What is beauty? Is it in the eye of the beholder or the statistics that psychology have gathered? Beauty ideals go in and out of fashion, here are 10 things to remember when you feel insecurity creeping in.
1. Photos ARE edited
As much as we are aware of the editing, we still critique ourselves for not matching up. Sometimes I look at my own modelling shots and think wow, if only I ACTUALLY looked like this! The fact is, certain photos on the web contain a couple of apps, possibly photoshop and even a professional. On shoots, professionals stand there and constantly analyse until the model looks near perfect. Even before they are edited. Stop comparing yourself to something that is not real.
2. Society’s ideals forever change
In High school, having a small waist and wide hips was not something to brag about. Far from admiring this figure, I forever spent my teens in periods of starvation and extreme diets. Thin was in and I’ll never forget the fact that I weighed the most against all my shorter and skinnier friends.
Body types are always being thrown at us. Every time I think I am ok, I see an image telling me my waist needs to be slimmer. Despite what psychology says, to me there is no body type better than another. Someone will always prefer Audrey to Marilyn and vice versa. Just because a certain look is gaining a moment of media popularity, it does not make it the most attractive. For me, healthy is the best and that’s regardless of whether you have long legs or big boobs.
3. There is no set formula
You may have a beauty icon but the fact is there are many. Gisele has entirely different features to Sophia Loren who has different features to Blake Lively and so forth. I have seen clients not satisfied with their appearance because they have a large nose of thin lips. Well the industry is a mix of stars who don’t have set features. One of my best friends laughs about her Greek nose and she is not short of attention. Embrace your ‘flaws’, it is ok to have them.
4. People really do have them!
I was applying makeup on a client who had flawless skin. To me she was incredibly beautiful and I admittedly felt jealous of her high cheekbones. I instantly said how amazing they were and that she could emphasise them with highlighter. Her response; “Thank you. I really want to cover my dark circles though. I can’t stand them and I have such a long jaw”.
These imperfections we notice are partly dramatised in the mind. No matter how beautiful you deem a person to be, you never know what self doubt they have drawn up.
5. It takes a team
You know the shock when you see a celebrities ‘before they were famous’ photo. Does money buy beauty is debatable. Yet you never really know how much someone is paying to create their glamour. It is the same with photos; lighting, position, makeup, hair, styling etc. I did my own makeup for this shoot but I had a photographer who knew the right angles and retouch.
6. Everyone has an opinion
When I meet a photographer, it does not matter whether they are award-winning or have a decade of experience, they have an idea of how they want me to be. And when my photos are together in my portfolio, everyone has a preference over what they like and what they don’t.
It’s the same with finding a partner or trying to recreate a person’s look. Not everyone will like your tomboy style or your false eyelashes and extensions. One’s preference is just that. Do not feel any less about yourself because you do not fit into what a person wants.
7. Insecurity cannot be defined
This goes back to point 4, you cannot classify what an insecure person may look like. It could be you reading this or it could be someone out there who you would love to emulate. The box is wide open and any bad experiences may trigger it. I have always hated my overbite because I remember one boy making fun of it about ten years ago.
8. Your perception is made up in the mind
Once you start filling your brain with negative thoughts on your physical image, it is hard to believe otherwise. It is important to try and be kinder to yourself. I could easily wake up crying everyday because my decade of severe acne has left me with all sorts of scars and skin issues. Equally my hair is fine and my overbite makes my jaw less defined and my cheekbones have to be contoured in. Not to say I am overly confident or Mrs positive, just I try to avoid implementing all these thoughts everyday.
I am a perfectionist, but once I started to accept what I was working with, I found an inner peace and contentment.
9. Beauty fades but health doesn’t
Strictly stereotypical beauty. Whilst society dictates to fear ageing, welcoming health is long lasting. It’s a known fact that the better you take care of yourself, the better you are older. The benefits of exercise and healthy eating, extend beyond the physical and into your mindset. When does health not look appealing?
10. Beauty is fun!
Far from the other points, beauty is ultimately fun. Experiment, play and be creative. As much as we try to fit in, it’s the individuals that stand out. Be confident with your appearance and you will be all the more admired.
Photos all taken by Studio GD Photography.