If there is an aspect of perfectionism more oppressive than how we look, I don’t want to know what it is.
I know beautiful and accomplished women who excoriate themselves over what the scale says. I’m a grown woman who has cried over bad haircuts – as recently as last month. We agonize over lines, pimples, dimples, droops; spending energy that we could use to love ourselves and those around us, to make our corner of the world a better place.
There’s nothing wrong with wanting to look your best. In fact, I’d say we owe it to ourselves. When we feel like we look our best, we interact with the world and other people in the ways we were meant to. Taking care of what we were born with and presenting it to best advantage can be a really enjoyable part of life – if we can manage to do it from a sense of adventure and appreciation, rather than loathing and inadequacy. The hard part is that the very industries we turn to for help actually thrive on that loathing and inadequacy. The beauty and fashion industries don’t trust that we could spend enough money loving and caring for ourselves; they like what we spend when, instead, we’re trying to hate ourselves just a little less.
So much of beauty and fashion advice and knowledge is served up with big side dishes of bitchiness, competition, and insecurity. Part of my move away from perfectionism has been about taking care of myself well – in some ways, for the first time. And to me that means that I want to learn about beauty and style in ways that feel supportive and loving. Those are rare birds, and when I find them, I’d like to share them – so those are the posts you’ll find in the “Looking Good” category.