I recently read a blog post that I literally could not stop myself from talking about on Instagram stories. In a nutshell, the blogger was sharing about her experience using cosmetic Botox and while I absolutely appreciate her creating an open and honest conversation about it (and respect her willingness to disclose that information since she also writes about beauty products), I was really saddened by what the post represented overall—the general not-good-enough feeling that women in our culture have about physical appearance, especially after age 30. This isn’t a post to shame anyone who has gotten Botox or any type of “work” done—I’ve definitely done semi-permanent things to “enhance” my appearance previously, like brow microblading and lash extensions—but rather one to share some of my thoughts on the deeper issue and open up some food for thought related to beauty, worth and value.
After reading the post and dwelling on it for a bit, I began to recognize that as someone who puts myself out there on the Internet I have a responsibility to help change the way things are. I think women are so beautiful and I don’t want to be someone who is fueling more of the looks- and youth-obsessed culture we are living in. We can be beautiful AND be aging. Isn’t it supposed to be a privilege to grow old? There is such a depth of beauty and wisdom with each passing year. We can be beautiful AND have “imperfections”—perfect isn’t even real. I have stretch marks and cellulite and veins and puffy eyes and in no way does that make me less worthy of sharing my face and my style with you all.
There was a time in my life when I literally would not leave my house without mascara on. It barely made a difference in my face, honestly, but I just NEEDED to do it to feel good enough. To feel pretty enough. To feel woman enough. When I realized it was such a deep issue, I stopped wearing mascara for a month. Then 2 months. Then 6 months. Then eventually years went by without me having put a touch of makeup on my face. I definitely wear makeup again now, but it was such a powerful exercise in breaking the addiction to “enhancing” my appearance.
I recently saw Amy Schumer’s movie I Feel Pretty. While it did have a cheesiness factor, it was hilarious and so, so thought provoking—despite the (surprisingly) bad reviews it got. In the movie, she hits her head during a Soul Cycle class and wakes up seeing something totally different in the mirror. We never actually see her idealized version of herself, and all of the other characters think she is nuts because to them, she looks exactly the same. But to her, she looks AMAZING, and that completely changes how she lives her life.
The fact is, what we think we look like plays a much bigger role in how we interact with the world than how we actually look. When we feel like we don’t look the way we should, we project that to others and almost invite them to think the same things about us (while also feeling bad about ourselves). It’s amazing how powerful it can be when we choose to embrace and celebrate what we look like and who we are. My favorite people to be with are people who are kind, honest and unapologetically themselves.
Ultimately, this is what I want you to take away from this post: it’s important to remind ourselves at our core that our appearance does not make us more or less valuable. Wear makeup. Dress yourself in clothes you love. Do your hair in fun ways. Express yourself! But know that under all of that you are still YOU, perfect in your own imperfect way and that is an amazing and valuable thing in itself.
YOU ARE ENOUGH exactly as you are right now. Don’t ever let the world tell you you’re not good enough because of what you look like.