Rambles, rants and raves

A lot of opinions spilling out of my brain

Leave a comment

Please stop selling me body confidence

To all companies and media outlets trying to sell me a beauty product,

I am in my twenties and have been told my various outlets that I must be skinny to be beautiful, have sexy curves, and be confident in the body I have – even though on the next page of your magazine or in another advertisement, you tell me I don’t have the right body.

You are trying to tell me that I am not good enough. That I should be skinny because it photographs well or because it looks good. You try to tell me you care when all you are doing is selling a product.

Please stop trying to sell me body confidence. It would be a far better marketing concept if you were honest. I know this is hard because you are selling the exact same product as your competitors but it would be better than lying that you care. It doesn’t make sense to tell me that I should be happy in my body and then tell me to buy your product so that I can do that. It also doesn’t make sense that you would pay thousands of pounds to have your advertisement selling “body confidence” (though you only show a certain kind of type and look in your adverts) in a magazine that tells us how to lose weight, dress so that we are sexy and look skinny and remind us exactly what is wrong with the way we look.

It seems pretty hypocritical to me that you tell me I should love my skin and then only show models that are typically beautiful in some way, be it in the face, body or both. They fit into all the moulds that you apparently dismiss.

I am just like everyone else and you try to break me with unrealistic or hypocritical and apparently inspiring body messages and then build me back up so I will buy your mediocre product and conform to whatever shape I have to be, to be someone who buys your product.

If you want me to buy from you, then just use all those wonderfully crazy science words and tell me what the product does. Just please stop selling me body confidence when you are part of the industry, and usually part of the same brand, who are telling me that I should be ashamed of it because there is just so much to improve.

Stop treating me like an idiot. Though you may only see me as a body – as a physical entity and nothing more. I have a brain – thoughts, ambitions and opinions. I am not defined by my body but by my actions, like choosing not to buy your product. So please stop selling me body confidence. It isn’t fooling anyone.

From a lost customer.


Screw beauty

I am sick of people trying to impose ideals of beauty on people – both men and women. I am sick of adverts pretending to be about ‘real women’ only featuring white, young females that are skinny enough to have never eaten bread in their lives. I am sick of magazines screaming at me about a new celebrity having lost or gained weight. I am sick of being told that I beauty is the key to happiness. Screw these damn ideologies of beauty.

I am not bitter, quite the opposite, in fact – it saddens me that people put so much value in their beauty. It infuriates me that this society has made us judge our outer shells so harshly when it plays such little significance to the actual type of people we are.

Men’s beauty is not even discussed in mainstream media, men are either expected to be crazy toned with abs that you could use to grate cheese to go over your baked beans on toast or they are seen as fat, bald and hairy. And speaking of hair – when did that become something so gross? Why does every young human on this planet think it is a good idea to wax everything off? We are not dolls and we’re not made of plastic. The hair industry has grown in financial success every year for too many years. In America, laser hair removal alone is worth £244m. That’s a hell of a lot of money to ensure that you look ‘clean.’ Just wash yourself, it would be cheaper.

Saying that I do shave, mainly because I want to and also because I feel slightly obligated. Which is wrong but I can’t help it. But I do wonder who made up all these rules on the ideal beauty.

Who the hell decided that long hair on women is best? Who came up with the genius idea that women to be defined as sexy should have the waist they had when they were 9-years-old? Who thought that women needed to be so damn perfect?

Recently, and I use that word loosely, thin has been directly linked with beauty. As though if you pass a size 10 you are a) no longer a woman and b) no longer attractive which in turn creates c) you are no longer happy. Advertisements use the word health to disguise an unhealthy message that thin is best, and that you are never thin enough. This is unhealthy for so many reasons I could write another blog post entirely on that. This is why people aren’t happy, this is why insecurity is as common as blinking. We are constantly trying to achieve a beauty that we haven’t even given ourselves a chance to consider.

We accept this ideology of beauty straight away. Digest it happily and then beat ourselves up for not achieving what wonderful cameras, good editing and great photoshop skills can do. There’s a reason we cannot achieve that ideal and it’s because it doesn’t exist.

