I am so sick of seeing beauty products, diet pills and plastic surgery ads on my timeline, in magazines, on TV, on bus stops and every bloody place I look, aimed at the average woman and promising her that if she just did this or that her life would be so much better.
Listen up – the average woman doesn’t have time to go to the gym five times a week, she can’t afford plastic surgery, lip fillers and Botox so guess what? She has fat and a few wrinkles. Her boobs might be saggy, she has cellulite and if she’s a mom, chances are she’s got some stretch marks and she probably wears yoga pants A LOT.
Sure, she wants to workout more, she wants to wear nice clothes and look her best, but she may also think that high heels are stupid and prefer flip flops and wearing her hair in a bun.
Some days she feels like sh*t, some days she feels like a supermodel. Some days she just eats ice cream. She struggles, she succeeds, she gets on with life.
She is real.
And after a long day of working, or looking after her kids or doing the housework this lady does not need to see glossy faces on a magazine and read about how easy it is to lose 10 pounds in 3 days.
You see, as an average woman, I can tell you this: there are days that I wish I looked younger, slimmer and more beautiful. There are days that I want to wear a bikini and have my skinny jeans (which I am still holding on to for when I finally go on a diet), fit me again.
But most days, I remind myself that looks, although important, are not everything.
The sad thing is that we live in a world that feeds off people’s insecurities – whole industries rely on this to exist:
The cosmetic industry wants us to think aging is something we can actually stop so that they can sell us facial creams and makeup to cover up our skin “imperfections”. The plastic surgery industry wants us to believe that a woman’s body should look the same as it did when she was 16, even after giving birth, breastfeeding and c sections. How crazy is that?! And the diet and food supplements industry want us to believe that if we just lose some weight – all our problems will go away and we will be happy.
But the truth is, it’s all bullshit.
None of those things will actually make you happy and I know this for a fact.
As a woman who has yo yo dieted for most of her adult life and has been tiny at times, I can tell you from experience that being slim did not make me happy.
Loving yourself for who you are AS A PERSON, not as a piece of meat that looks a certain way, is what we should aspire for. Accepting the fact that there are many body types and shapes, that not everyone has “great hair” or smooth skin, that we are all different and that there is no ONE BEAUTY STANDARD as the fashion industry would have us believe – that’s what we need to be aiming for.
And please do not get me wrong – I know that leading a healthy and active lifestyle is a good thing. I know that going to the gym, dancing, walking on the beach, playing tennis or whatever it is that you fancy, combined with healthy eating habits (and some cake and chips cos let’s face it, what kind of a life would it be without them?!) is important for your mental and physical well-being.
But I also know that our looks will eventually fade. Even with all the help and money in the world, one day our boobs will drop to our knees and we will no longer be able to hide the wrinkles.
And when that happens, many, many years from now, I have no doubt that we will look back on our lives and the fact we were once ‘hot’ or ‘skinny’ will not be what we are most proud of. It will not be our biggest ‘achievement’ and we may even suddenly realize what an utter waste of time it was to obsess over it.
So live now!
Love yourself with all of your “imperfections”. Remember that NO ONE looks good at 5 am after a sleepless night of breastfeeding a new born. Know that if you f*cking hate the gym, it’s okay and you can find something else you enjoy doing that will get you out and about. Enjoy your body, it’s the only one you have and it does so much for you!
And eat cake because life is too short to try and get used to the taste of kale.
But most importantly, remember that beauty does not come in one shape or form, that you are worth so much more than what you look like and that we are all most beautiful when we are being REAL.