SAYING NO TO BEAUTY STANDARDS
Or more specifically, saying no to beauty standards set by bloggers. I get it, I’m a blogger, I understand that when we get sent things in the post or when a company reaches out to us with a pitch that makes the reader feel good about themselves – by changing this and that about themselves it’s a tempting feat. Because us “setting” these standards, is somewhat accidental. I’ve written posts with the intent of making my readers feel good about themselves, by offering tips of things that they can do to change. I’m guilty as charged – but I understand how you feel reader. So, here’s to saying no.
When I first started blogging, a certain underwear company reached out to me asking me to write content for them, they weren’t willing to send me anything or pay me for my time, but because I was new to blogging and this massive company from overseas reaching out to me tickled my fancy quite a bit, I wrote the post (it’s now removed and rightfully so!), they wanted me to talk about body positivity, and how their bras can make you feel sexier because they’re the perfect fit, and this and that. So I penned a post talking about how I don’t feel insecure because I wore a bra that fit me, and that if I could get one of these bras I would, and it’s a crime how I didn’t own one.
When I was going through my blog archive recently and I came across this post, it took me 0.2 seconds to decide to delete it. It made me cringe, it oozed in desperation to sell this brand to my little following at the time, and it almost passed as if I was trying to tell my reader how to feel when wearing underwear. I even made a comment about my own bust size making me feel bad about myself because I’m not an A or B cup. This specific sentence was actually the worst thing I’d ever read, I was insinuating that C cups and above were ugly, even if it wasn’t my intent to do so. Awful awful awful.
The reason I’m mentioning this post anyway, is because I feel like it’s a classic example of a blogger being blinded by the industry. I’d been blogging for around four months and I didn’t know much about how brands would take advantage of new bloggers by asking for services and offering nothing in repayment, a very hyped cult brand that every blogger is talking about ATM tried this on me too, but by that point I’d wised up and because of how they attempted to take advantage back then, I’m being stubborn and not buying from them now. But even they, were asking me to write about how their products can make you feel beautiful – why is it their products should make you feel beautiful and not you looking in the mirror and thinking, “Damn, I look good today.” I just don’t get it.
I don’t fit the general stereotype for blogger appearance. I’m short, curvy, I have acne prone skin, and I just don’t fit the micro-bladed, fake tanned criteria. I’m by no means special or any better than the bloggers who look this way, but I just don’t fit into that mould. By choice, mind you. I could easily go out and buy a fake tan and book an appointment to get my eyebrows microbladed, it’s no biggie, but I’ve spent a very long time trying to feel content with the way I look, I’ve written posts talking about my self confidence, and I’m trying to do so without changing my looks through temporary measures.
But I get it. I totally understand the hype. I understand why fillers are appealing, I understand why a fake tan looks good to most and I definitely get the blonde hair lust, I went there. I’ll tell you why there’s the hype: It’s because it’s everywhere.
Remember in school when teachers would show us pictures from models in Vogue, and Victoria Beckham? We’d talk about how magazines were trying to shape the way we look, the way that we feel about ourselves. I feel like social media is the new Vogue. I feel like the Kylie Jenner’s of Instagram are the accidental Victoria Beckhams, because they seem to have found the answer to sexiness: Body fillers. We all want that flat tummy and round, shaped booty. We all want the tiny features and beautiful full lips, because we see it everywhere.
When I look at pictures of myself, I realise that I seriously don’t fit the mould of social media sexiness. I’m the exact opposite of these women, they’re all beautiful and I don’t think that any of them are bad people, they’re following trends and it’s totally fine for them to do so, I also admit that sometimes I get the green bug of envy, wishing I was taller and that my hair didn’t look so bad when it was blonde. I totally get it. But these are beauty standards being set for us through “blogging” – whether it be on a blog, on YouTube, on Instagram or Twitter. Beauty standards are being set in ways that twenty years ago, did not exist. Nobody wants to be a size 6 anymore, we all want that curvy body and flat tummy, like I said.
Now to saying no to it. The thing is, when you see something so much online, it becomes the norm, you begin to think it’s how we should look. That these brands paying bloggers to say this and that, we believe its all authentic. We believe that this is how we should look, how we should feel, and it’s not. Everyone on this planet, whether you fit the current social media beauty standards or not, has something unique and individual about themselves that makes them a beauty. We’re all insecure on some days, we all have days where we don’t like what we see in the mirror, but, that’s fine. As long as for every other day you feel amazing, you’re happy with yourself and you’re not forcing yourself to conform to the beauty trends set to us by social media, by brands being sneaky through bloggers, then I think it’s completely fine.