Physical beauty is only skin deep and although it’s important to feel beautiful, it is not the most important thing. It is not the only thing. You are more than beautiful. If that is all there is to you, then you’re selling yourself short. A person is loved and admired because of their actions, their words, their relationships, their personality. Everyone close to you is beautiful to you – that’s more than likely because of their personalities and your relationship with them (not calling your friends and family ugly but you get what I mean).

To tell someone they are beautiful is lovely, and I enjoy getting the compliment as much as the next person. But I would rather be known for my mind, my thoughts, my writing, my work and for how I treat the people I love than for the way my face and body conforms to that tiny cut-out woman shape that the beauty, cosmetic, entertainment and advertising industries persuade us to force ourselves through in order to make us happy.

Trying to conform is not happiness. People are consistently trying to fight stereotypes and being the same through their words and their actions but when it comes to looks everyone seems to want to fit the same template. That isn’t a beautiful way to live life. It’s a way to consistently feel disappointed for falling short of an impossibly high bar.

You are more than beautiful.

Leave a comment

You NEED to read this now

I have been trawling the internet since I got home, partly to find inspiration for a blog post and mostly to celebrate that I can do this without feeling too guilty since one of many exams is now over. I read newspapers, blogs, magazines and watched videos. I was told by more articles than I care to remember that I needed to buy things or be a certain way to attain something: happiness, a man, a job – the list goes on.

I am very, very tired of reading about things I need. Frankly, the only reason these lists exist is as space filler and because these products have been sent to a publication to advertise. It is after all just a fancy advert hidden as a article type list.

The word need is overused. When we were caveman and living that crazy life in caves while hunting animals that wanted to eat us as much as we wanted to eat them, we didn’t need much – strictly speaking.

Let me demonstrate: Got a rock? Brilliant, that’s your headaches sorted, we’ll just smash a little hole into your head to release tension. Some other sort of pain? We’ll try herbs otherwise you better hope your immune system starts doing it’s job. Found a dead wild-dog? Great, that’s lunch and dinner sorted. Tired? Nice bit of fur there from the last kill, sleep on that, it’s in a cave so don’t worry about rain. Thirsty? Best go find the nearest stream then.

That’s everything. A pretty basic existence, and some can argue that it’s a little uncivilised. But who are we to judge the people that were able to evolve sufficently so that I could be here typing this on a nice shiny computer while listening to an accoustic version of Picking up the Pieces.

They covered all the basics after all. What we need, instinctively, is to survive. That means food (enough to keep us going until the next time we eat); water; a shelter, because our thin little skins just aren’t cut out for that big outside world anymore; and, well that’s it.

I don’t need that new ring with the giant, jewel encrusted beetle on it. I don’t need to start pretending to like things to get a man. I don’t need to give ultimatums to people to get what I want. I don’t need that fake fur coat that costs more than the computer I’m typing this on. I don’t need to know what ten things smart people do in the morning. I don’t need that underwear that I could make by de-threading a curtain. And I don’t need those shoes that could double up as a weapon (though they are beautiful in their high-heeled glory).

I read magazines and newspapers to extend my knowledge, to give me other opinions and for entertainment.

Though it is silly to say, I don’t read magazines and newspapers to be sold things. If I wanted to do that, there are plenty of adverts I could read instead. I understand, and actually, appreciate being shown the apparently “best winter coats out this year” but please don’t sell it to me so obviously by telling me I need it.

I get that advertisers are a big thing in the media industry and a necessity, but writing loses a little bit of credibility when it is done to secure more financial security in such an obvious way. I am less likely to buy something in a magazine when I am told I need it.

I hate the apparent beauty reviews which instead of seeming fair and honest, only tell me that I need the product to make me look as beautiful as the model in the picture. If I photoshopped all my pictures I could make any make-up or cream look that good too.

Pieces like this are becoming more and more popular. They lose any sort of credibility as a result of being nothing more than a screaming title telling me how much of a better person I would be with whatever product it is that I simply need in my life, or suffer being an unfulfilled human. Be that a jumper with a dog on it, a lipstick, or an attitude adjustment.