There’s this supposition in society that every girl and woman wants to be–or, even, needs to be–beautiful in order to be successful in life.
Forgive me, but this is bull$@*t.
It doesn’t matter what you look like. How well you do in life comes down to kindness, hard work, talent, intelligence and pure luck. The world is littered with beautiful people who are nobodies. But people who are kind, hard working, talented, smart and lucky? Those are the truly successful ones. And if people are hard working, talented, smart and lucky, but not kind? They may be “successful”, but they usually are sickly unhappy and insecure in their wealth of good fortune.
Beauty rarely has anything to do with it, because “beauty” is just confidence and a tiny bit of styling. Seriously. It doesn’t matter what bone structure you’re born with or how much you do or don’t weigh.
Stand up tall. Don’t take any disrespect. Laugh at people who laugh at you for being yourself. Wear your hair and clothes in hip and/or flattering and/or straight up comfy styles (depending on how you feel). Smirk a little for no reason.
Congratulations. You are beautiful.
That’s it. It all comes back to what Elizabeth Gaskell wrote in Wives and Daughters in the 1800s: “..to believe that you are pretty would make you so.”
So why is it that so many extraordinary women don’t believe they are beautiful? Because there are multi-billion dollar industries devoted to selling women (and men) products designed to “fix” them into looking a certain way that’s presumably better than how they look naturally. These industries permeate our lives with advertisements and these industries include fashion, plastic surgery, celeb gossip rags, ladies magazines, and I’m sorry to say, makeup.
See, I love makeup. I love how it can transform someone young into someone old. A flick of the wrist and some eyeliner can make you go from 2013 suburban America to 1960s French mod chick. A red lip can place you in the 1940s. A palette of eye shadow can create the illusion of deep waters on your eyelids. I just find playing with all the stuff fun. When I put on makeup, I get to turn my face into what I want it to look like. Not what someone else wants it to.
Which is why I’m excited that MAC Cosmetics has mixed things up in their latest beauty campaign.
Okay, yes. I know. I know. I KNOW. They are trying to sell products to me and you. And they presenting what they deem is an “aspirational” image to do so.
However, this time, the aspirational image isn’t a traditionally willowy model deemed by “professionals” as “beautiful”. This time, Serbian body builder Jelena Abbou is the focus of the ad campaign and the campaign is called “Strength”.
Guys, this is really cool.
There’s a stigma that female bodybuilders aren’t “beautiful” because they’ve spent years of their lives in gyms lifting weights to make their bodies wider, bigger, stronger. They’ve made their bodies take on attributes that some close-minded weirdos say are traditionally “masculine”.
Again, to which, I say, I’m sorry, but this is bull$@*t.
Jelena Abbou is a beautiful woman. She is filled with confidence. She is standing tall. She’s become a bodybuilder because that’s what she wanted to do with her life. How do I know this? How often do you lift weights? It sucks. It’s painful and tiresome and it takes years of discipline in order to look like Jelena. You have to want to look like that in order to devote your life to looking like that. She has every right to be proud of how she looks. She’s gorgeous.
Now, do I personally want to look like her? No. Why not? Because I want to look like me.
This campaign might be a failure because I don’t necessarily want to run out and buy MAC Cosmetics. Because of this image, I feel the strength within me to recognize that I’m already beautiful the way I am.
There’s a reason the fashion industry wants to limit their models and campaigns to “traditional” forms of beauty. The more that these “beauty” industries show us different types of beauty, they more they’re showing their hand. They have nothing on us. We are all already beautiful.
Like I said, and like Jelena’s doing, stand tall. Don’t take any disrespect. Laugh at people who laugh at you for being yourself. Wear your hair and clothes in hip and/or flattering and/or straight up comfy styles (depending on how you feel). Smirk a little for no reason.
Congratulations. You are beautiful.
We all are.
Original source thegloss.com
Image via MAC/thegloss.com