Have you ever noticed the messaging found on covers and inside most beauty magazines? Whether it’s women’s or men’s magazines, there is a common element: advertising -a lot of it! Not just that but, the wording tends to tell us quite clearly that there’s something not right about us, something we have to change or that if we don’t do something, we’re “out of style,” “not beautiful,” or “not handsome.”
Now, it’s one thing to enjoy fashion, clothing, and our image innocently but it’s another thing to be drawn to it because we have low self esteem, confidence and low self worth. The tricky part is, a lot of times we aren’t consciously aware of how much our desire or obsession with these things are actually fuelled by our lack of self confidence – the ego can be tricky to catch in that way.
Have You Noticed?
In the video below, watch as the truth behind not only advertising but wording is brought to light when it comes to these magazines. Then begin to reflect: what are you drawn to when you see the cover of a magazine? Do you notice yourself wanting what you see or being attracted to headlines because of promises they make? Do you notice that these promises are often playing on something ‘wrong’ with you?
Check out the video, and then check out the important message below.
Breaking The Culture
It’s time we really start asking ourselves questions about why we put so much importance on appearance. The programming we have been subject to has affected all of us in some way, and I believe it’s time we start moving beyond it.
Taking an important excerpt from an articl I wrote a few years ago about the term “a real woman,” I want to draw attention to some unconscious thoughts we have about appearance.
We often see an effort to focus on “real beauty,” “a real woman” or “a real man.” But what does these terms actually mean? Not only that, but why do we go from one extreme to another when we become aware of our cultural programming?
A real woman, and even a real man, is whoever we are. “Real” isn’t any specific thing. Curvy, skinny, medium build, it’s all REAL! So we don’t need to create campaigns and movements focused on showing “what’s real”. We simply need to accept that we are all different and culturally let go of the perceptions we place on what beauty is or isn’t.
We see efforts to show curvy woman as ‘real women’ in an attempt to make ourselves focus on something else (Dove Real Beauty campaign). But imagine for an instant that we suddenly went in this other direction and now “real” means being curvy. How does the girl or woman who has a very skinny body type feel? The same thing goes for men. Many men hit the gym in an attempt to achieve the correct body weight, shape, and look in order to be considered muscular (and therefore attractive). But this is just another illusion – and having a decent background in kinesiology, I can tell you that some men, just like some women, have body types that simply don’t allow them to achieve the shape their egos are after.
If we want to truly go back to “real beauty” this would mean going beyond all the conceptions put forth by popular culture, cosmetic companies and even the fashion industry. Think of the idea of needing wear makeup. Sure we can have fun with it, dress up, wear it from time to time, but does it have to be a daily thing? Are we not acceptable, beautiful or attractive without it? After all, why do only women wear it to ‘bring out their features’ and men don’t? Who made that up?
“Can I leave the house without wearing makeup, perfecting my hair, wearing the right clothes and hiding my flaws?” Can your friends or new love interests see you without in these states? This applies to both men and women, as men can be just as self-conscious about their looks as women and I believe it’s important to simply embrace who we are.
So! Male or female, it doesn’t matter, let go of the idea of “real” and instead accept ourselves for who we are. You will notice very quickly, the more acceptance and “confidence” you have within yourself about who you are completely, the less you or anyone else will even care about your physical appearance, because you are projecting an entirely new energy, one that is attractive on its own.
But wait, what about the whole idea that dressing up nice and making yourself look dashing will make you feel good about yourself? Is that what it takes for us to feel good? Doesn’t the very fact that this is what makes us feel good reveal how we truly feel about ourselves and the importance we place on appearance? I’m sugar coating things here, I want to get right to the issue because ego can be tricky in coming up with excuses for us to work around that which pulls us from peace.
Once again, don’t get me wrong, I’m not vilifying dressing up or anything of that nature, enjoy it as you wish, I’m simply drawing attention to the fact that instead of removing the thoughts, self consciousness and so forth that pulls us out of our peace, we focus on adjusting our external world or band aiding the whole situation with affirmations without actually addressing the core issue.
If we want peace, we have to work towards it. Or else we will get stuck repeating the same patterns over and over again.