Beauty is You.
This year for Valentines day, the florists Bloom and Wild stated that: "Love isn’t all perfect red roses. It’s a more complex and messy bouquet than that. And therefore we have taken the stance not to sell any red rose bouquets this year."
Our culture and society feeds us standards that have us thinking our bodies and appearance need to be that perfect bunch of red roses to be loved and admired. It is part of our history where women have been held in high regard for their looks. From renaissance paintings to current influencers with their pouted duck face selfies. Celebrities who stop ageing after thirty fill our screens.
In the real world I can now spot a woman who is in her late forties and is premenopausal thirty feet away. Plumper, smoother skin, no crepe neck syndrome. The change in my own face from age 49 to 51 is significant. In less than two years I feel like I have aged an entire decade. Does it concern me enough to do anything such as consider a tweakment? No, but I am having to work on acceptance of my own looks, some days more than others. My inner critic runs amok yet I have never looked at an older face and seen anything other than beauty. I need to learn to embrace myself with the same grace as I hold for others and I know I am not alone on this.
Brits spent over £286 Million on cosmetic treatments in 2018. They are now considered by many, as simply part of a beauty and wellness routine. I felt a huge wave of sadness when I first saw my dentist advertising fillers and botox. Yes, he has the perfect clinical skills and I trust him to look after my teeth, but if my teeth decay, they will fall out and I need them to chew food; maintenance is important. My face isn’t going to fall off or stop functioning because I have more wrinkles. I can still smile, giggle, wink, frown and you'll know it! But I do find myself questioning if I should or shouldn't be keeping up with the shifts in appearances.
Will others judge me, as it seemingly becomes more and more the norm if I chose not to use botox to slow the appearance of ageing? This drives a deeper question, who are we actually keeping up our appearance for? No one is actually telling us we have to do anything. Our bodies our choices, but that external societal pressure is real. The nagging insecurity seed planted and perpetuated by marketing companies, ultimately profiting from a woman’s insecurities.
Diets, eating plans, exercise classes, spanx, anti wrinkle crèmes, hair, make up and yes clothes. No matter what we buy or how much of it we try, it is ultimately how we see ourselves that truly matters.
I encourage you to redefine what it means to be 'perfect.'
Be the beholder of your own beauty for Valentines day and way beyond.