Realistic Expectations?

If women weren’t obsessed with trying to look younger and thinner, the manufacturers of beauty products wouldn’t make the billions of $ that they do every year so why do we do it to ourselves ladies? Is it for our own self-esteem, to attract others? Or is it because we are constantly bombarded with images of how we should look and we do what we can to fit within those pre-determined boundaries?

Say Goodbye to aging skin? The models we seen in some of these ads haven’t even said “hello” to aging skin!! Do we really believe that we can slap some cream on our wrinkled skin and we’ll wake up the next morning looking 25 again? I’m not going to say ‘yes’ but we all live in hope don’t we……;O)

I wonder who comes up with all these ideas of what an ideal woman should look like? From what I can make out we should all have long, shiny hair, white teeth, flawless skin, no wrinkles, a toned and perky body, full lips, cheekbones you could shave ice with and legs up to our armpits. In the 1700’s Barbara Villiers was considered a great beauty and referred to as ‘perhaps the finest woman in England’, that’s her in the portrait below; alongside her is Selena Gomez, one of the great beauties of our age. Aside from nose size, the two women are very similar in many ways – dark, heavy lidded eyes, clear skin, rosebud mouth….so does this mean that our tastes haven’t really changed in over 300 years?

Barbara Villiers was reportedly overwrought when Chancellor Clarendon, her great enemy said to her:

“Please remember, if you live, you will grow old”

I believe that she was about 27 at the time (she eventually died at the age of 68 from dropsy). So it would seem that not only have our ideas of beauty not really changed, women’s attitudes to growing old haven’t really moved along either!

If women weren’t obsessed with trying to look younger and thinner, the manufacturers of beauty products wouldn’t make the billions of $ that they do every year so why do we do it to ourselves ladies? Is it for our own self-esteem, to attract others? Or is it because we are constantly bombarded with images of how we should look and we do what we can to fit within those pre-determined boundaries?

Flattered gif.gifI, like everyone else, can only speak from personal experience and, to be honest, I’m not 100% sure that I can answer. Some of it definitely has to do with self-esteem; while this may have feminists scowling at me across the ether, it does boost my confidence if a get a smile from a guy or an approving look. I live in France and I was once the recipient of an oh la la! in a supermarket and that kept me smiling all day! Did I look any different that day from any other? I honestly don’t remember but I do remember the compliment. However, if I was 100% comfortable in my own skin I don’t suppose I would have even thought about it after the event.

IMG_0999 (1)I don’t leave the house without make-up but, if I’m at the beach and go swimming, I don’t worry if it all washes off or leaves me looking like a bikini wearing panda. I’m not overweight but that’s simply because I love exercise and don’t enjoy junk food. I sometimes look in the mirror and think ‘shit! what happened’! but I probably have more confidence in my appearance than I did when I was in my 20’s.  My hair is really short but it looks terrible long and I really can’t be arsed to spend longer than 5 minutes faffing around with it every day. Do I wish I looked younger? Yes. Do I wish I felt as I did in my 20’s? No definitely not! I was a seething mass of neuroses and insecurities.

So what’s the answer??? Say goodbye to a negative self-image, learn to love yourself for what you are, accept what you can’t change and change what you can and just remember that, when you’re really having fun, you won’t give a crap what you look like :O)

Lisa x

 

Oooh That Hurt!

I think that really all we can say is f**k it! Aging is inevitable and there is nothing that we can do about the passing of the years. Our bodies will change and we can fight that or accept it. Personally, in the writing of this piece, I’ve decided that I’m even more determined to continue doing those things that make me feel younger

Have you ever read something and immediately thought ‘oh!’, then felt a tightness in your throat and an unbearable urge to cry even though you know that you’re being silly and over-sensitive?

I felt that this morning when I was browsing through Twitter (why oh why do I keep doing that!) and came across this Tweet:

“I love how this powder foundation evens out my skin tone without being too heavy,” said the woman who blasphemes nature daily by underhandedly modifying the tone of her complexion and luster of her hair with an array of ointments, gels, and lotions shrewdly designed to impart an artificial bloom of youth to her aging, depleted body

It’s taken from an article in the Onion which satirizes new stories; I think it’s meant to be funny but, as with most satire, it’s inherently cruel.

