As I'm sat here on a Thursday evening catching up with work, responding to emails from lovely ladies who have insecurities of how they look I had a little epiphany which made me rather envious of my grandparents who grew up without TV's.
Think about when you walk through town, when you're walking around "normal, average" people, people like you on me that may not be wearing make-up or have even brushed their hair that morning, some with a full face of make-up, some in trackies, others in the latest catwalk clothes, there are a range of different people and when we walk amongst "our" people we feel relaxed and comfortable. Now say for example you were put in a room with 5 people that you think are absolutely beautiful and perfect, would you still feel confident? Would you suddenly start scrutinising how you look? Would you look in awe at these beautiful people and wish you were them?
I genuinely think that without the TV and internet that there would be more self confidence in the world, not only do we get access to millions of beautiful people that we would not normally see in every day life, these millions of people are photoshopped or use filters to make them look even more damn perfect, giving us a pretty unrealistic idea of how we "think" we should look.
I know I'm guilty of it, my 13 year old is guilty of it, heck I know my mother is guilty of it, we can't help it. This is something that we HAVE to work on, the TV isn't going to disappear, we can't avoid all of the glossy magazines (even the 10 year old mags at the Dr surgery), the internet, social media in particular, unless you completely renounce all electronics, we can never avoid these things.
SO WHAT DO WE DO? We work on ourselves, we start within, reminding ourselves that yes there are ridiculously beautiful people out there but we have to be comfortable with ourselves, we can hide behind filters online but then what happens when we go out in real life? What happens when someone snaps a picture on a night out without a filter? We need to embrace our looks, love our looks for who we are. I look at my mother and I genuinely think she's a lot more beautiful being her natural, 60 year old self than I see a lot of 60 year olds in Hollywood with their very unnatural faces. I look at my beautiful 13 year old daughter who has a smaller top lip than her bottom, do I think she needs to shoot her lips with fillers? Hell no, she's bloody gorgeous!!!
I'm not saying we should all go all natural, stop dying our hair or using make-up (unless you want to of course!) I confess I have had a little filler to strengthen my top lip and a treatment to restore elasticity and collagen damaged by acne, I'm not saying we should be against anything if it gives us a little more confidence, but what I'm trying to say is that a lot of what we see is unachievable, yes I could have a load of filler, it's not going to make me look like Kylie Jenner, I can get a spray tan, I'm not going to instantly look like J-Lo and no amount of gym time will turn me in to a Victoria Secret Model.
It's easy enough to write about these things, I know that tomorrow I'll look in the mirror and be frustrated by something because I'm comparing myself to the ideals we've been told that we need to strive for. Beauty ideals change all over the world, the idea of beauty in India differs from the beauty perceived in Japan. We can dress the same, follow the latest trends in make-up but what makes you beautiful is your uniqueness. What do we teach our children? We teach them to be clean, brush their hair and teeth but not for aesthetics, it's basic hygiene, we then teach our children how to be beautiful in kindness, to be beautiful people, to keep their bodies healthy rather than conforming to an ideal shape that we think they should have. We don't show them pictures of perfect children and tell them they should strive for that, we want them to strive for good grades.
You were once a child, when you tell yourself that you're ugly, you're fat, keep in mind a picture of yourself as a 9 year old, would you ever say such cruel things to a little boy or girl? If you're answer is yes then you need to work on your inner beauty! Hopefully your answer is no and so think of the little, delicate you that you're cruelly insulting next time you want to start beating yourself up.
And now I'm off to pin a picture of little me to my mirror to remind myself to stop being so cruel to myself.