In my coffee breaks at work I have been reading a book called The Beauty Myth by Naomi Wolf, which discusses how women are bombarded every day with images, discrimination and political and social pressure all relating to their looks and what effect this has on us both personally and as a group. I'm not halfway through yet but it has been a thought-provoking and alarming read (did you know that a judge once sentenced a woman to lose three pounds a week or be sent to prison, which had nothing to do with the actual charges for which she was facing court?!).
Additionally, as I was reading through some of my favourite blogs today I came across a recent post by style blogger extraordinaire Gala Darling, taking a look at how the way we present ourselves affects not only how others percieve us but how we feel, and how strongly we can be influenced by mass media and the pressure from society to fit an image, even when we think we are bucking such trends.
Whilst I certainly don't pretend to have an equally insightful take on the topic of the pressure to be beautiful, it has made me stop and think about my own behaviour. In her post Gala linked to No Make-Up Week, and I have to admit, I cringed at the very idea. Sure, I can go out without powder and heavy black eyeshadow, but don't you dare take my picture, and I haven't been seen out of doors without foundation, concealer, mascara and eyeliner in years.
|Five years ago. Bless.|
But make-up (or fashion) shouldn't be something we feel we have to hide behind. So, OK, I don't photograph well without eyeliner, but surely the thought of seeing my friends without a protective coating of cosmetics shouldn't make my stomach churn the way it does. The fact is that I feel awful if I go out in public without full make-up. Even if I'm hungover and feeling absolutely rotten, I still manage to feel self-conscious and wonder what people are thinking.
|In full make-up. That's my 'natural' look. XP|
|My usual look - heavy black shadow.|
I'm not saying this is a bad thing, but I do wonder, since the alternative worldview can accept different body shapes, outlandish hair styles and body mods of all descriptions without batting an eyelid, why are so many of our visual representatives in underground media so uniformly, stereotypically classically pretty? If we can admire and accept tongue-splitting and scarification, why not cellulite, moles or crooked teeth?
Just a thought.
I'll admit it. I'm a twenty year old female; my body image and self esteem are not great. But honestly, nobody's perfect, and looking like a human being shouldn't be anything to be ashamed of. I know I'm treading around the edges of cliche territory here but I was frankly a little upset to find that some of my day-to-day choices about how I present myself are governed less by personal preference and more by fear of how I might look to others. I want my experiences with make-up to be about fun and expression, not about creating a candy-coated suit of armour.
|Four minutes ago. The word you're looking for is 'derp'.|