Physical beauty tends to be measured by the fashion in society.
Does she have thick, full brows?
Are her lips big and plump?
Does she have a lifting physique?
Whenever a person does not qualify, their esteem drops and diminishes like rain. Who can forget the 90’s and early 2000’s, when curves were dragging behind the catwalk frame.
I grew up with the most flawless skin. Whenever I glance upon old photographs, I stare in amazement at the airbrush effect that I used to own. It is a lifetime ago now, because up-close away from the smooth finish of my camera phone, my skin has acne scars and marks which need to be covered with a strong concealer.
Around the age of 12, white heads erupted in the same manner of which seagulls engulf food left at the beach. My only comfort was in knowing that a few of my peers were in the same boat.
My mother gave me this inherited trait, and after going through her own acne phase, decided to invest heavily into my treatment. We went to numerous doctor appointments; she bought the entire range of high-end products. She purchased luxury foundation and every Christmas was an occasion to ask for an expensive skin blemish remover.
Then of course I went to the drugstore brands; I tried home remedies, toothpaste, Sudocrem, 100% natural and gave up after I was aware of my Roaccutane allergy. It seemed as though I was stuck.
In my attempts to try and diminish my spot situation, I became very aware of glamour. Whilst most teenagers sprayed SO…? alongside shimmery lipgloss, I squirted my mother’s perfume and tried to emulate celebrity looks. Funnily enough, I use to carry a tester of a YSL fragrance. As I was in P.E exercising – possibly talking, my P.E teacher said that she could smell someone has on the same fragrance as her. That was the last moment I wore it.
By the time I reached 16, I had a designer collection of makeup, beauty books to fall back on and years of cosmetic practice. It felt logical that I would become an artist.
All this, just so somebody could say “wow, I love your eye makeup”, as appose to “have you gone to the doctors about your skin?”
I thought that was my hardship, until I found myself working at one of the biggest department stores in London, on one of the most successful cosmetic counters. People did not trust my advice, some questioned if the foundation I demonstrated would give them spots. Despite me not asking, others took it upon themselves to interrogate me. There always appears to be a new item recommendation.
One lady went as far as to say, “Look around. You are the only person with bad skin, working on of these counters. This store is extravagant and you do not belong here”.
It is the kind of experience that grants you thick skin. If it was a leaf before, I had certainly risen to the branch of a tree.
Within time I worked around my problem and built up the confidence to be honest with my clients. I made a point of complimenting one feature, just as I was removing their makeup. I can say that only 30% gracefully accepted. The rest argued that their noses were too large or their cheekbones were hidden.
Physical beauty can be bought. Whether you believe that they are attractive or not, the Kardashians are a clear example. All stars transform once they reach Hollywood. This includes men such as Calvin Harris, who went from being behind the bar in Dizzie Rascal’s music video, to being put on the most handsome list.
The first instance of assisting on a shoot, I saw the main artist apply make-up to a young model whose skin could have been smoother than a baby’s. Then I witnessed the projector in front of her, being zoomed in to analyse every spec of her face and her body. An entire day of shooting and editing in place, only 5 images out of hundreds, made the cut.
With this knowledge integrated into my psyche, my viewpoint on beauty turned to health. My new dermatologist informed me that I could be intolerant to dairy. Following her advice, I went on to research nutrition and swapped my dieting for healthy living.
Some may be unaware, I have had scoliosis surgeries. Ok, I might have mentioned that once or twice. But my back is still 43 degrees uneven, my hips are uneven, my scars are long and a leg is shorter than the other. I am not writing this to round up a team of sympathy – far from it. Yet I post images of my physique routinely and I focus on the positive.
Which if I did not tell you about, perhaps you may have not noticed. How many fixations do you spend time worrying on which people can hardly see?
My beauty transformation is me no longer apologetic.
Girls used to stereotype me as dumb or desperate for attention. Why? Well I love makeup. Equally I may do natural – I have cut down on the minutes spent rummaging through my beauty box.
If I was desperate for attention however, why would it be of their concern? Anybody can tone up or imitate the diets and regimes of gym bunnies; they can whiten their teeth, head to a stylist, a brow expert. Sure, they can be ‘alluring’.
Somewhere down the road, you have to find your true sense of worth and know that there is really no right or wrong.
I spent over a decade hating myself, not capable of choosing my own clothes and being balled in insecurity. So my attitude is a little – I am going to post a dozen images of me in a bikini. It does not mean that I believe it to be perfect or ideal.
I feel as though social-media has opened up the world to mimicking. There are carbon copies of the same thing everywhere. Whether you agree with me or not, share my views or differ, beauty should be a tool to inspire you to be anything. Not a dreaded word which constructs you to consider yourself as inferior.
And wearing zero makeup does not make you any more or any less ‘pretty’.