I really loved America the Beautiful last night. I was engaged and entertained and appalled at some of the things we all do to conform to someone else's idea of what's beautiful. I walked out of the theatre and wanted badly to call my young nieces and tell them both that they are beautiful. We are all beautiful in our own ways. I say that, but I obviously live to a different standard in my own life.
I have had discussions with my oldest niece about this very subject. Models don't actually look like they do in magazines. Actresses on tv and in films have sat in make-up and hair for hours, before being color-corrected and digitally edited and so on and so forth. I always loved Cindy Crawford for once saying "Even *I* don't wake up looking like Cindy Crawford."
Men's perceptions of what women are supposed to look like are just as out of whack as our own. The pr0n-starification of ourselves. Brazilian waxes (guilty). Push-up bras (guilty) or worse, breast augmentation surgery (not guilty). Sky-high heels (guilty). Bleached hair (have sported every hair color known to man, and some unknown, at varying stages of my life). Collagen-injected lips and Botoxed brows. (NOT GUILTY!) All in the name of attracting a mate and furthering the species? Or all in the name of being gullible when maketers tell me my skin isn't clear enough or my eyebrows are too bushy? The wrinkles I have are called laugh lines. Which means that being happy caused them. What a rip!
I won't stop buying lip gloss. I won't stop searching for a cure for the combo of wrinkles and zits (hooray for your 30s!) I will still think about what sort of chemicals and calories comprise the foods I eat. But I will also call every woman I know beautiful every chance I get. Because really, you are.
I hope that we all see the beauty within, regardless of what the outside may look like.