We don’t mean to quote Bruno Mars but we just can’t help it because we would really love YOU to feel beautiful, just the way you are. Here at Redefine BeYOUtiful we were truly inspired by the Body Image Movement’s ‘Unstopple Training’ initiative – trying empower girls and all women alike to have a different kind of transformation. It’s not trying to get you to reach number on the scales, or tone your arms, or live to advertiser’s definition of beauty (which is complete bullshit if you ask us!), but instead to love your body unconditionally as with that comes happiness and confidence!
To add on to the Body Image Movement’s initiative, here is our 5 tips for how to feel beautiful (just the way you are)
1 – Write a list
Hmm, not that kind of list though. Write down 3-5 of your qualities which you love daily. For example, that you’re kind, caring, creative… anything! Your inner qualities which will withstand the test of time will remind you that there is so much more to beauty than just a body (especially one covered with make up and other things advertisers are pushing onto you)
2 – Be a critic
When looking at ads (both in print and social media) think critically the message they are trying to send you. Often, it’s not the mere “you’re not good enough” but is instead “we’re trying to tell you you’re not good enough because we want you to buy our products”. Remember that this is advertiser’s job – to sell products! So if you want to buy the product, that is fine but don’t buy the message they are trying to tell you!
3 – Challenge ‘beautiful’
How? Engage in materials that challenge the meaning of beauty as the first step to challenging the definition of beauty yourself. We love materials from Beauty Redefined, Adios Barbie, Dove, Endangered Bodies and Body Image Movement – all of which gives you a little bit of a wake up call: You are beautiful whether you’re tall, short, skinny, curvy. Also, you’re beautiful not just because of how you look… but who you are.
4 – Seek help if you be hating
We hope it doesn’t get too far, but if you are feeling not so beautiful and it’s seriously affecting you – whether than be low self esteem or to the point of purging. Ask for help from those you love and help lines like The Butterfly Foundation – there are plenty of support networks out there to help you feel beautiful again (because you always were!).
5 – Tell yourself you’re beautiful
This is the most important: tell yourself you look and are beautiful! Now this might sound weird but research has proven that telling yourself you are beautiful, regardless of what advertisers or media is trying to tell you you should look like, is one of the key tricks to actually feeling beautiful (because you actually are!). Negative message feeds negative thinking and this is what advertisers are pushing to you. So feed yourself some positivity!
What do you think dear readers? What are your tips for feeling beautiful just the way you are?
I’d like to think that my derpiness, at times wittiness and desire to have fun ALL the time makes me “beautiful”, or at least its what other people have told me they love about me.
I think its so much more important than looking classically “pretty” – someone telling me that they think I’m fun or love being around me is of so much more value than “you look pretty today”. It makes me more confident in being who I am and saying what I want. As ridiculous cliche as it sounds, I know that person values ME, and will love me no matter what, instead of loving the way I dress or my makeup.
Don’t get me wrong – dressing up or putting on makeup is a fantastic way to make yourself FEEL beautiful if thats what you feel like doing! But it is nowhere near the most important thing.
Tip: think of the nicest, sweetest or funniest person you know. Does thinking about them make you smile? When I think about the nicest person I know, beautiful as a word doesn’t even cut it! Thats the type of person you can be – a person who makes everyone smile. Everyone has something – the way they laugh, the bad jokes they tell, the way they dance – that the people around them love them for.
Much more than the way you look, these are the things that define you – embrace those qualities and don’t be afraid to use them! People will love you for it.
What do you think dear readers? Are qualities that define you more important than being ‘beautiful’?
‘Beauty whitewash’, it’s a thing in advertising and it’s used to describe situations where the advertisers portray simply one race, thus one definition of beauty, or more controversially where the skin tone of others are depicted as digitally retouched to appear whiter. It is rampant trend in the advertising industry and has been for many years, but we are so accustomed to it that often it’s so difficult for us to notice that advertisers are only pushing one definition of beauty to us.
Probably one of the most infamous cases of whitewashing is that of beauty giant L’Oreal whitewashing Beyonce Knowles in their ad into a paler skin-toned and strawberry blonde hair woman, whose appearance is uncanny to her original tones.
This is especially concerning in multicultural countries such as Australia and the United States. I mean, in Australia alone 1 in four Australians are born overseas but somehow, when it comes advertisers’ portrayal of beauty, the array of multiculturalism just does not make the cut. We can’t pretend like this is harming the beauty ideals. How can girls and young women of colour feel beautiful when the messages pushed by advertisers is that beauty is whitewashed.
Many studies have been conducted into the idea that the advertising industry thrive off women feeling bad about their appearances and their bodies, and tapping into their desire to fix their flaws which many women perceive as not measuring up to the media standards of beautiful which they perceive as the average. What these studies indicate is that these manipulations are working. For one, Kristen Harrison conducted a study testing the idea that exposure to TV influenced girls believes about others though of their own bodies and found that white women’s exposure to TV beauty ideas predicted the large-busted women wanted smaller chests and the small-busted women wanted larger chests. Therefore, no one believes they are perfect the way they are, no matter how they appear.
I think, author, Yasmin Alibhai-Brown sums it up pretty well… “too many black and asian children grow up understanding the sad truth that to have dark skin is somehow to be inferior” and there needn’t be this view. When everyone is born with different tones from light to dark, shouldn’t there be more than one definition of beauty?
Advertisers need to reflect society and show that beauty has no one definition. Some advertisers such as Estee Lauder has chosen to embrace that every woman can be beautiful regardless of ethnicity, making it it’s beauty brand’s message in its new ad campaign. This is a beautiful message but more advertisers needs to work towards diversity and inclusivity. Until then, as their target market, we should appreciate our beauty regardless.
What do you think dear readers? Should advertisers stop whitewashing definitions of beauty?
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!
It’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:
“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.
“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.
“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.
“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!”