It is quite alarming when you realize how much influence children’s stories and fairy tales have had on our image of what is beauty and virtue. And, although it is quite encouraging to see children’s movies today try and change that perception that the handsome prince sometimes needs rescuing or that the princess finds out that she can rescue herself, it is still very culture-bound and within a certain context of reference.
The prince on the white steed and the princess that just didn’t follow her father’s instructions are deeply ingrained in our minds. The princess is always pretty and by pretty it implies perfect figure, rosy cheeks, impossibly thick and wavy hair, unnaturally big eyes, perfect wardrobe. The prince is always valiant, just on time, muscular, impossibly handsome, impeccably dressed, with a good singing voice…you get the point.
We have even managed to translate that into our images of beauty and virtue in advertising, in brand ambassadors and the beauty, fashion and media industries; even in how children interact and view their world. Our princes and princesses have become movies stars and celebrities and we still try and measure up to impossible examples.
Because of this, words like “image” and “beauty” have acquired a very transient feeling to them, haven’t they? Concepts that flow through your fingers like sand…you have to capture it before it is gone (“But-first-let-me-take-a-selfie Syndrome”). Just last week there were a couple of matric farewell dances in our city. (Prom dances for those not from our neck of the woods.) The amount of time and meticulous attention that is given to hair, make-up, nails, shoes, accessories, not even to start with the dress and the suit…for what? One big photo opportunity? One night where you feel validated? By whom and why?
There seems to be a constant need for reassurance, validation and confidence to almost all humans of all ages.
The popular way of feeding this need is to provide an artificial quick fix that indeed captures the moment. This quick-fix way has fuelled entire industries and has lead to distorted images of what girls (and boys) think are pretty or beautiful or acceptable. It has sometimes even succeeded in blurring and erasing the lines between masculine and feminine, creating an androgynous and uniform rule-of-thumb that is quite impossible and mad to live up to.
There must surely be a more authentic, long-lasting way of showing people what true, honest beauty is? That the only person you should want any kind of validation from is yourself?
Caroline McHugh, inspirational leader and public speaker refers to this as “The Art of Being Yourself”. In her very well known TED talk she examines the way we look at ourselves and offers a way of constructing a new way of thinking about ourselves.
This being our first blog on our brand new virtual home, The Beauty Brand Team would like to invite you to click the link and watch the talk – all 26 minutes of it. We would like to introduce one of our icons and someone who says all the things we would like to say.
We believe in honest beauty, in helping you on your journey to discover that power and also “glow like you swallowed the moon”. We believe in the power of individuality, of challenging the status quo and of being content with less stuff, we offer knowledge and are constantly seeking wisdom to share and we are on a quest for mindfulness – for ourselves, our brand and for our clients.
When you look in the mirror we want you to look for a revelation instead of reassurance and realize, you are the fairest of them all…because you are the only living being capable of being you. Welcome to the home of honest beauty!