Humans of Redefine BeYOUtiful #4: Gabriella

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Today we talk to 23-year-old  PhD student Gabriella, about what she believes makes her beautiful:

When I was first asked the question of ‘what do I think make me beautiful?’, I find it really hard to answer this question about myself. But, at the ripe old age of ‘almost’ 24, I think I’m coming to learn that beauty is something which comes from within, not necessarily the way you look which is the way that I used to see it, like most girls and young women. It’s so easy to buy into what advertisers tell you – beauty is being thin, having tanned skin or fair skin, have long and luscious hair and basically looking like a model, but I don’t think this is necessarily what beauty should encompass.

The qualities which one person finds beautiful in someone will be completely different to those which someone else will admire. Someone may find someone with long hair beautiful, others may find someone with a pixie cut beautiful. Also, the truth of the matter is beauty is not simply what you look like physically – I find someone’s personality to be one of the most beautiful things about them. Their quirks, their humour, their personality – every unique thing that makes them who they are.

If there’s anything that I would like to say to young girls, it’s that they should not try to So o fit into some ‘beautiful mould’ portrayed by advertisers because if we did, we would all be the same height, weight and have the same look. Wouldn’t that be boring! Everyone is born different for a reason, everyone is born with different personalities and different looks. Embrace your uniqueness and be your beautiful self because in all honestly, often it is your biggest insecurity which other people actually find to be most beautiful about you!

KV.

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3 lessons about beauty from 3 inspirational women:

beautyIt’s very easy to let advertisers push you to feel as though you’re not beautiful enough or pretty enough. We’re constantly bombarded by copy telling us we’re need a certain product to be beautiful and the toll on our self-esteem is even worst when these words are accompanied by images of women who have be photoshopped to supposed ‘perfection’ that they are uncanny to themselves as well. However, we have to remind ourselves that beauty is more than just what advertisers portray, you inner beauty is also just important and these wonderful ladies have a thing to say about it:

Kerry Washington: 

“I didn’t grow up thinking I was pretty; there was always a prettier girl than me. So I learned to be smart and tried to be funny and develop the inside of me, because I felt like that’s what I had”

What we learn? Beauty is more than your appearance. It is often your intellect and your sense of humour that can make you beautiful.

Troian Bellisario:

“Getting compliments is wonderful and everyone should feel beautiful in their own skin. But i get my hair and make up done professionally. For a job. That’s not beauty. That’s makeup. It’s a curling iron and hairspray. What is beautiful is inside you. It’s your creativity. Your intelligence. Your empathy and your kindness to your fellow man”

What we learn? Don’t put your self worth on how you appear, because true beauty is the qualities that make you you.

Tina Fey:

“If you’re not hot, you’re expected to work on it until you are. If you don’t have a good body, you better starve the body you have down to a neutral shape then bolt on some breast implants, replace your teeth, dye your skin orange, inject your lips, sew on some hair… Instead of trying to fit an impossible ideal, I took a personal inventory of all my healthy body parts for which I am grateful”.

What we learn? The message is simple. Love what you have.

By KV.

Humans of Redefine BeYOUtiful #3: Casey

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“I think that my laughter and quirkiness/ weird nature is what makes me unique and beautiful. So many people especially advertisers focus on outer and physical beauty, something that is temporary but I believe that that inner beauty like your personality is what truly matters. Be different, be yourself, be confident in yourself because there’s only one you and that’s what makes your beautiful (cue that 1D song) hahaha hope that’s okay!”

By KV.

Humans of Redefine BeYOUtiful #2: Anindya

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My favourite features are probably my button nose, but most importantly I think that what makes me beautiful is my friendly personality. Beauty fades but your person is forever. To me, inner beauty is definitely more important than attempting to live up to what advertisers portray. If you look at ads over years, the definition of  physical beauty always changes – you can never reach perfection because there is no such thing as perfection. Also, most of the time what you see isn’t what you get… we all know how much ads are altered but the one thing you cannot alter is your inner beauty because that is forever.

I say,  never compare yourself to others and remember no one is perfect, so embrace the qualities that make you unique as that is what makes you beautiful

By KV.

Humans of Redefine BeYOUtiful #1: Claudia

I think what makes me beautiful are favourite features: my lips and long lashes. Along with that, I think my lame jokes and my love to have a great laugh is another thing that makes me beautiful. I believe being beautiful is having confidence and being able to put on a great smile – being yourself is the number one key. It’s more important to be yourself rather than trying to be someone you see in an ad or a celebrity; that’s not going to take you far in life

I say, enjoy the little things in life and don’t be too hard on yourself trying to achieve whatever definitions of beauty are thrown at you by advertisers and society in general. Balance everything with work and life, but remember to have an open mind and be positive.

