Monday, January 27, 2014

Real. Beauty.


What is beauty, and why do we care so much to attain it? A few months ago, I sent out a survey through facebook asking anonymous questions about beauty, and many of you (the majority) said you had struggled with issues of self-image. I was surprised with the results. I suppose, if we're all honest with ourselves, there's that one thing that if we could change about our body, we would. If my hair was teeth less face less prone to acne...etc But you know what? Those things will not make you more or less beautiful.

After mulling over many of my own thoughts on beauty and watching some very inspiring clips on real beauty, I decided this blog post was overdue. A break from my ramblings. Take a minute and watch these two videos. Skip to the second one if you've seen the first.
(many of you have probably seen this one, but just watch it again)

I'd like to make some points on this one. Notice, the movie is sped up. HOW LONG do you think she sat there while they did her hair and makeup? (ahem... a long time) And, when that was done, she was beautiful, was she not? somethings just weren't right. Her eyes needed to be bigger, her neck longer, her eyes lower set on her face, her facial structure less wide... TA DA!!!! Photoshop and layers of makeup and hairspray have created a bombshell! THIS LADIES, IS NOT REAL BEAUTY, and I love that Dove is promoting awareness of healthy self-image.

Take a look at another video inspired by Dove's.

Ok, here's a girl, probably in highschool or early college, proving the same point. She was beautiful before. She was the "world's" beauty after.

I was going to post one more video because I was so inspired by it, but it's rather lengthy so I'll describe it instead. In this video, highschool students in an art class were challenged to take selfies of themselves that were not "flattering" according to the their definition (or society's). Each girl had something they disliked, their poofy hair, their face structure...things they tried to hide in their selfies to look "beautiful." The teacher had them take REAL selfies, daring them to expose their "flaws." Afterwords, an open-house event was held where all their selfies were on display and people could view them and add comments with sticky notes. Real pictures of real girls. People left notes like "nice smile," and the girl with "poofy" hair was complimented on her hair! The girls grew to realize that their so-called imperfections made them unique and individual. The girls also got their mom's on board, which proved that even women still have insecurities and girls absorb their mothers' insecurities growing up. The video can explain it better than I can, so take the time to watch it if you'd like :)

This is very much worth the watch:

So, I must ask, what's robbing us of our beauty? What lies are we telling ourselves? What things about ourselves prevent us from embracing who we are? I'll confess: I've lied to myself and I have things about myself I don't always like. Here's my list.

-I'm pale (I've been told this multiple times)
-I still have acne occasionally, and I'm not a teenager.
-My hair has a mind of it's own
-I have a boyish figure (aka, not much curves)

Ironically, the same things I complain about, I applaud in others. Me talking to myself, "look at her fair skin! It's so classy, so vintage, so romantic looking... Wow, I love her hair! So natural and care-free, loose curls, so artsy!...She has a great body, the kind that would look good in anything, very thin..."

WAIT...Jane? Have you checked out? YOU have fair skin, YOU have that kind of hair, and YOU have that kind of body shape.

I once did a week-long makeup fast, as a challenge. It was hard, really hard at first. What I realized the most after the week's end, was that I cared more about how my face looked than others. No one called me out and said, "Girl! You look like death! Where's the blush?? And your mascara?? Are you crazy?" Actually, that's what I TOLD MYSELF. The week had shown me that makeup had taken a little too high of priority in my life, though I still use it in moderation, but not to make myself look like someone I'm not.

This all brings me to my final idea. Since most of us have twitter, facebook, or instagram, what if we started taking real selfies? Like "Jane in the morning, ready to tackle the day. #nomakeup #nofilter" Or, "Me with my natural hair." I think we should start a trend, and hashtag it to start a movement.

I challenge you ladies, to take real selfies that make you vulnerable, allowing yourself to embrace your "flaws" and showing your real self, whether that be no makeup, frumpy hair, or whatever, and hashtag it #realbeauty and share it on your social network sites.

Do it.

I'm there with you ladies! Let's change the media by flooding it with real people with real smiles and real joy.

PS: Have you ever noticed how un-beautiful models are? Where's their smile?

Love to my ladies,
Jane Rochester