Debunking beauty stereotypes: overcome the pressures and learn to love yourself.
Thin is best
Throughout history we have celebrated womanly figures - think Botticelli and Sophia Loren. It’s only since the 60s that we have seen a trend towards slimmer figures.. But this is slowly changing - Beyonce, Christina Hendricks and the Kardashians are all curvy and proud. Some women are naturally slim, and that should be celebrated too. We need to learn to love our bodies no matter what the size.
How to deal with it? Stay healthy for your size by indulging in whatever exercise floats your boat and invest in wearing well-fitting clothes that flatter your shape. Check out these tips on what to wear for your body type and step out with confidence.
Women ‘lose’ their beauty as they age
Are you kidding? Has anybody seen Goldie Hawn, Tina Turner or Helen Mirren recently? Yes, they might have access to the world’s best dermatologists and makeup artists, but anyone can look this good if they take good care of their skin, drinks lots of water and enjoy a healthy and fun lifestyle. Do not pass 40 and think it’s all downhill.
How to deal with it: We love these tips on looking good in your 40s from Women’s Health and Fitness Australia - they include drinking red wine, occasional liver cleanses and lots of night cream.
It’s all about colour
Why do women get judged by their skin or hair colour? Redheads are fiery, brunettes are intelligent and having ‘whiter skin’ is a good thing, right? Wrong! Thankfully the world has people like Lupita Nyong’o - who is open about her youthful hatred of her skin colour but changed it when she saw supermodels who were black. Watch her truly inspirational speech about self-acceptance here
How to deal with it: Be kind, hold your head up high and feel confident whatever your colour. Wear makeup that flatters your skin and hair colour and play around a bit - don’t be afraid to take risks. Cosmopolitan interviewed Bobbi Brown to give makeup advice to women with different skin tones - hear it from the best in the business.
Beauty is only skin deep
A recent survey by Dove found that 7 out of 10 women get compliments based on their looks rather than their successes. Their latest campaign, #mybeautymysay features women who have succeeded in various fields like boxing, blogging and burlesque dancing to show that appearance alone does not limit what you can achieve. You can watch it here.
How to deal with it: A good practical place to start is to write a list (and encourage your daughters to do the same) of successes you have achieved - from learning a new skill outside of work, to teaching your children to swim. Learning to celebrate your own successes will help you (and others) appreciate you are more than just the physical you.