I hope you’re all well.
Being a woman is some serious tough work.
The marketers within most industries (but mostly Fashion and Beauty) have a knack for making us more aware of our ‘imperfections’. I feel like 100% of these ‘imperfections’ wouldn’t even be considered to be imperfect if it wasn’t for all the new products and the huge amount of Photoshop (involved within campaigns).
For me I constantly felt really ugly (there truly is no other way of putting it). And this was because I had acne. Acne has always been marketed as something ‘bad’. According to a lot of campaigns it seems to be something women have no choice but to be rid of. Now don’t get me wrong, the idea of having clear skin does sound wonderful but is it right for it to be advertised like this?
But in the past year I’ve come to realise that I don’t need to use colour corrector, concealers, and foundation to cover up my skin. If anything it just leads to a vicious cycle of more breakouts -> more stress -> lower self-esteem -> more money spent on products that further deepen the idea of the ‘imperfection’ existing. So I took the decision to stop wearing foundation completely and to never use concealer on any blemishes. I remember as I left the house I thought everyone would be staring at my skin thinking it’s super gross. But you see the thing is not one person even looked. And that’s because they’ve got way better things to do than to be staring at you. With the first day over I became more and more comfortable with my skin.
Now I’m not saying I’m still slightly conscious about it. Of course I am! But I am not embarrassed by it. It’s just how my skin is and it’s a part of me. And I’m also not saying to stop taking care of your skin. Obviously having a skincare routine is important as it looks after the skin. However instead of fighting with it, learn to work with it.
Over the past year I’ve actually really enjoyed discovering new skincare products and testing them out. Some have helped with improving my skin whilst others have led to some really bad reactions (especially when the product contains tea tree oil!). But I suppose that’s just part of the journey.
My current favourite brands include Simple Skin, Neutrogena and Superdrugs own Vitamin C range along with their Naturally Radiant range.
The majority of women also often find themselves constantly observing their own bodies. And with celebrities such as Kim Kardashians posting Instagram photos that contain lollipop appetite suppressors it is little wonder why. Instead of accepting ourselves and eating healthily, some women are falling into the trap of constantly analysing what goes in and out. For many it can lead to eating disorders (which at times can take over ones life). Instead of realising how serious this is, companies and the media feed into it (again ending in a constant cycle). I really do believe both marketing and the media have a responsibility that they are just not willing to accept. However I do feel it is important to mention that there is a minority of brands that are not doing this. I recently came across a Pretty Little Thing ad that included women of all sizes. Although I’m not a huge fan of the brand (though to be fair I’m not exactly their target market), it was really refreshing to see. To me it celebrated women as a whole and not just a particular type. I also think the idea of women of all sizes not being fully represented is what prompted my Instagram account. I personally fluctuate between sizes like there is no tomorrow (on an average year I go between a UK 12 – 16). I wanted to create an account that celebrated fashion as just a form of expression (and wasn’t just oriented on size).
There is one final thing that all women go through that is often given the idea of a hindrance rather than a massive form of encouragement. Periods.
I remember sitting in primary school being taught of this ‘scary concept’ that was going to start as I began my next stage in life. Through secondary school it was further emphasised as something that would stop one from being able to go about lessons (in particular P.E.). This lead to the idea that periods are just such a hindrance in life. And this couldn’t be further from the truth. Periods is the reminder that a woman has the power to carry life within her. Something no man can do. It is the most powerful thing. If anything it should be seen as constant motivation towards the idea that a woman can do everything a man can AND SHE CAN GIVE BIRTH TO NEW LIFE. I wish this ad by always existed back when I was in school along with subscription boxes like the Pink Parcel. The Pink Parcel is such a good incentive towards keeping a positive outlook. The box could be described as a little pick me up. It comes with all the essentials and also includes some chocolate, tea and beauty bits.
To sum up what I am trying to say with this post: Being a woman today is hard. Besides the patriarchal ideologies that still exist today, the media and marketing we constantly see have many of us questioning ourselves. Instead we need to break out of this vicious cycle. The moment you do you will really learn just how perfect and amazing you truly are.
Until The Next Time