Beauty. It’s everywhere around us – in sunsets, in dress patterns, in the creases of your grandmother’s smile. It captivates us as a species and speaks directly to our souls.
So why is there so much pain and oppression surrounding beauty?
I think a lot of the problem has to do with our definition of beauty. We’ve labeled it, cheapened it, and scaled it down to fit in a perfectly marketable box.
This isn’t the beauty of a first kiss or the beauty of a lonely fence silhouette, poised against moonlight.
This is a societal, watered down beauty, mainly involving the physical appearance of women.
Many might look towards the film and TV industry when it comes to oppressive beauty standards.
Some might point a finger at men.
Some might point to other women.
There are so many reasons as to why women may feel inept when it comes to beauty.
I can thank Instagram for much of mine. Please let me preface by saying I LOVE Instagram. It’s a wonderland of portals to other worlds and it’s an online community in which I’ve created real-life, deep, in-person connections.
But, one too many swipes down the rabbit hole that is my Instagram feed and I can often come up feeling less than.
Partially because I’ve selected some amazing accounts to follow that showcase gorgeous, amazon-like women in bikinis or flawless models in silken pajamas with a perfectly placed coffee cup and croissant at their side.
You know, the models with personal trainers, 10,000 makeup artists and hairstylists, Photoshop in some cases, and (to give credit where credit is due) a hell of a lot of self control when it comes to burgers and fries.
The other part is that old comparison game. You know, where you look at another girl’s body or life and compare it to your own. This is death to the heart of a woman. DEATH.
It took several years of feeling really shitty to realize that comparison is the stealer of joy, in all aspects of life. But especially in the aspect of beauty and self worth. I had to beat this joy stealer. So I developed a technique.
I stomped that shit out.
As soon as a nasty little thought crosses my mind (gosh, your abs don’t look like that. Actually, you’re looking rather bloated this week or wow, her job looks way more glamorous, important, and fulfilling than yours), I would get fiery and literally tell that thought to take a hike. Actually, it’s more profane than that, but I’m sparing you on the details here, my lovely reader.
You get the picture.
Don’t play that old game, don’t go down that rabbit hole. Stop the comparison and negative thoughts when they start. Stomp that shit out.
Another trick I’ve learned throughout my years as a self-critiquing individual (aka a WOMAN), is to remember that old saying about inner beauty. It isn’t bullshit.
Inner beauty is bae.
I’m telling you that, even at my smallest size, with flawless makeup that looks like it could really just be my face naturally, hair gleaming like a goddess, heels on, and booty reflecting all those squats, I’ve still felt insecure. So it’s truly not about our efforts to look good.
Let me repeat that. Your beauty is not achieved by your efforts to look good.
Those emotions of self-love, those feelings of self-worth, and that effortless beauty that we all want to obtain? Those are achieved on the inside.
Put the mirror down and look inside. What feels ugly in there? Fix that shit and your inner peace and light will shine for all to see.
Can you trust me on this one? And while I’m still learning and growing in this tricky area, I’m so hopeful and excited about the open dialog we women are creating on this issue we ALL deal with.
I can’t wait to see where your Beautiful U Journey takes you. Stay beautiful lovely reader, from the inside out.
This story was written by Taylor Griggs, Founder at Sands and Sequins. You can check out her website at www.sandandsequins.com and on Instagram at @sandandsequins