Real, Not Perfect...
Oooh, look at that billboard or magazine ad… a young, fresh-faced model: “perfect” skin (no blackheads, large pores, scars, freckles), most likely has a dark tan with silky, shiny, no-frizz hair styled just right. A relaxed look on her face suggesting life is stress-free. She probably has dinner in the oven, all of the laundry folded and tucked neatly in drawers, dishes clean and dry, all of her children are peaceful, serene and napping at the same time and she just awaits her husband to walk through the door to give him a sexy “I love you” kiss that reminds them of their wedding day. Her perfect pucker is adorned with a natural shade of pink smudge-free lipstick, of course.
Right? Isn’t the first, natural response a photo ad of a model is supposed to elicit from a woman is jealousy? To want what we “don’t have”? To quickly and easily draw simple assumptions from this one snapshot in time? How could I possible know if she is stress free or has the “perfect” children, husband and clean home waiting for her? Aside from this, a computer likely removed any blemishes deemed imperfect before declaring the final photo worthy of representing that particular skincare or makeup or hair product company.
Why hide the real “blemishes”? Why are we, as women and consumers, made to feel “less than”? To sell products, of course… but why can’t real beauty sell too? More importantly, why can’t real beauty be celebrated?
There are a lucky few who age without wrinkles or blemish, yet we are made to believe these are ugly in order to buy products. Flaws are beauty too. Our skin can show our journey. As we travel down the road of life or weather storms, it’s impossible not to be touched or changed. Sometimes we do not want these “imperfections” to show…we should work with our body to nourish it inside and out. To get to a place where we feel beautiful in our own skin, no matter what.
In case you haven’t been told lately or need to hear it again: YOU are beautiful. Say it out loud: I am beautiful. Great! One more time, even more confidently than before and believe I AM BEAUTIFUL!
Let it soak in…. Feel the difference of how it feels to allow yourself the moment of beauty, rather than comparison.
We need a world full of more real and less fake. Women are more than their appearances. We are smart, capable, strong… the list is endless. THIS is what we should see in a photo. For the photo to spark admiration rather than judgmental comparison. To feel equal or to motivate one to attain the real, pure beauty that causes a woman’s personality to shine through a photo rather than placing her physical beauty on a pedestal, feeling as if we could never attain such beauty. Confidence is beauty. Strength is beauty. Love is beauty.
We need real. I would want to challenge these companies to show me women in their real, everyday lives. This may be a moment where a woman is quietly reading the latest book on her book list while enjoying a hot cup of tea. This may be a moment a mother is simply enjoying the hugs and snuggles of her toddler daughter. This may be while a woman is enjoying the peace and beauty of her gardening, preparing and lovingly cooking her family dinner, or out walking her dog in the warm Wisconsin sunshine (during our three days of summer haha!). These may not seem as glamorous, yet they would all be real scenarios. Relatable. Attainable. Honest. True beauty. Please do not fall into advertising and society’s trap.
You are beautiful. Makeup or no makeup. (I mean it! I can feel you rolling your eyes as you read this!) REAL is beautiful.
Next time you begin to compare yourself to that model in an ad, please remember, you are “fearfully & WONDERFULLY made” (Psalm 139:14). You are God’s masterpiece.
Holly, masterpiece beauty