The Beauty Standards I’m Breaking Up With
I’m constantly trying to understand and dissect how beauty standards impact our everyday life, along with the way we view ourselves & those around us. During 2020 I broke up with the “perfectly pedicured and manicured nails” standard. You can read about that experience on this instagram post.
I’m not saying I will never have pedicured and manicured feet again, I am saying I will be confident leaving my house “as is.” Basically, having the perfect manicure and pedicure will no longer be a prerequisite to leaving the house with confidence. It’s the whole “everything I need to get done” before I leave for vacation/go to an event/be seen by people panic mindset that I’m pushing back against.
Do you have a friend who never leaves the house without makeup? And even when you meet up, and they are perfectly done up (by the societies standards) they STILL will not accept a compliment without insulting themselves. Anyway, I digress….I have friends/people I’ve known for over 20 years, but I still have YET to see them without makeup on…..thats weird right? We can unpack this another day….but, I’m going to share the next beauty standard I’m hitting the unsubscribe button to:
Dying my hair.
I have been dying my hair since I was 14 years old. It’s always some crazy color, or just different shades of red, brown or blonde. Name a color and I’m more than sure I’ve had it in my hair. It was always for FUN, never to cover up anything, just a really great and easy form of self expression and art. I just loved how something so simple could change an entire look up. Following not far behind in my footsteps is my daughter, who had “galaxy” colors in her hair from 2nd -7th grade. My sons have each dyed their hair blues and blondes….for fun….not because anything was expected of them.
A few months ago I noticed some random gray hairs while I was doing my hair. I sat there and smiled at myself in the mirror. There was a small voice in my head that was saying “dye that evidence of aging away….” because that is what the beauty industry and in turn the beauty standards we follow, along with societal expectation teaches us, right? We MUST CHASE OUR YOUTH.
Thankfully, my love for getting older and the work I’m doing to unpack these beauty standards YELLED back at that tiny voice to back off. I decided then and there – I’m not dying my hair because someone else might be uncomfortable with the fact that I’m getting gray. I will only do it as a form of art or self expression, and I’m kind of loving this ombre balayage thing I have going on right now. But my gray hairs are few and far apart….I do not have gray roots coming in (yet.)
To summarize, the beauty standards I’m breaking up with/have broken up with are:
perfectly painted toes and fingernails
dying my hair because I have grays hairs coming in
Before we go any further I want to acknowledge that I’m not perfectly walking this path. I do get treatments on my skin, even botox in some areas….and I’m unpacking and understanding my relationship with anti aging in that regard as well. But, I always want to be transparent with y’all as I know many of us are walking this path together.
I want to say, I do not judge anyone for continuing on with living by and with these beauty standards. For me personally, however, I can’t be owned by them. I noticed how much of my time was being owned by checking off these standards and I want that time BACK. That is one thing I know I have no control over – time…so I want to own what is rightfully mine.