The Pressure of Beauty

I am a perfectionist. I like doing things right, getting everyone’s approval and I often take criticism badly.

I work on it; I know that criticism can be good if it helps me to improve. There is no way to do everything perfectly, nor to please everybody.

I’ve learned not to shy away from things I do badly. To accept I cannot be perfect and that having flaws is part of being a human being, I cannot be my best everyday.

But when it comes to beauty, I know I have an issue.

I don’t mind being makeup free when I am with my family or my boyfriend. They love me for me, and not for my face, I know that. I often don’t wear makeup at all on the weekends or during university holidays. I like to let my skin breathe and not care about how my makeup looks throughout the day – and not have to take it off at the end of the day.

But when it comes to other people, college and in public, well, it’s another topic.

For some reason, I cannot not wear makeup in these situations. I don’t picture myself going to college, an appointment, to the restaurant or anywhere where I might see someone I know without makeup. Even if it’s a little bit of mascara and a bit of foundation.

I don’t feel confident in how my face looks because of keratosis and my skin not being even. I also like my eyes being defined by mascara and my brows being filled in a little.

Because of filters on social media, retouched photos on magazines, Photoshoped everything, I think I have, like many people, a wrong idea of what people look au naturel. I like feeling prettier. I like having the confidence that makeup makes me look better.

That is also why I don’t follow a lot of model on social media. Seeing them look incredible at 5am and having a fab body is too much for me. I don’t have a lot of self-confidence so seeing someone appear so ‘perfect’ is hard for me. It makes me question my own beauty, and by beauty I mean self-worth often. Beauty is subjective, nobody will find the same people beautiful or not. However, I think than in today’s society, having an even bright skin, awake defined eyes and a good eyebrow game has become a definition of someone being naturally beautiful. And it’s a problem to me. I struggle with looking at myself in the mirror and accepting the way I look. I’m working on it of course, but it sometimes can be a struggle and a comparison game or a “I wish I looked like…” competition.

I think it’s the same with body image. How many times have I looked at someone and feel jealous of their body size and shape? It’s so bad and has always been a problem for me because I’ve never been fully satisfied with the way I looked – and when it happened, it didn’t last. Same goes here for Instagram, I don’t follow people who will often make me feel bad about my own body, I prefer to follow “real people” who are okay with how their body look every day. It doesn’t mean I don’t follow Instagrammers with great bodies, it means I’m more conscious with the message they convey.

There is such a pressure of how our bodies should look – slim, fit and with definition, but bigger breasts, a defined waist and a nice round butt. Um, um, this only concerns like 2% of the female population. We should embrace whatever shape, size of height our body naturally forms and not feel like it’s not beautiful enough. A happy, healthy you is the definition of beautiful.

Be you, embrace what you look like, take care of yourself and mostly, be happy, in the end, that’s beauty.

x Gabrielle

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