As a woman, I am painfully aware of how hard it is for us to exist in a society that tends to over glorify beauty- to the extent where we can feel inadequate if we feel we don’t measure up.
There’s this ever-looming pressure we face to look a certain way. And it is so devastating because it stifles in us the other kinds of beauty that matter so much more. Beauty like… kindness, what we can do for others, our natural gifts, the knowledge and experience we have worked so hard to acquire. I wish the pressure was on that kind of beauty. Pressure on the external… it can rob even the most confident people from happiness from time to time.
Daily, we’re told through different mediums and modes of communication that we need to look better. More skinny. More toned. More voluptuous. More muscular. Different makeup. Change our hair. Change our style. Fix what isn’t deemed desirable by society. We’re shamed about aging. Inundated with “perfect” (read: doctored) images all over social media. Bombarded with photoshopped images on magazines, ads, blogs. As if just keeping’ it real simply doesn’t cut it. How did we get here? It just bums me f*ck out in all honesty. (And yes I know men face a certain kind of pressure to, and I feel for them!)
Truthfully, I don’t know that there is a specific place to put the blame for this strange fixation our society has on beauty. Or this odd dissonance we have in mainstream culture and not celebrating more honestness and flaws. There’s many causes contributing to the problem:
The media failing to spotlight ALL types of beauty. And then bombarding us with images and messages telling us: Change because you don’t measure up!
There’s men who leave older women for a younger ones… often their focus placed externally. And the same younger women who sadly are fine with this behavior– forgetting to acknowledge they themselves will age one day. These scenarios add to the whole fear of aging thing. It’s more than a shame, as older women are glorious and beautiful and have done so much to advance society in many facets. There’s men who only praise women’s bodies. Hell, there’s women who praise beauty and not much else- their main topic of conversation touching on their looks, or other’s looks… thus placing a heightened sense of awareness themselves and those around them. There’s US… and our seemingly well meaning comments telling our girlfriends how beautiful they are, but often failing to publicly note how smart/funny/driven/fearless/caring they are as well. Subconsciously- does this support an idea that says looks matter most?
In my own life, I try accept myself on my “off days” or when I’m makeup free because I know my image is somewhat public and I want to show that I’m okay with flaws and other women should be too. That’s something we are entitled to- to feel at peace even without the “real life” filters. Unwaxed eyebrows, breaking out, feeling out of shape, or just kinda looking like crap. That version represents me just as much as the dolled up me! And while it’s not always easy I try to tell myself that both are just as great and worthy of self-love. None the less, the pressure on external beauty can still get to me.
Cynthia shares the same attitude about it. And with Violet Fog, we talked about this from the beginning. We wanted to reframe the dialogue around beauty… at least in our little corner of the internet. In fact, our whole team is on board. For one, we refuse to glorify celebrities, or any person for that matter, for just their looks alone. (We actually don’t engage much in celeb talk at all if you haven’t noticed.) We refuse to photoshop. We are OK with putting “flaws” out there. We call organizations out for their neglecting to be inclusive of all kinds of beauty. We just… we really do try to live by that “brain is the new ass” standard that serves as one of the emotional backbones of our company. But… could we be doing more? Probably. And we want to! And if you have any ideas we fully encourage you to email us! Katey@violetfog.com or Cynthia@violetfog.com. Or comment below!
There is not a damn thing wrong with wanting to look our best, or feeling nice and dressing up, enjoying makeup… etc etc. But these extra vulnerable moments when we, on purpose, expose our beautiful imperfectness.. it is just SUCH a magnificent thing– arguably because we don’t see it happen very often.
These freeing, vulnerable moments can be manifested in a number of ways: letting yourself be seen sans makeup when you normally wouldn’t. Posting a photo with an insecurity of yours that’s present- cellulite, extra softness in certain parts, birth marks, skin abnormalities, when your hair looks a certain way, etc. Seeing it and thinking, “Oh, f*ck it. Who cares?” It could be wearing shorts when you normally don’t show your legs. Letting yourself frolic down a beach in a bathing suit. Seeing someone you know after a disgustingly sweaty workout and not running the other direction. Those kind of moments. Raw and beautiful. Unapologetically content.
We aught to feel free to be as we are with no hint of a mask whenever we please. It can be so beneficial for the soul. And when we do it, when we let the mask down, we usually find that the world does not even recognize our insecurities. Or they just don’t care. And should someone judge us unfavorably for our bodies or faces… to hell with those turds. lol. Seriously. Who do they think they are? Idiots who run on little depth and intellect should hold no weight in your life.
All in all, the most beautiful thing about letting your “flaws” be seen now and then, is that it can do just as much for your fellow women folk as it can for you. It encourages them to believe that they also can be accepted and loved by the world in their realest moments. That it’s a wonderful thing to let a different kind of beauty also get a chance to shine. Oh yes, inner beauty. The kind that’s mattered most all along. And there’s no shaming– we can still enjoy feeling our outwardly best, improving our bodies, indulging in clothes and glam time… but let’s not be consumed by it. Or place it’s importance above everything else. Deep down, we all know it: heart, soul and brain beat out boobs and ass any day. Because what’s inside represents the most of you. Unique, beautiful, wonderful you. Ya feel me? Let that shine. Rock on, ladies!
Katey || INFP || Founder/Director of Violet Fog ||