How proud of beauty habits can we be?

I am not an avid vlogger fan, but occasionally Kalel’s videos titles grab my attention. Kalel is a beauty and lifestyle blogger, whose vegan food tasting videos initially caught my interest. Recently, Kalel has gotten a nose job and she has decided to be quite transparent about it on her YouTube channel.

She has made videos in the past in which she openly discusses how she is a perfectionist and how this is evident in her approach to her external appearance. Last year, a phase of cystic acne caused her crippling depression and made a shut-in out of her. The way feeling good about your physical appearance affects your day is a human experience; it definitely gets the better of me. I also understand how petty and vapid such a preoccupation is – and how you can know this all the while feeling disconsolate about how you look. Truly, I understand this.

However, I truly believe that cosmetic surgery (that is not done for reconstructive purposes) is not an adequate solution for what is ultimately a sign of poor self-esteem. I think it is a quick fix in a world that creates and preys on feelings of inadequacy.

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Source: weheartit.com

Before I go on any further, I must declare that I know that what other people do is none of my business. Everyone is free to do what they want with their bodies, and that is how it should be. I definitely have my own opinions about what I see and learn of, and these are formed by the standards I have created for myself in order to make myself feel comfortable. I have pledged that I will never make someone else feel bad what they have chosen to do with their bodies.

But, as this is a blog that concerns itself with discussion, I will choose this platform to talk about why I think some beauty practices are not as empowering as some think they are. I think they are symptoms of struggling to cope with beauty standards.

Kim Kardashian once encouraged her teenage sister to get lip implants, because she felt that if a feature bothered you enough, you should definitely do something about it. However, I firmly believe that, were it not for the external pressures to look certain ways, people would feel so discontent with the way they naturally look.

I think women’s relationship with make-up is problematic,too. I think that it stems from society’s expectations of us. I know that some women have genuine talent in the art of  doing make-up and make amazing careers out of it. Some have a passion for make-up and look forward to putting it on. Let me be the first to admit that I feel my most ‘put together’ when I get that winged flick at the corner of my eye right. I definitely feel my most confident when I wear my wine-red lipstick. It’s not necessarily based on how men perceive me, but on how society perceives me that makes me feel this way.  I’ve seen so many woman being adamant that wearing make-up has got nothing to do with what other people think.

I think it’s worth asking why you feel prettier when you put make-up on and change the look of your face. I think that it is so normalised for us, that we feel empowered by it.

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Elite Daily posted article on make-up contouring that really stuck with me. It spoke about how contouring prevents us from being at peace with how our faces really look. Contouring is about creating the illusion that your face structure is different to what it usually is; that your cheekbones are higher and more prominent, that your nose is slimmer, that your actual face is leaner.

With all the ways we have to able to look different, I do not feel that there is anything wrong with alternating between looks and wanting to look different every now and again. It’s the reliance on it for validation reasons that bother me.

I am not condemning people who wear make-up  or who have gotten plastic surgery (or who really do want it) at all.But I think it’s worth wondering why you take so much satisfaction out of it. I do think it often comes from a very unhealthy place. I think it is important to accept what you look like and to consider why you think having yourself look a different way will make you feel happier, as I do not believe we are as empowered in our beauty as what we believe ourselves to be.

[Featured image source: dailymail.co.uk]

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