When I was relatively new to blogging, I wrote a post on self-esteem. Since then, I’ve gained quite a few more followers (hi followers!) and I feel like this message needs repeating. The thing about beauty blogging: you get to see all the wonderful, creative looks people put together and all the cool products you never knew were on the market. You also get exposed to products that make you question what’s wrong with yourself. There are only so many posts you can see for pore refining masks, before you start to look a bit more closely at your own pores. Are my pores too big? Too clogged? I can see them, so they must be. On my last post, many women shared the experience of growing more confident with their looks as they aged, but I worry that too much exposure to the beauty industry could bring those petty insecurities back. Here are some things you don’t have to feel bad about:
- Your Weight I have a lot to say here. Heavier women have never had it easy in this domain, but with the advent of “skinny fat” and skinny shaming, thin women don’t always have it easy either. I’m not against weight loss/gain for health or even vanity reasons (I’ve been hitting the gym extra hard since my clothes began to fit a little tight). But even when you want to change your weight, trust me when I say that you will have more success coming from a place of love than a place of hate. Who are you more motivated to change for, the person you love or the person you don’t want to look at?
- Your Shape Along the same lines, it’s hard not to worry about your shape in a world of “squat your way to a bigger butt” and “plank your way to flatter abs.” Despite what those 30 Day challenges would have you believe, it’s not so simple to change the shape of your body. There are people in peak physical condition who don’t have 6 pack abs. Beyond that, think of the effort you have to put it. You’re going to have to continue to put that effort in for as long as you want to keep that shape. If the body you want requires you to spend hours in the gym every day and severely limit your diet, do you want to keep that up for the rest of your life? I can’t tell you what to decide for yourself, but it’s something you should consider
- Your Skin Tone Here’s a good one. The beauty industry has a nice habit of making white women wish they were tanner, while at the same time marginalizing minority women. Think about foundation. Some companies have a huge range that fits a variety of skin tones, like Loreal. Others will only have one or two shades for black women. And think of a foundation labeled “medium.” Is this color medium when you consider the wide range of skin colors out there, or is it only medium for white skin tones?
- Your Hair Everyone seems to hate their hair and wish they were born with a different texture. If that’s true, think of all the women who wish they were born with your hair texture. Makes you feel better, doesn’t it?
- Your Face Because you should never feel bad about the thing that your loved ones recognize you by.
So here are my last thoughts on self-esteem. I don’t think you have to wake up every day and feel like you are the most beautiful person in the world. That might be unrealistic. But whenever you feel inadequate based on the supermodels you see in magazines or the tips you see on pinterest, remember that you are beautiful.