Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Is my love of beauty shallow?

Hang in there Mawrtyrs- only a few more days of midterms and then spring break!! It's stressful times like this when I miss certain places. Here are two places that mean a great deal to me and serve as a great "mental escape"...

This is a beach near Paia, Maui. The day I took this was one of my favorite days ever, a great tropical fruit breakfast, a hike to a waterfall, organic pizza at a little hippy joint, and a trip to this wonderful apothecary.

Beach in Wailea, Maui

The view from Mystra aka "the top of the world" (in my mind)...this is in the Peloponnese in Greece. That was a particularly special moment in my life when I finally came to peace with a lot of things. It sounds so cheesy, but true.

Although I don't have too many posts as this blog is still in its developing stage, I think I got ahead of myself and didn't fully explain why I am so passionate about beauty. So I thought there is no time like the present to give you all a little insight into why it means so much to me...

Any woman will tell you that she has probably struggled with self-esteem issues, either as a young child, teenager, young adult, or even later on in life as well. I was not immune to this, especially in high school (like all teenage girls). At one point during my senior year in high school, after spending the past few years being unhappy with myself, I decided to make a lot of changes in my life, namely I picked tennis back up (one of the great loves of my life) and tried to take more pride in my appearance. Now this topic alone is somewhat problematic to some people. To be concerned with "the outside" seems shallow and superficial, and images of girls spending hours in front of the mirror just to conform to some kind of stereotypical male fantasy seems to be masking an even greater internal self-confidence problem. While I believe there is a problem when women try to become someone else's idea of beautiful, or change their appearance in order to please someone else, I do not think there is any shame in taking pride in the way that one looks. Don't we all have those days when we throw on a little blush or mascara and someone compliments how nice we look and then we gain a little bit of self-confidence out of that? For those people who struggle with severe self-esteem problems, these little compliments can really mean the world to them...I know, I've been there.

I want to make it clear that I'm not endorsing the idea that everyone go out and buy hundreds of dollars worth of makeup and beauty products so they can have a full face of maquillage every morning. But what I am saying is that if it gives you confidence, if it makes you feel good on days when you need a little pick me up, why the hell wouldn't you do it? Do I believe that self-confidence is solely derived on the love of your "outside"? Absolutely not! I don't think that makeup and beauty products should be a way for women to change their appearance, but to enhance those features that make them feel good about themselves. If it gives you confidence, if it makes you feel good, if it makes you feel beautiful (because you are!), why not give it a shot?

I could go on incessantly about how societal pressures have caused women to feel less than beautiful and how the beauty industry has "caused" problems such as eating disorders, low self-esteem, etc, but I am proposing we change the way we view it. Instead of viewing this industry as a means of oppression, why not view it as a means of liberation? Why not take it and make it something positive? Why not use it as a way to express our individuality? There is much more to the beauty industry than makeup, and I believe that ownership of yourself and your appearance can leave you with great benefits!

If it makes me shallow to put on a little foundation and eyeliner in the morning, to straighten my hair and use that mascara because it makes ME feel good...so be it. But I believe that anything you do FOR YOURSELF to make YOU feel good is not only acceptable, but a necessity! Life is too short to be unhappy. I don't want to convey the idea that makeup is the means to self-confidence, nor do you lack self-confidence if you don't wear makeup or use a lot of products, but I am saying that from my own experience, this was one small way by which I could boost my confidence and be a little happier with myself.

Dear reader, you are beautiful! I hope that each of you can feel this on a daily basis.

"La beauté n’est pas crée, elle existe." or "Beauty is not created, it exists" -Emily Dickinson

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