Have you heard the phrase 'making the best of yourself'? Or, more likely, in reference to someone else 'she's not really making the best of herself'?
Well, I am 'not making the best of myself' on a daily basis. Why? Because I feel no obligation to do so.
Does that sound like I'm 'letting myself go'? I'm not, but I am letting go
-of societal pressure
- of the need to please others
- of having a duty to beauty
I know I can look 'better'
I know I look better with make-up. I don't own any, and I've talked about why I gave up wearing make-up previously. At the time, I wanted to be comfortable with my unmade-up face. My expectation was that, if I achieved that goal, I'd resume wearing make-up, knowing I was happy either way.
Instead, I have thrown all of my make-up away - because once I got comfortable with how I look without it, it became pointless to me. I may look 'better' with it, but what does that achieve for me, day to day?
I'm not suggesting you, or anyone else should ditch make-up, because if it's making you feel good, why would you? But I am suggesting that sometimes it's good to think why we do certain things, and who they are benefiting.
There are many industries around 'making the best of yourself'. From what colours to wear to what 'non-invasive' surgery to have to what styles of clothes to wear. They can serve any purpose from building self-confidence through to putting us on a treadmill of always feeling the need to look as good as we possibly can, at any given moment.
But if I have wrinkles, it's because I'm getting older. Why should I be anti that?
If I have stretchmarks, it's because I had a growth spurt in my teens. Why is a natural effect on my skin something I should find a cream to minimise or erase?
If wearing something makes me happy, even though it doesn't flatter my figure, why would I not? Don't I have a right to feel good without looking good?
I feel more free if I am making choices based on my requirements not society's 'norms'.
I'm not anti-beauty
Don't get me wrong - I'm as delighted to have a makeover as the next person! But knowing how I could look, and feeling the pressure to do so every day are different things. I'm clean, my clothes are clean (paw-marks don't count, right?) - the standards I'm setting for myself are met. They're just not the standards others are trying to set on my behalf.
I don't have a duty to beauty, and neither do you.