Body Image and Self Confidence – Why Are We All In Competition?

Hey Beautiful Ladies,

Today I wanted to address something I’ve been thinking about a lot this week, and that is mostly likely something we’ve all battled with at some time or another: body image and self confidence.

We live in a world surrounded by glossy prints and airbrushed models, picture perfect celebrities with an army of people to preen them and constant ads for getting the perfect body/skin/whatever. I’m not going to deny that this has a major impact on some girls, and certainly reinforces the stereotype that we all need to be a size 8 with long hair, big eyes, perfect skin, legs up to our eyeballs and boobs the size of melons.

However, what I see in our culture more and more these days is a real, bitchy competitive spirit between girls when it comes to looks and body image. We live in a society which encourages us to judge and compare ourselves to others and to constantly be striving to catch up to that girl who had thinner thighs, or longer hair, or better skin. In our instant gratification culture we believe that you can never be simply fine as you are, that you always need to be striving for more, to be better, to beat the competition. Whilst this healthy in some aspects of life it also has a real negative effect on the way we see our bodies and how we rate our self esteem. Who hasn’t seen a girl on the street and thought, ‘oh if only I had her thighs’, or ‘damn she should NOT be wearing that she doesn’t have the figure/shape/slim figure to pull it off’. I bet we are all guilty of it at one point or the other. Hands up I admit I am.

Even the words we use these days are loaded with subcurrents and veiled connotations. Call someone nice and curvy, you’ll get a ‘are you calling me fat’ reaction. Call someone skinny and you’re implying they’re unhealthy or have some form of eating issue. Every word related to figures has been dissected and eaten up so many times you can’t just give someone a compliment anymore without thinking about how they will take it. Vice versa, people find it so much easier to chuck about the insults these days because it’s normal to discriminate  both against people who are thin, ‘eat a burger will you’, ‘oh, so you do actually eat?’ (I’ve had both of these by the way and they aren’t nice to hear) and people who might carry a bit more weight, ‘put down the pies’ etc. We live in a cultural minefield when it comes to body image…

The thing is, and it took me a long time to work this out, your weight or your shape does not define who you are as a person. That number on the scale has nothing to do with who you are and how you see yourself, and we need to stop letting our weight, clothes size and body shape defining how we see our status in society. Frankly, shaving your thighs down to be as thin as that girl’s is unlikely to suddenly make you the happiest person in the world; losing weight, changing your hair and face is not going to suddenly make that boy like you. If I had a pound for every time I hear ‘what if he leaves me because she’s thinner/prettier/has longer hair/has better skin etc’…Well you know what, if he does he’s a complete tosser and you deserve better than that anyway. Throughout the 4 years I’ve been with my boyfriend I’ve been told numerous times ‘oh, you got yourself a really gorgeous boyfriend, well done for holding onto him’, or some other such bullshit comment implying that I’m batting out my league and ought to be grateful that such a man looked upon me. That is a ton of crap and usually made by girls who have met me for 2 seconds and are basing their assessments purely on how I look. See what I mean about competitive society?

Ladies, we are all different and need to appreciate our bodies as they are and for what they do for us. They let us walk  run, dance with our friends till 3 in the morn, take us to new lands, and do all the things we love. There are a large number of people in the world who for one reason or another can’t do any of these things. Remember that next time you’re complaining about your thighs or your butt.

Most of our body shape is determined by genetics  and you can really only work with what you have on your frame unless you go down the plastic surgery route. Take me for example, I’m your classic pear shape, I store weight on my thighs and rock a ghetto booty Beyonce would be proud of, but my stomach is pretty much flat and I always have toned arms, shoulders and back. I get this from my Dad because my mum and sister are apples and have these teeny toned legs that I could only dream of but store all their weight round their tummy. Now, I will stay this shape/store my weight the same regardless if I’m 8 and half or 10 and a half stone (both of which I’ve been). You can’t beat your shape so work and appreciate what you’ve got girls! So long as your healthy focus on your own shape and great points rather than comparing or judging yourself compared to other girls. Yeh that girl might great long legs but you could have a teeny weeny waist. See what I mean? I look at photos of me when I was at the top range of my weight category (10st), and you know what, I looked great, and I look great at the weight I’m at now (9st 2lbs). I try to focus on myself, eat right and do my exercise and be grateful for what I’ve got.