By KV.

3 Advertising Tricks

A study found that almost a third of women say they would sacrifice a year of life to achieve the ideal body weight and shape” (http://edition.cnn.com/2011/OPINION/08/08/swinson.airbrushing.ads/)

We’re all aware of the fact that beauty and fashion advertisers employ all kinds of tools to persuade us to buy their products; after all, this is the basis of the industry – to sell stuff. But there’s something seriously disturbing about the finding above. Why? Because you are sacrificing a year of life for an extremely distorted idea of normal, beautiful, attainable and health.

Let’s be aware of some of the tactics that the industry uses to sell their products

Unrealistic representation of women as extremely thin:

This is done by either the consistent use of models and celebrities who are much thinner than the vast majority of the population, fitting their ideal of beauty, or by manipulating their models digitally to suit the idea… or worst: both. Now, there is nothing wrong with being skinny, we’re not skinny bashing here but there is something seriously wrong about distorting definitions of beauty to make people buy your product.

Lighting and angles

When we think of what tricks the advertising industry uses to make their models look “good”, we think of the obvious – Photoshop – when the truth is lighting, angles also play a role. Professional photographers know how to make people look good just by enhancing the light or making them tilt a certain angle.

Enhancement

You’d think that when they sell a product, they would sell the trust so that your expectations don’t fall short when you come to use the product. But truth is, in most ads, you’re not seeing the 100% natural – the model’s curls… probably extensions. And their long eyelashes… probably false eyelashes.

It’s important to realise that beauty as defined by advertisers are extremely skewed and it’s even more vital that in light of being aware about their tricks of the trade, that we should aim to change the definition of beauty and make it our own.

By KV.

Why beauty bloggers should not define ‘beauty’ for you

When we flick through a magazine, pass a billboard or see a TV ad for a new beauty product or fashion trend, we may feel a little bit intimidated or self-conscious. Maybe you can’t help but ask, “why aren’t I that skinny” or “why don’t I have porcelain skin”, but at the end of the day, on
instagram_likes_iphone_5s_heroa subconscious level, you take comfort in knowing that someone out there has spent hours Photoshop-ing the image to achieve that level of perfection. From smoothing the skin, removing wrinkles and/or slimming the waist and even where it is one of those ‘all natural’ campaigns, you know there is bound to be expensive lighting and a myriad of filters adopted to achieve that ‘natural perfection’. We know these images don’t reflect reality and we take some comfort in that, although we may still desire to look as perfect as those portray.

We’re sick and tired of being fed these digitally constructed people, so it makes sense that we turn to bloggers and Instagramers for inspiration… since at the end of the day, they’re real people, not some unrealistic and unattainable model. But truth of the matter is, as we increasingly turn to social media, namely Instagram, for sources of fashion and beauty, marketers have began to realise this too and followed our steps. From traditional bloggers, Instagram bloggers and YouTubers, there are so many people on social media today who are essentially, brand ambassadors. Sure, their posts are not as unrealistically constructed as traditional media platforms, but at the end of the day, they have to induce you into buying products too and one of the main ways they do so is to show you “beauty” that can be attained from these products. And the thing is, we buy it and feel inferior… because we think they are portraying ‘real beauty’.

Truth is she wasn’t born with it, she just put Valencia on it.  In a survey 57% of women admit to regularly editing their own social media pictures to enhance appearances and social media brand ambassadors are notorious for doing so. Now, we’re not just talking adding filters on a photo but what we’re talking about is the use of editing apps to slim down their things, flatter their tummies, achieve perfect skin and perfectly white teeth. While falling short of the overly Photoshopped images of women in magazines, there is still a lot of work that gets put in by brand ambassador, working in collaboration with advertisers, to make the perfect photo which portray what that foundation or new dress can do to make you look ‘beautiful’.

So in essence, before your pour your self-worth on the fact that you not only don’t live up to magazine portrayals of beauty, but you also don’t live up to what you see on Instagram… think about this first. Your definition of beauty should not be wasted on the ‘fake’ representations of beauty portrayed both on online and traditional media by advertisers. It’s more important that you love yourself for the real and inner beauty that you’re all about.

By KV.