By Debra Moffitt
“In a society that profits from self-doubt, liking yourself is a rebellious act.”
Companies that make beauty products, fashion, media and magazines generally don’t want us to be happy with who we are. They profit from our insecurities. They even add to them and create unreal ideas about who we could or should be. The worst culprits tend to be women’s’ magazines that assault us with a barrage of ads of supper skinny, poreless, zit-free, wrinkle-free, Photoshopped women and girls. The images of perfection they uphold slip into the psyche and gnaw at us.
They give us the impression that there is a standard of beauty that we must conform to, but they also make it clear that we will inevitably fall short. Even the models they use in their ads don’t look like the final photos — and the women like the supermodel, Cindy Crawford, say so. The media, keeps trying to give us its definitions of beauty which look very narrow and limited as well as limiting. This can undermine our individual sense of beauty and uniqueness and play on our self-doubts. And it’s not only affecting women, but men are feeling the pressure now too.
I love the example set by Weleda. Weleda, a health and beauty products company created in 1920 by Rudolf Steiner and Ita Wegman, believed in respecting the human psyche and working with the whole person. They respected the individual. Today Weleda’s beauty products use advertising that draws on nature — beautiful images of flowers and plants. Their motto reflects their values: “In harmony with nature and the human being.” When I visited the company headquarters in Arlesheim, Switzerland, one of the company’s managers told me that they consciously aim to advertise with respect for the individual — and to not play on our insecurities. Imagine if/when all beauty products companies did/do the same. What a wonderful world it would be — will be.
I love people watching and part of the pleasure and joy of it comes from appreciating all of the differences and types of beauty. All ages are beautiful. All body shapes are unique and beautiful. All sexes are beautiful and intriguing. I sit back and watch, simply fascinated by the beauty and the diversity of us. The beauty I see is not always the conventional kind, it is the unique kind and it comes with the ability to be grateful for the wide variety of experiences that being embodied in human form offers us. Isn’t life amazing and fun?!
Self-love means accepting one’s self. It can start inside or by accepting and loving others – and silencing the inner critic who judges everything against the magazine-ad-standard of beauty.
Copyright Debra Moffitt, June 2015. No portion of this blog post or any of the posts on this site may be reused, recopied, reprinted in ebook or print format, linked to or otherwise used without prior written permission. For permission to use this copyrighted material see the “About” page or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.