "is really well-groomed." The image generally includes makeup.
Strangely though, men are able to be well-groomed in daily life by being clean and tidy. Even when their eyes look just the same size as when they had breakfast. When their skin looks like their skin, instead of polished porcelain or smooth brown acorns. When their lips are...lip-coloured. All day. That's what we expect. (Shaving? Good point, related but separate issue.)
It's a complex issue, but in our society, when men wear makeup, they're often considered gay or vain. So since it's not only acceptable, but an improvement, for women to wear makeup to look really good, does that mean being vain is considered part of womanhood?
Would you go makeup free for a week?
If that's too shocking for you and the world, would you go with less each day until you faced the mirror and the world with no makeup, beautiful as you are?
You may have many reasons why not. Here are a few great reasons to do it.
- Save time
- Save money and packaging waste
- Save your skin - let it breathe
- Save water and avoid chemicals required to clean makeup off daily
- Save your clothes (and other people's) from makeup stains
- Kiss your loved ones without worrying about "your look"
- Live life actively - exercise, run and play with the kids - without worrying about "your look"
- Set a good example to your daughters, or other people's, about really being happy with yourself as you are. Walk your talk.
- Set a good example to other women - don't raise the bar artificially on female beauty
- Help the animals - vegans and vegetarians constantly seek beauty products that don't harm animals, and they regularly find that their favourite brand was lying or has changed their policy.
- Make and drink a green smoothie
- Eat a fresh fruit or vegetable
- Start some whole-grains cooking for later
- Do a Fit Quickie or some yoga
- Sit with your family for a few minutes - hug or talk
- Just be on time instead of stressed and rushed...
That's a makeover you can keep.
Comfortable in your skin
When you are feeling confident, strong, happy, and engaged with your life, you are beautiful. The rest is just made up.