Real. Life. Beauty.

Where Real Women Connect.

Don’t be hatin’…yourself.

on March 19, 2015

The last few Fridays, I have indulged myself in watching TLC’s new show, “Love Lust or Run” starring Stacey London of “What Not to Wear” fame.

I love the show and the positive message being imparted by Stacey in that you can use what you’ve already got and it doesn’t matter what size, colour, race, or age you are, you can still be the best version of yourself.

What troubles me about the show is not the show itself but how terribly frightened the featured applicants are at the prospect of being seen without makeup. To her credit, Stacey does her utmost best to allay the fears of these women and helps them move forward.

Makeup should enhance – not hide – who you are. It shouldn’t be worn as a mask preventing people from seeing the real you. And yet, every show, there are applicants featured on this show who express fear not at wearing only a chunky white bathrobe on national (or international) television, but rather at being seen without their makeup. As if the makeup was some kind of protective shield over their faces.

There could be many reasons for this mindset, but I am disturbed that so many women have grown up from being young girls thinking that leaving the house without makeup on was somehow sacrilegious or taboo.

While I write a lot of product reviews of makeup products, it should be known that I DO NOT wear makeup every day. It doesn’t matter to me whether I wear it to work, or if I wear it out when I’m enjoying a date night with my husband. I wear it simply as an accessory as I would a pair of earrings to go with an outfit. In other words, if I end up omitting makeup from my routine, it’s not the end of the world.

It’s also true that my decision to wear makeup is based largely on whether or not I actually have the time to apply it. If the clock is running low, I skip it all together and simply make sure that I am dressed appropriately and cleanly for whatever I’m about to undertake on my way out the door.

I don’t mean to say that I’ve always been together and this is not a judgment of women or people in general who wear more or less makeup than myself. In my teens and 20’s, I used to obsess over my hair, my clothes, my makeup and how to act or behave around other people. I seemed to be always anxious and tense and finally something clicked in my head where I decided I didn’t want to feel that way anymore; I wanted to change to a better me.

I learned somewhere along the way that my obsession with my appearance was not only annoying those who had to wait for me to get ready to join them in whatever day we had planned, but it was also robbing me of time which might otherwise have been spent doing things which were so much more fun than being locked in a bathroom preening in the mirror. When I let go so much concern for my personal appearance and whether it was going to be good enough, the world opened up a lot more possibilities and I relaxed and had a lot more fun.

It’s an ongoing process as we women, in particular, frequently fall in and out of this trap. But I encourage anyone struggling with this issue to take a few moments to study themselves objectively in the mirror, focusing ONLY on those things they love about themselves and ignoring all those things they might dislike or even hate. Take, for instance, the colour of your eyes. Or the shape of your mouth, or the smoothness of your forehead. You may have very toned and strong shoulders, or you may have a beautiful collarbone. It doesn’t matter what you find attractive about yourself (I happen to like my feet, as an example), but it matters tremendously that you find yourself attractive even in some small way.

Finding one thing you like about yourself will undoubtedly lead you to discover other things you like about yourself, leading to an altogether better sense of overall well-being which you will be able to impart to your friends, family, daughters and those who rely on you to be strong for them.

If we’re to raise strong, secure women, we must lead by example.

The heartening thing about “Love Lust or Run,” unlike the ambushes on “What Not to Wear,” is that it is completely voluntary and the women featured on the show are simply asking Stacey for help in enhancing and updating their looks to fit not only current trends in fashion and makeup, but also toward their life and career goals. It’s a brave step for many women, but it’s nice to see so many women taking that first step toward happiness and self-acceptance for the rest of their lives.

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