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

One thought on “The Pressure of Beauty

  1. Hello Gabrielle, I just read your post. Yes, yes, and yes. For women, this beauty issue is a serious issue. Women feel like they need to be desirable and presentable. I suspect that men go through this too, but I believe that they do not speak openly about it because of society. If I may ask, do you believe in God? The bible says in Psalm 139:14

    “I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
    your works are wonderful,
    I know that full well”

    I honestly believe God does not make mistakes. Does this mean that you should not work out or use good skincare? No! you can workout and use good skincare and such, but you need to understand that your real value comes from your relationship with God. This life that we live in is so short, we need to be worried about our eternal life as well. If you can keep the mindset that your relationship with God is what defines you, you should be able to get over the anxiety of trying to look pretty to impress people all the time.

    For your Keratosis, I would recommend Mario Badescu, they have a bunch of products that deal with Keratosis Pilaris (KP). They have the AHA Botanical soap for instance. I heard that it is good. You can also try glycolic acid or Lactic acid as well, they are good for KP. Drinking water and eating healthy stuff and general work out should help to enhance your overall appearance over time.

    If you need advise on improving your spiritual life, here is what I recommend:
    1) Find a quiet space free from distractions
    2) Imagine that Jesus is in front of you. Discuss with him the way you will with a close friend. Tell him to come and make your heart his home and to direct your steps. Tell him that you want to build a relationship with him and accept him. You need to beware of sudden distractions when you pray, this is a trick the devil uses to disturb our prayers. You might also get the feeling that God is not there and does not care about you, well that is another trick that the devil uses to discourage us from prayer. You also do not need to be afraid of the devil, the devil trembles in the presence of our God.
    3) You can make specific prayers if you have any specific needs that you need help with. Remember to thank God when you get the answers to your prayers though.
    4) Begin to read the bible and obey it
    5) If you face trials and tribulations, sometimes they are designed to test your faith, hold on fast to God and do not let go of prayer. You will overcome all trials with prayers, fasting and consistency in faith. After the trials comes the real sunshine and happiness.
    6) You can join a community of bible believing Christians, this would benefit your faith.

    I hope you try my recommendations out. Good luck and God bless you.

    Like

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