July 23, 2014

No, I Really Did Wake Up Like This

60708aecf6c6f573a6b0eb23e5f07308Women get so much stick for being Photoshopped, don’t they? We’ve seen the gifs that lurk around the Internet, normally sold like illegal drugs to a website like Jezebel for thousands of pounds just so we can sadistically watch a before-and-after photo on an endless loop. The thing is we don’t need to see them, we didn’t ask to see them; it’s basically just an example of magnified, glorified bullying. I don’t care if something’s Photoshopped or not, it’s up to the model what they want to do. If they want to look nice in print so they can show it to their kids one day then so be it! But the media don’t need to be so MEAN about it. Oddly I also stumbled across another article today about how shock, horror! A model has recently refused to have any Photoshopping and now she’s getting stick for looking so natural with one tiny wrinkle. Ew, an untouched bikini photo you say? I warn you not to look at any of my 2008 Facebook album then. Can’t bloody win these days.

So in this unfortunate situation of “we can’t win” I have started to really not give a shit. Obviously we all like looking nice on certain special occasions, and we all like toning it down, too. But I had a moment of thinking WOOHOO, because if we can’t win, then we are free! Free to look however we want to look! Because either way, it’ll be wrong! I don’t know about you, but this is actually fantastic news if you think about it. Because by not winning all the time, we are WINNING! (The mind boggles).

Recently my person style “inspo” is coming from two people: Caitlin Moran and Kristin Stewart (mainly because she wears trainers on the Red Carpet). And because: they don’t care!

Caitlin gave an awesome quote in last week’s Stylist magazine and it scared me because for a moment I thought she’d crept into my brain and stolen my thoughts.

“Oddly, I feel more insecure if I’ve made an effort, which is the opposite of how you’re supposed to feel as a woman. If you try to do the beautiful hair, dress and make-up, then you’re competing with women who have stylists and world-class make-up artists, so I’d rather take myself out of that race. I can win the ‘being slightly overweight, dishevelled and backcombed with make-up I’ve put on with my fingers’ race instead.”

I always used to feel a bit weird if I’d make a massive effort to “dress up”, and realised around my late teens that there was an interesting correlation between 1) a bad night and getting so dressed up that I felt uncomfortable and 2) a good night and me being in trainers or comfy boots. Then the penny finally dropped. Yes, I did always have a better night in flat shoes and a chilled dress because that was more me. Wearing layer upon layer of make-up and being constantly paranoid about hairspray was ruining all the fun. Last weekend I went to a nightclub in shorts, a jumper and clumpy Birkenstocks (that my sister hates) and I had a brilliant night. I danced for HOURS. I honestly don’t think that would have happened if I was stumbling around like a drunk giraffe in heels.

Basically, I am really enjoying being “out of the race” as Caitlin Moran so perfectly summed up.

 

  • Ann

    Yes, that has happeend to me several times. I spend a big amount of time and effort in dressing up, putting on makeup, I look stunning, but then I have a bad night… because I don’t feel right so “stunning”.

  • There are probably 3 things that I need to be sure of before I go out the door (apart from my well-planned handbag – you know, the essentials: purse, phone, keys, headphones and kindle): straightened and neat hair, a non-shiny face, and eyeliner. This is my version of low maintenance. I very rarely go out the door without making sure those three things are sorted. But sometimes, I worry that these things are too important to me. But reading this has made me realise that whatever it takes to help us feel comfortable in our skin is important. Because it allows us to be us, who we are and it allows us to function on a confident level. At least I can concentrate on the more important things and not worry about what I look like (most of the time!).

    PS I still haven’t read that feature on Caitlin Moran feature in Stylist. It’s been sitting on my table for a 2 weeks-ish now. Going to read it. SOON!

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