Fight for natural beauty?
“When you are balanced and when you listen and attend to the needs of your body, mind, and spirit, your natural beauty comes out.
” Christina Turlington
It was not until I stopped wearing makeup that I realized the hypocrisy of every “natural beauty” ad.
Wear a natural mask, they advise. You can show your true self by concealing your flaws, they suggest.
If only it were that easy.
The struggles with my body began when I was five years old. It was my first experience when I had a bowel movement to make me feel thin.
I began healing around four years ago after having nearly self-destructed.
In the time between, I would spend more than an hour every day in the mirror, and the rest of my hours were spent thinking about my past and upcoming calories and wondering if my outfit was making me appear overweight.
When I decided to go natural, it was not exactly an option.
I’d spent so much time shifting and hiding, ensuring no evidence of my real self was revealed and that nothing was left, not even peace, joy and sanity.
It could be that self-hatred led me into a solitary hole; however, that self-hatred arose from a different source: my obsession with what my life “should” be.
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I was so consumed with creating an ideal mask that I could not express my authentic self. She burst forth.
I decided to get out of the shadows to repair my broken self-esteem.
I stopped putting on makeup, stopped dieting, and stopped dying my hair. I was, in fact, naturally.
I tried to think of the positive aspects of the change–more time to spend money, more freedom.
I could rise from bed every morning, wash my face, change into comfortable clothes, and leave!
However, such moments of appreciation were infrequent.
Every time I looked around, I was either unaware of my appearance or disgusted by it.
The reflection stunned me. Her eyebrows were bright, and her skin was smooth. There were pores, and she had pimples.
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I would keep telling myself that it’s fine being natural.
However, when I was confronted with my real nature, my mind began to revolt.
“Not this kind of natural!” my thoughts would say. “Aveno commercial natural! Blemish-free natural, and it’s not This.”
I fought these thoughts, and I did not fight them by denying them.
I was able to fight the urge to not respond to them and opt for my true self over this fake self I was in love with.
It took me weeks before I finally got the first glimpse of myself in the mirror, and it took me years for those thoughts to stop nagging me.
In one moment, I’d feel fine. However, I’d then see an unflattering picture of me and be greeted with a flurry of emotion.
It’s similar to noticing that there’s an insect across your skin. It’s like–“Oh god, that’s disgusting!
What’s the longest it’s been around?” Your skin crawls, and your heart race. You feel like you’re dirty.
It’s the same. However, it was not the result of a bug. My entire body. My face.
It’s me. Disgusting.
Have you always had to deal with this? Let me take it off. Now.
For a long time, my entire life, I tried for a long time trying to remove myself from my way, to erase all evidence of me from me.
Recovering from these actions was as challenging as getting over any addiction.
Self-judgment can be cancerous, and it’s not going to heal in a day.
In the process of learning to be me, I started to see how detrimental the society around me helped me heal.
I often heard people around me say something like, “I hope my children look nothing like me.
” and, “I just want to cut this stupid fat off my body.” And everybody would look at me with a smile.
It’s true. Is. We feel exactly the same way.
The more I grew used to the image I saw in the mirror as I grew older, the more I recognised its absence in the world surrounding me.
From the woman who is nineteen years old shopping at the supermarket wearing a thick, smudge-proof lipstick on the wrinkles of her lips to the teenager in the bathroom, with a tense eye, rubbing concealer on the chin of her friend, I observed the desire for beauty more than the recognition of. It’s not like it.
To be beautiful naturally is like trying to transform into an actual human being. We already are human.
We already have natural beauty.
Beauty has been ours since the beginning, and it’s been stolen, packed and then returned to us.
We’re just trying to get back the things we own.
However, we cannot purchase natural beauty the way we can buy naturally-grown hair or toes.
When we are buying something, it’s no longer realistic.
The companies that sell cosmetics have been scrutinized both inside and outside, and I’m not trying to be a source of criticism.
I’m here to provide an advocate for those who are exhausted from trying to appear like someone else.
If you wish to feel natural beauty, you must allow yourself to be naturally beautiful.
You must let yourself accept what’s there, wrinkles, stretch marks, warts and everything else.
It’s not going to be easy, but constantly seeking to make yourself better isn’t simple either.
Self-acceptance will eventually heal your self-judgment, but it never will.
And you’re not the only person who you will help.
If you are willing to accept yourself, you’ll become another example of genuine beauty and natural beauty in our society.
When you are free and others, you will be able to liberate them too. Change the world.