Empowerment through lipgloss? How can a little makeup and the ancient female ritual of primping go such a long way when boosting self-confidence? It's easy if you just take a moment to really think about it. Isn't it just amazing how the more advanced we are becoming as women the more insecure we are getting? How did that happen?
So many seemingly confident women I meet that have accomplished all kinds of incredible things get instantly insecure the moment I compliment them on their beauty. Say, for instance, I notice a woman's beautiful eyes. I almost always get the response of, "Oh no, but look at these dark circles" or "They are just too small" or "Yeah, but I hate my skin." Why is it so easy to embrace the negative and shy away from the positive when it comes to beauty? How can we not see for a moment the beauty we possess and only concentrate on what we don't like about ourselves and what we want to change? It is destructive, counterproductive and keeping us prisoners of our own insecurity. The crazy part is that we are doing it to ourselves.
Now, come on, we know better. But we are almost conditioned to hate ourselves physically while totally realizing that makeup and skincare companies are spending millions of advertising dollars to help sell these insecurities. They are touting products that will make our lashes longer, our eyes bigger, our lips fuller, our skin clearer by showing totally retouched images of impossible perfection and you actually buy into it -- even when you know better! Heck, we are not that dumb! We don't need to have a marketing degree to figure out what suckers most of us are. It's time to toughen up and stop blaming society and media for creating these so-called "beauty standards." We are society, and so it is up to us to change how we view beauty.
We all want to look our best, and I believe that anyone who says otherwise is either lying to themselves or some sort of holy enlightened prophet (wish we could find a way to sell bottles of that!), but finding the balance between celebrating our natural beauty and using cosmetics to play up our best assets to feel empowered is a better way to play. Turn off that record of self-doubt messaging that your mind plays in heavy rotation; it's time to switch the music. Retrain your brain on how you see yourself and you'll notice makeup becomes a lot more fun! Instead of buying makeup to correct or change who you are, why don't you take a good long look in the mirror and decide what it is you love about yourself. Is it your smile? Your eye color? Your cheekbones? Once you know, go out and buy makeup that plays up those wonderful assets instead of wasting money on false promises trying to fix things you don't like. If your blue eyes are your best feature, then apply shimmery brown shadows and sweep on a flirty fringe of mascara to showcase your pretty peepers to all who are lucky enough to gaze into them. I promise this will make you feel so much better then struggling to find that lip plumper that makes your small lips (that you hate) appear bigger.
Mirror mantras are also a wonderful way to get the new "self-love" party started. When you wake up in the morning each day instead of looking into the mirror and saying, "Ugh, look at those bags" why not try only saying positive words for a while. Like "My, what a great smile I have!" It may sound silly in the beginning, but it will boost your self-confidence and put you in a better mood. Put Post-It notes up on the mirror that read, "Hey beautiful, you look radiant!" or write a mantra in lipstick like "beautiful eyes!" to help remind you how important positive words can be. If you don't know what your best feature is, ask a loved one to point it out to you.
Chances are you have heard it mentioned before but were just so fixated on what you didn't like that you probably never gave it much thought. Now, you can celebrate it like never before.
Women for centuries have used beauty rituals as a way to get in touch with their true femininity and enhance their beauty power. So let's learn from our ancient sisters how to pamper ourselves in a positive way. In many ancient civilizations makeup and skincare was used to empower the wearer, not tear them down. The use of things like henna, kohl, powders, oils and all kinds of skin-conditioning concoctions in history were used to decorate and enhance the face and body in order to keep evil spirits away, promote luck and ensure fertility. Our ancient Egyptian sisters used makeup to entice, arouse and create a strong spiritual essence that radiated off them like a light -- and it can still be viewed on pyramid walls today. How powerful would we become if we all followed suit and used makeup in such a motivating way? Then, sweeping on a swirl of sparkly blush becomes something greater, more powerful and truly amazing.