Lasers, needles, cutting, burning, freezing, lifting, tucking...
What are we doing to ourselves? Where these procedures used to be a hushed secret that a rare few endured from time to time in the name of beauty, they now seem like the norm. I overhear women at coffee shops talking about their weekly procedures as casually as getting their nails done.
Even with all the social justice warriors championing the individual, there just seems to be more and more pressure to look a certain way to fit in with society's definition of "beautiful." We are constantly bombarded with opportunities to "enhance" our bodies - to alter our image to look younger, skinnier, prettier, fitter. And why is there so much pressure these days?
Because we keep buying into it.
There's a reason these businesses are popping up all over the place. Our wallets are proving how desperate we are for change; how desperate we are to feel beautiful. The more these beauty enhancement businesses make you keenly aware of your flaws, the more money they make off of you.
Just to be clear, there's nothing wrong with wanting to enhance your beauty. It's not a vanity thing. It's a personal power thing.
But here's the problem: spending money on these external procedures to alter your appearance will never make you happy with yourself. In fact, you'll end up despising yourself more:
I bought this thing that is supposed to make me beautiful...but I still don't feel beautiful. What's wrong with me?
And that's just the thing - it's not the external beauty you are actually seeking. It's the feeling of being beautiful in your body. That's your vitality. That's your uniqueness. That's your confidence. And that's your power. It's such a cliché but beauty really does come from within. It doesn't come from buying the latest surgeries and injections but from working on yourself from the inside out, creating your beauty.
I'm not saying you shouldn't invest in creams and organic remedies to preserve your natural beauty (believe me...I'm all about that these days!). Just be careful what you turn to to make you happy. Take care of your body through actions that improve your appearance and give you confidence in your body. Put the work in to transform your life. Do things that remind you what beautiful feels like...not what it looks like.
True transformation leaves you feeling empowered, fulfilled, proud. It's more than surface level sh*t that you pay someone else to take care of. True transformation comes from within.
Let's find the ways of beautifying ourselves naturally. Let's do the work that will empower us. Let's build our confidence from the inside out. That's where true beauty comes from.
Beauty shouldn't be about changing yourself to achieve an ideal or be more socially acceptable. Real beauty, the interesting, truly pleasing kind, is about honoring the beauty within you and without you. It's about knowing that someone else's definition of pretty has no hold over you.
~ Golda Poretsky
Photo credit: Marc DeGeorge
Staged by: Gisela Quinteros for Encounters Dance