Ask me, and I am one of the very first to proclaim that putting your best face forward is crucial to feeling confident and exuberant about your to-do list. The first to admit that finding the perfect new lip color can completely transform my struggling spirit … That daring to go “mascara-free” to work feels like a revolutionary feminist movement … That that photo really does look better just brightened up a bit and with greater saturation.
With increased awareness over photo-shopping in magazines and Starlets outspoken advocacy for more “realistic” expectations in our marketing, I think it is time to take a step back and look at what has happened. Because we have been photo-shopping our lives for a long time now.
Look at our foundations, highlighters, night creams, serums, instagrams, botox, facial contouring maps, bombshell bras … etc.
I am reminded of when I had the pleasure of modeling a wig for NAHA last December and how overwhelmed I was. Yes, by the amount of makeup, but also by the amount of attention paid to angling the multiple lights at my face in just the right ways to minimize the natural shadows that were falling. The amount of people holding random shiny boards that it took to get the light reflecting in my pupil just the right way.
And while photography is a complete art form full of beauty and grace and precision … I was overwhelmed by the way that we all do these things to some extent in our lives every day. Tilting our phones down to minimize our double chins or have the sun hitting our face directly to really show our blue eyes.
At the baseline, these things are really not unhealthy. But what I am discovering in my search across the blogosphere, in the women sitting in my chair, in my coworkers, in my own heart … is this inherent and constant discontent for our own bare skin. The foundation and the filter and the bra are all perfectly wonderful as long as when all of those are gone we feel just as confident.
Maintaining our self confidence and self worth in the age of the edit is seemingly impossible but I truly feel as though all that we need to change the story is kindness, support and encouragement from each other to make it happen. Women are the hardest on each other, we can’t help it, our hormones and emotions mold us into insecure beings searching for ways to feel better. I promise you, complimenting someone (especially on a “raw” feature, but also on styling techniques) will make you feel so much better than tearing them down or attempting to compete with them. Remember how much harder it is to remember the positive statements from our day but the cruel ones come to our minds instantly. Let’s try to give each other more positive to remember. So when we remove all of the “show” from ourselves, we are revealing something truly valued and loved in our reflections.
The world already has enough harshness in it.
Let’s band together and build each other up. So our beautiful hearts and minds can radiate through our beautiful bare skin.