DISCLAIMER: I don't know that this is so much a philosophy as it is my approach to what I do.
I know posts and articles like this have been written and blogged about before, so I'm not introducing any new ideas or pioneering new territory, but I really want to preface this blog with a little love note from me to you—and hopefully from you to yourself.
Like I said in my "About" section, I love doing people's makeup because I love helping them feel more confident and more beautiful. However, I realize that's a superficial source from which to derive your self worth, and your outer beauty is a very distant second to your inner beauty. But I'm no spiritual advisor or life coach, so this is me just doing what I can to help women recognize how beautiful they are.
I've recognized that in today's Hollywood-worshipping society, it's hard to feel beautiful in comparison. Seeing these other-worldly beautiful celebrities in the media, it's a little hard not to let our minor insecurities escalate into things we can't stand about ourselves.
The standards are set so high that we feel the need to alter our appearances beyond recognition because we've come to believe that what we see on E! is what normal people look like . . . in fact, only 4% of women in the world consider themselves to be beautiful, and that's really heartbreaking to me so I think we should all be on a bit of a mission to combat that mentality.
If you don't' have the time now, I hope at some point you watch this Dove Sketches campaign. It's really eye-opening and beautiful.
So instead of using celebrities as our standard for beauty, I vote we
- Number one: Remember that celebrities are world-reknown BECAUSE they are freaks of nature in the beauty department; it's not just a coincidence—and on that note, I want to reiterate the quote on my "About" section: What a strange illusion it is to suppose that beauty is goodness." Being beautiful isn't really a trait that should turn fellow human beings into our role models.
- Number two: Acknowledge that celebrities don't always look that perfect. It literally takes an entire day of prepping and pampering (and usually several months of working out and chemical peels and plastic surgery) for female celebrities to get red-carpet ready.
- And number three: The images we see in magazines, online, and through various social media portals are heavily photoshopped. So essentially, we're using imaginary women as the standard for our beauty norms. It'd be like if Black Beauty compared itself to a unicorn. You're beautiful as you are . . . and an added benefit: you're actually real.
I also don't want this to be construed as a bashing of Photoshop or cosmetics—I guess I just want to remind everyone that even Maxim's hottest have cellulite under their butts and acne on their faces. All I'm really trying to do is shift the perception a little bit that perfection is not something to strive for—it doesn't even exist.
CASE IN POINT: Celebrities before and after makeup and / or Photoshop.
This might all seem really hypocritical of me considering that this is clearly a makeup blog. Honestly, I don't really see anything wrong with using makeup to highlight our favorite features—I do think it's a little weird that as human beings, we think it's necessary to paint our faces (who even came up with that?), but I actually kind of love it: being able to use makeup to highlight (not change) different features on any given day. To me, it's not unlike a man deciding to grow a beard. It's kind of fun to change your look and decide how you want to present yourself, and if it makes you feel great, then why not? I think the critical point is that we don't want to encourage self loathing or the idea that we should be using makeup to try to cover ourselves up.
Bottom line: Please don't dumb down or hide the qualities that make you unique. Go easy on yourself. Better yet, stick up for yourself and rock what you got! :) I'm gonna go a little "Spice Girls" on ya, and leave you with another BA #girlpower quote because I'm listening to some old-school Destiny's Child and feeling kind of fierce. This is Ginger Rodgers talking about her iconic dance partner, Fred Astaire.
Tell 'em, girl. :)
Here's hoping you recognize that #1 - you're so more than your outside appearance, and #2 - your outside appearance is damn sexy just the way it is. :) Cheers, my loves!