My weight does not define who I am and even though it’s taken me 6 years to work that out I feel lighter now I have. So what if I have to switch between sizes in different shops, or have to go up a jean size to accommodate my ghetto booty, so what?! All that crying, and walking out of shops because I’d wasn’t the right (8) size was a waste of my time. Sometimes our bodies aren’t meant to fit into the shapes in shops, everyone’s different and we shouldn’t feel like crap because we can’t fit in a size 8 pair of jeans. And I guarantee you all those girls you look up to will have their own issues, their own parts of their body the don’t like, because of this constant need for perfection.

It’s like Dita Von Teese said, ‘You could be the juiciest  ripest, most perfect peach in the world, and there will still be someone who hates peaches.’ Accept that and focus on whose opinion matter most – yours! You are not the sum of your weight or body shape or other people’s opinion of your.

Girl’s you are unique in what you are and how you look. Love yourself for all your quirks and imperfections as well as your good points. The world would be boring if we were all perfect carbon clones!

My New Baby Bronzer – Dior

Hey Ladies!
I do apologies but life seems to be conspiring to make it impossible for me to blog! First my mac breaks, then my camera dies when I don’t have the charger for it. Luckily, I am enjoying playing with my new snazzy Iphone camera which means photos can be delivered to this blog in a rather round about way.
I wanted to share something I have been loving ever since I bought it a couple of weeks ago – the Dior Nude Tan Sun Glow Bronzer in 003 Cinnamon.
Firstly, let me say, I haven’t actually owned a bronzer in maybe 2 years…I know, I know, and I call myself a beauty blogger. However, a couple of weeks ago I was struck with the inspiration to buy one and make bronzey beach babe my look of the summer. For some reason I had stuck in my head that Dior did really good bronzers and no matter where else I looked that little thought kept nudging me over to the Dior counter (I probably scared the living daylights out of the woman who saw me there every day for a week peering intensely at the bronzers.
Now I knew I wanted something that wasn’t that ‘natural’ and that would come in handy for warming me up when I was tanned or fake tanned. So, in consultation with the SA, I decided on Nude Tan Sun Glow in 003 Cinnamon, as she said this would be perfect for my needs rather than the lighter 002 Amber. Also, Dior do a similar product call the Nude Glow Enhancing Powder, which has pink tones mixed in with the bronzer but otherwise is almost identical, so be careful  if you are looking/ordering on line. The Enhancing Powder is made to give you a much more natural glow and highlight as well as bronze. It’s gorgeous but not quite was I was looking for, but I think a lot of you girls might like it!
Dior’s Blurb: ‘The 1st Dior Bronzing Powder that adjusts to your skin tone and the ambient light for an ultra-natural looking tan all the year round.’
I love this product and I am so glad I listened to my little inner beauty voice. Firstly, the packaging is absolutely stunning. Housed in a heavy silver case it has that touch of class you want when pulling out a compact. The embossed NUDE makes me happy every time I open it and it comes with a relatively useful mini Kabuki. On to the product – this does exactly what I want it to do. I use in in the 3B motion around my face and dust a little across my nose and chin when I’m going for a bronzey look and it literally lights up my face. It’s one of those products that makes your skin look naturally tanned and glowing rather than something people will come up and comment ‘oh, I like your bronzer.’ Even though Cinnamon is quite dark it blends seamlessly into the skin and just makes you glow like you’ve come back from holiday. Don’t be fooled by the slightly orange tone and gold shimmer, on the skin this very much pulls off a brown base and that shimmer is so subtle you’d never see it unless you were two cms from my face. It just gives enough shimmer so that the light bounces off the places you’ve applied it and makes it look refreshed. The texture is butter smooth and it is a joy to apply with my real techniques blush brush. It is extremely pigmented so this compact will last me years.
As a small aside, I would not use this for contour but Dior actually do a matte bronzer that looks pretty darn good for that purpose.
Overall – 5/5 Dior. I am seriously impressed.
 Dior Nude Tan Sun Glow Bronzer in 003 Cinnamon can be found at most big department stors and online. The best deal I have found is at accentual where it is currently retailing for 29.10.
What is your summer look going to be?

