“Talk to yourself like you would to someone you love”
– Brene Brown
Has there ever been a power so strong as self-doubt or a forgiveness so powerful as beauty? The two correlate and co-exist, complementing and destroying one another simultaneously.
In a world that’s become utterly obsessed with beauty, in which little girls are taught to first be beautiful and well-mannered, and then – everything else (Malala Yousafzai is giving you a side-eye), hasn’t it become a little symptomatic that all these princesses are fighting such an overwhelming battle with self-worth and confidence that they are potentially being led into a bitter life with no realistic self-reflection but rather beauty obsessions that spread like cancer? Yes, the superficial, shallow society is to blame. But things can change. We can all change – first, individually; then, as a group.
Beauty is power, no dispute there. Beauty is everywhere around, and it should be loved and appreciated. We are absolutely appalled by how misused it is, that’s true. But we’re not saying it is to be neglected or downplayed, far from. We adore people that are beautiful, things that are beautiful, souls that are beautiful. We love seeing everyone invest in themselves and take good care of themselves. But we also love that beauty being natural or lightly altered, not forced.
Let’s all stop for a second and recall Salma Hayek’s perfectly observed state of beauty-related things: ‘People often say that “beauty is in the eye of the beholder”, and I say that the most liberating thing about beauty is realising that you are the beholder. This empowers us to find beauty in places where others have not dared to look, including inside ourselves.’ Doesn’t beauty sound way healthier this way – when it stems from who we are and not what products we’ve got on our faces? It sure does.
About halo effect
Socio-psychological research explains that, based on the established findings, attractive people are considered to be smarter, more interesting, more intelligent, better leaders, more creative, better parents, better friends… than those with average looks. In short: they are attributed positive and desirable traits that place them above the average group, even though their individual traits haven’t actually been subject to analysis. Psychologists call this the halo effect: “the attractiveness of pretty people casts a ‘positive halo’ on their other characteristics”.
And with the halo effect comes the two-edged sword; people who are more attractive should be far more confident than the rest, shouldn’t they? Praxis show that, often, this isn’t the case. In fact, there are two sides to the halo effect – one, where the person has to believe that, indeed, they are as beautiful as a sufficiently large random sample of people find them to be; the other, where the person is aware of the halo effect, which leads them to increased self-doubt of their abilities (they are, supposedly, privileged from the get go, implying none of their efforts are real but “beauty-lensed”).
About beauty products
In today’s climate, beauty products are more of an identity trait than they are a beautifying tool; we’re accustomed to expressing our personality through the colors we wear, the amount of makeup we put on our faces and the type of brand we identify ourselves with. Professionals from Medaesthetics, who are experts (and admirers) in beauty symmetry, observe that the number of aesthetic procedures has largely increased in the last 20 years.
The beauty industry wouldn’t have ever survived hadn’t there be insecure souls to feed on. Yes, we love them for helping us cover the blemishes and redness, we love that we can match our outfits with the shimmer in the eyeshadow or pop our pout with the right lip pencil. What we don’t love is that we’re obsessed and – ultimately possessed. A beauty exorcism, that’s what we need – collectively.
Make self-love and inner-beauty your everyday religion; smile as much as you can because life is phenomenal. You are phenomenal. When you start blossoming from the inside, that red lipstick will look spectacular on you. And you won’t even need not a touch of highlighter. You’ll see.