Ever since I read it I’ve been trying to work out why it bothered me so much and I’ve come to 2 conclusions:

  1. It made me feel slightly pathetic; is everything I’m doing to keep my body looking and feeling younger just laughable self-delusion and a refusal to accept the inevitable?
  2. My youth is behind me and there is absolutely nothing I can do about it.

Old women quotes

Then the real negativity started…..am I turning into a laughing stock? A raddled old hag who’s trying to pretend that she’s still young? Researching attitudes didn’t help much either; the quote above is from a Pulitzer prize winning dickhead (it didn’t actually say that in his bio – I added that bit) and it made me wonder how many other men think like that. Are men genetically programmed to only lust after young, fertile women for  the continuance of the species or is it just that we all appreciate beauty, men and women both?

toilet-paper-ad.jpgWe are a consumer society and virtually everything that is marketed to us is done so by young lovelies with perfect bodies and beautiful smiles – cosmetics, clothes, breakfast cereals and even toilet paper (yes apparently we even need beautiful women to sell us the stuff that we wipe our backsides with!). Beauty, it seems, is inextricably linked with youth so where does that leave the rest of us who are the wrong side of 50 and feeling sorry for ourselves this morning (that could just be me to be fair).

I think that really all we can say is f**k it! Aging is inevitable and there is nothing that we can do about the passing of the years. Our bodies will change and we can fight that or accept it. Personally, in the writing of this piece, I’ve decided that I’m even more determined to continue doing those things that make me feel younger and that includes looking after my aging, depleted body so that I’ll still be able to hop of the back of a motorbike and hurtle round the mountains even when I’m 90. I might look like an old woman trying to recapture her youth but, quite frankly my dears, I don’t give a damn.

 

How Do I Look?

The media tells us all the time that beauty and youth are important and that, as we get older we must, therefore, be losing something important but is that really so?

“My greatest beauty secret is being happy with myself. I don’t use special creams or treatments – I’ll use a little bit of everything. It’s a mistake to think you are what you put on yourself. I believe that a lot of how you look is to do with how you feel about yourself and your life. Happiness is the greatest beauty secret” Tina Turner.

Many people freak out, when they hit a certain age, about what to wear. Why? You’re all grown up, you don’t have to please anyone other than yourself so wear whatever the hell you please, if it’s just a question of age that is. It’s more likely that your body shape has changed and you don’t know how to style it or that you’re not happy with the way that you look and therefore you lack confidence. Really the problems we may think we have with fashion are no different than when we were in our 20’s; how many times did you think (or ask) ‘does my bum look big in this?’ when you were in your 20’s or your 30’s come to that? Very few of us are ever completely happy with the way we look and maybe that’s what we need  to change – our attitude rather than our wardrobe, it would certainly be cheaper.

This is Winnie Harlow and she suffers from a severe form of the skin condition vitiligo. b4b21eebb2a1df3228ff0c2d842e9ea5 (1)

However she is also a model and a brand ambassador for clothing label Desigual.

Some people might have chosen to hide themselves away because they looked different to everyone else but looking different has made Winnie’s career.

What we see in the mirror is not necessarily what everybody else sees so, before you look at the clothes you’re wearing or your make-up really look at you and focus on what makes you special.

What emotions do these two pictures stir in you?e15018d22ddb31681d760c20776bc2c2--beautiful-smile-beautiful-peopleo-ANGRY-facebook One woman is, undoubtedly, old and the other is young and quite beautiful but which image makes you feel good?

If you think about those people that you like to spend time with, those who are closest to you, are they miserable or happy? Kind and considerate or critical and angry? Now think about why those people like to spend time with you……

The media tells us all the time that beauty and youth are important and that, as we get older we must, therefore, be losing something important but is that really so?

The happier we are on the inside the more we will smile, relax and be comfortable in our own skins and the more other people will want to spend time with us – isn’t that a wonderfully simple way to make friends and enjoy life?

 

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