Why is it that women have to make themselves look good? Why is it that most guys spend 2 minutes in the bathroom brushing their teeth while women spend 10x that time every morning getting ready for the day? The pattern repeats itself at bedtime when men once again spend only a few minutes, while women have to get the makeup off their face and put on several different lotions.
I know, I’m generalizing, there are guys who spend a lot of time in front of the mirror. And there are women who don’t. But in general, women spend more time and money on their looks.
Say 15 extra minutes every morning and every night. That amounts to 30 minutes per day. That’s 3,5 hours each week. 182 hours during a year. That’s a lot of time. What if we spent it on something else than looking pretty?
I’m not saying forget all about personal hygiene. That’s nothing I would recommend. Your whole body needs to be taken care of and pampered now and then to be able to do the work for you. Your skin is the first defense against all kinds of bacteria, fungi, viruses, chemicals, and pollutants. It needs to be taken care of in order to work properly.
But there are women who cannot even step outside the door without putting on makeup. Why is that? Why do we need that shield?
“You’re so lucky that you’re a guy! You don’t have to do the whole hair and makeup thing before you record a video.”
– Said a female podcaster to a male one.
We say that we want people to be authentic. Yet we expect a woman to do her hair and makeup before recording a video for her online course. Or do we? What if she didn’t? What if she showed up as her authentic self without any makeup? Would you think less of her? Would you be too preoccupied thinking that “OMG, she doesn’t have any makeup on!” to be able to focus on the message she’s conveying? Or would you think, “Good for her, she doesn’t have to put on a shield to face the world”? Or maybe it wouldn’t matter to you either way?
Maybe just maybe, this can spark something in you. Maybe next time you go to the grocery store, you dare to go without the eyeshadow. And when you realize you weren’t banned from the store and the cashier chatted with you in his usual way and the world didn’t come to an end, maybe you dare to try it without the mascara sometime in the future?
Spend your time on something else than putting on makeup. Be yourself. Be you. We all want to look good, but try to spend as little time as possible on your superficial self and instead work on who you are.
What if you would spend several hours every week improving who you are? Coming more in touch with yourself? Learning and growing your beautiful personality? Wouldn’t that be something?
We have to lead by example for our daughters. If we want them to love themselves and be loved for who they are, we need to show that they are good enough just the way they are. And that starts with showing her that you are good enough.
If you cannot go to the store without putting makeup on, you’re in a way telling her that she isn’t beautiful enough. That she needs to put on makeup to look good. And of course, she wants to look good! Before you know it, she’ll be measuring her self-worth only by her looks and what other people think of her.
The internet is overloaded with videos of girls and women giving makeup and fashion advice. Girls start putting on makeup way earlier than when I was a child. What’s with this rush to grow up? You’re going to become an adult eventually anyway, there’s no need to get there in advance.
I have two sons and a daughter. I try not to compliment them on their looks but instead focus on their achievements. Sometimes I do compliment them on their looks. I try to compliment the boys as much as the girl. I try to avoid saying things like “You look pretty!”. Instead, I might phrase it like “That’s a really nice outfit, the shirt really does go well with those trousers”. Or something along those lines. But once in a while, I, of course, fall into the habit of saying to my daughter how pretty she looks.
My greatest fear is that my daughter will measure her self-worth only through her looks. I, as her mother, need to set an example to her that you don’t need to spend a lot of time in front of the mirror to be beautiful. That true beauty comes from within. We have a responsibility here!
Take a long, hard look at your habits, routines, and rituals. Are you truly doing them for yourself? Or are you doing them to please someone else? Be honest. Brutally honest. And then, the hardest thing of all, try to change in those areas where change is called for.
‘Cause a life spent pleasing others and forsaking who you are is wasted. You deserve nothing but the best, and it’s within your reach if you can just see behind all those expectations that everyone else has of you.
Free yourself from other people’s opinions and do things because you want to. Not because it is expected of you. Be you. Don’t care what other people think of you. Be you.
I look at my daughter and I see her beauty. I hope that she can see it too.