Sunday, March 28, 2010

The Price of Beauty



Has anyone else watched Jessica Simpson's new show called The Price of Beauty? If you haven't heard of it, she is jet setting across the globe to learn what women around the world consider to be beautiful and the show can be seen on VH1. Jessica got the idea for the show after being ridiculed so much for gaining 10 pounds and being told she was wearing mom jeans shown below. People have scrutinized her fluctuating weight, putting pressure on her. Living in North America we're all pretty much exposed to what we see on TV, magazines, tabloids, etc. We live in a society where many strive for the pursuit of perfection and some go to the extreme.



So far I've seen 2 episodes where she and her hairdresser/BFF Ken Paves and friend Cacee have toured through France and the most recent was to Thailand. I was saddened by what I saw in France. The focus was on fashion, runway models and an ex-model who spends her days warning others about anorexia as she has withered away to a mere skeleton of her former self, as she was continually told to lose more weight. She is lucky to still be alive as the doctors told her she was too thin to live at just 85 pounds.

This last episode which was filmed in Thailand was interesting (although I've seen much of what they've shown in magazines and other programs over the years) but also heartbreaking. The women of Thailand similar to other Asian cultures view light skin as a sign of wealth and beauty, tanned skin is looked down upon as it usually indicates that the person works outdoors, does manual labor, etc.

Due to this popular look many women use whitening creams. One particular woman had noticed the cream worked but in combination with the sunlight it was burning her skin. Her once beautiful skin had become patchy with dark spots and permanently damaged. She herself did not like to be seen in public, which is such a shame as she was formerly a singer. To make matters worse her husband left her and she wishes more than anything that she could turn back time and undo what she chose to do in the name of being seen as beautiful.

It's a difficult world we ladies live in, but it can be made easier. We can choose to turn out backs on what society expects, demands and puts pressure on us to live up to. With one known celebrity Heidi Montag getting 10 surgeries in one day at 23 years old to 'make it' in Hollywood, it makes me ask, where does it end? Like becoming more green and eating healthier, we have the power to move in a direction that will enhance and improve our lives. We don't need to walk around looking disheveled and unkempt but we need to decide what we are most comfortable with aside from external pressures and be prepared to draw the line and say enough is enough.

In my late teens and early twenties staying fit and thin was a priority, and being fit and healthy most certainly still is now but my outlook on health is totally different today. I ask myself questions like, 'What is my blood pressure reading? Low, thankfully! What is my body mass index? How much water am I drinking?  Did I put sunscreen on this morning? Have I been eating my recommended amount of fiber? Does the deodorant that I want to buy have aluminum and propylene glycol, etc.?

I love dressing well and making the most of what God has given me just like the next gal but I care far less about other people's opinions now than I used to. Maybe it's because I'm older, maybe because I live in a more casual place- Florida-where people are generally more relaxed. Perhaps it's because I'm married now but I'd like to believe that it's because I just feel more secure within myself now that gaining an extra 5 pounds here or there wouldn't really phase me. In fact, I don't even own a scale, I determine my healthy weight by how well my clothes fit, if they're getting tight, something needs to change. I don't beat myself up about it, tomorrow is a new day to make better choices and I go from there. Beauty truly comes from within and if we as women spent as much time on the inside as we do trying to perfect the outside, we'd truly become the women we desire to be. I encourage you to work on your mind and your internal health and think about what YOU truly want for yourself. If society had no rules and expectations, what would you be most comfortable with?

I was thinking back to some funny things I've done in the name of beauty, thankfully they were pretty minor as I'm not an extreme person by any means, but I thought it would be great if we had a little sharing session, feel free to tell me yours too!

I am not an eyebrow waxing kind of gal. I like to take my time and pluck with a good pair of tweezers and some great lighting. For some reason I got an idea in my head that if I just went to a nice spa and had someone wax my eyebrows that perhaps I could get a great arch like I see so many women have. Mine do not have much of an arch and I've always loved how it opens up the eye area. So here I was a day before our cruise getting it done for the first time.

The lady who did it had rather thin eyebrows and looking back I would have probably preferred someone whose eyebrows I actually liked. The minute it was done and I looked in the mirror I hated them. Thank God hair grows back and I knew they would but it would take some time. You see, she had trimmed too much off the inside area and my eyebrows looked pretty short with a large gap in between. Thankfully I have light eyebrows and I was able to use a light eyebrow pencil to help that missing patch along. LOL. Everytime I look at our cruise photos I laugh. Driving home from the spa that day though I cried, yup I did. I called the hubbs and he commented, "I thought you were going to get a manicure?!" I did that too afterward but I did the waxing on a whim beforehand. He has always told me not to change anything, that he likes me the way I am. After that experience I will never do that again!

My second story involves whitening my teeth with crest whitestrips. To make a long story really short you are supposed to wear them for 30 minutes. I used them with y clear retainer overtop so the gooey gel-like stuff wouldn't make such a mess in my mouth. I got cozy and curled up in bed with a book at about 11pm. Do you see where this is going?? I fell asleep!!! I woke up the next morning and my teeth looked very white but they hurt. In fact they were in pain for about three days and were so sensitive that I could barely eat! It was not intentional and I was actually really scared that I had done permanent damage to my enamel. All I kept thinking was, "How could I be so stupid?" It turned out alright in the end but again, it just goes to show what we are willing to put outselves through all in the name of being beautiful.

Are you still with me? I just realized that was one l-o-n-g post. Hopefully you're still awake. Now it's your turn (feel free to post anonymously if it's an embarrasing one) to share with us, I want to hear your stories! What are your thoughts on beauty?

Thank you all for continuing to enter our current giveaway. If you haven't entered yet, you still have a few days left!

I hope you all had a wonderful weekend!

5 comments :

  1. I used to wax my eyebrows all the time. Once when I had them done the girl most have been new because she took off more than just hair. Skin came off and for weeks I had horrible scabs above my eyes. Needless to say that I pluck now.

    Thanks for sharing this. This is one thing that I want for my daughters. I want them to be happy with who they are and not be concerned with what Hollywood (or anyone) says is beautiful.

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  2. This is such an interesting post. It really is all about inner beauty. As you pointed out, we need to focus on our heath and being our best selves, instead of trying to change our appearance.

    I am excited for you and your book release. How awesome!

    xoxo
    Jane

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  3. Thanks Nicol for sharing your experience. I know some women who have had similar experiences and one has a small scar under her eyebrow now.

    I couldn't agree with you more about your girls. In fact, I told my husband that I hope we have two girls in future-that would be my dream and such a wonderful gift. I want to be responsible for raising two girls who love, honor, value and respect themselves regardless of what pressures are put upon them. I feel as though the pressures on girls/women are so much greater and it would be a challenge as their mom, but I'm up for it!

    Jane-Thank you for your sweet words. :)

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  4. still with you - thought the post and your insight was great. This is one to re-read because there is some really great stuff in there! Marija

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  5. I have four girls, 3 are teens who have daily struggles with this. what a powerful sentiment. thanks for this perspective. I am one who was stick thin growing up and now (since having children) I have a serious weight yo yo. Up from 150 3 years ago to 238 last year, and now right around 173. Ugh. But, Im praying about all that bondage. Thanks for posting this... xoxo LA

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Thanks for stopping by, your comments make my day! I read every single one and will answer any questions you have. I hope you'll visit again soon! :)

Warmly,
Karla

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