The Procrastinating Beauty Blogger Tag

I was tagged over at Glam Glitter Gloss in The Procrastinating Beauty Blogger Tag so thought I would give it a whirl.

 

The Rules;

1. Thank the tagger and link them in the post.

2. State that this tag was created by The Beau Bow

3. Copy and Paste the rules.

4. Tag some more beauty bloggers and link them to the post.

5. Title this The Procrastinating Beauty Blogger Post so bloggers know what the post is about.

6. Have fun!

1. Name a beauty regime that you rarely do.
Moisturising my body everyday. My head tells me it it’s the right thing to do, my body tells me it’s too damn cold…

2. Is washing your makeup brushes something you do regularly?
Erm, bad beauty blogger, rap my knuckles! I try to do them about every two weeks, even though I know in my heart of hearts that I should be doing them more often.

3. How long will you last with chipped nail polish?
Haha! A week or more – if I can’t be bothered changing them they won’t really bother me. Jeez, I’m beginning to feel like a beauty disgrace the more questions I answer.

4. How long do you put off buying/replacing a beauty or nail polish product even if you need it (i.e. purchasing a new top coat, foundation etc)? 
To be perfectly honest I usually always have one or two in reserve of anything! I’m the type of person who always has a back up just in case something does run out. Prior Preparation Prevents Poor Performance and all that jazz 😉 Could you imagine my little face if my foundation gave out halfway through a makeup application?

5. What is your worst beauty habit?
Alongside not cleaning my brushes? Erm, probably not taking care of my nails and hair as well as I do my skin. How I keep expecting to have perfect hair and nails without doing any of this I’m not quite sure? Time to whip of the hair masks and nail hardeners again.

6. Name something non-beauty related that you put off doing all the time? 
Housework. I won’t tolerate dirty but untidy doesn’t really bother me. Usually I have about 2 hours a week where the urge to clean hits and I run round like a crazy person doing everything. Every other night I share my bed with my handbag, my clothes, my hairdryer and my books. Good thing I don’t wriggle much huh…

7. When going out somewhere, do you leave getting ready until the last minute or not?
I am Never Ever Late. Ever. I’m always ready to go about 30 minutes before everyone else. As you can imagine, I hate late people and if I think someone is going to be late I’ll arrange to me them early so they’re on time for me. Ok, I might be a tad bit annoying on that front.

8. Can you commit to spending bans? 
Yeh, I’m pretty strong willed when it comes to money. If I put myself on a ban I would do well on it I think. I never buy horrendous amounts compared to other girls, and all my purchases recently have been important big ones, holidays, driving lessons etc. Might need to spending ban myself until June! Hmm…maybe I’ll try try that actually!

9. How organised is your makeup and nail collection?
Ever since I found Muji I found the light! My make is now all neatly stored in jars and pots and drawers. Beforehand it was spread across multiple makeup bags and was an absolute nightmare I have to say! I much prefer being able to see everything. It remind me to use it!

10. What is the longest amount of time you have gone without writing a blog post? 
4 months. If I don’t want to blog I never feel under pressure to. After all, my blog is meant to be something I do for pleasure, not for work!

Thank you for tagging me lovely 🙂

I look forward to reading your answers, please comment with your post link or tweet me. Apologies if you have already done this, but if you have then I’d love to read your posts!

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