Be YOU tiful

Hi pickles!

I just wanted to write a post about being ourselves, no matter what. There's so much pressure on women (by 'women' I mean anyone who identifies as a woman, no matter what sex organs they were born with) to look a certain way to be called attractive, feminine, womanly. Our bodies are commodities to be dismissed or lauded, depending on how much we weigh and how feminine we look. We're expected to be this perfect little package for all to look at, and can be subject to horrible insults when we don't fall into line.

The media is a horrible clusterf*ck of unspoken rules. We're expected to be pert of breast and bottom with Tippex teeth, tanned skin (but not too tanned), not too much make up (but not too little either), nice nails, long legs, sleek hair on our heads but none anywhere else, be tanned, and exist purely for the viewing pleasure of other people. *Barf*.

I got to thinking a couple of days ago when I did some fake tan for my friends' leaving party. Do I want to be tanned because I've been led to believe a tanned body is prettier somehow, or do I really like being brown? I decided, yes I do like to have a bit of a tan, as I can get away with wearing less make up and look slightly healthier and more attractive (to my own eyes.) Do I think everybody looks better with a tan and should always be tanned? Hell no! Each to their own.

Then I started to think about other things, like hair removal. If you believe the articles in beauty magazines we're all expected to be as bald as a new born rat everywhere except our heads. I reject this and do what I like. I may not shave my armpits for three weeks at a time and I might not shave my legs for 3 months at a time. My husband prefers my pits to be shaved but doesn't care if my legs are stubbly, and neither do I. I'm quite keen on strimming the bush because quite frankly, having a stray pube entangled in my knicker elastic as I walk down the street isn't my favourite thing. I wax my little tache about once a month because when I do close up lipstick swatches you can see it otherwise and as I'm the tail end of my 30s I've noticed a few hairs appearing on my chin which I'm not dead keen on so I whip those wee blighters off too. Do I think hair-free is the way to go for everybody? Again, nope. I was quite thrilled all those years ago when Julia Roberts unleashed her furry pits onto the world. I thought they looked quite stroke-able. I often see photos on Tumblr of ladies with full leg hair and think 'More power to them!' I like rebels and it IS rebellious to throw off the shackles of societal pressure and do your own thing.

I think it's supremely sexy when someone bucks the trend and is confident enough to be themselves, even if it isn't deemed acceptable or attractive by society as a whole. And if you do tan, wax, pluck, exercise like mad to keep your pert boobs and bum, tooth-whiten, have acrylic nails, have cosmetic procedures and everything else to look good for yourself, great. Doing things to please yourself is fantastic - self care is so important. However I do think if it gets to the point where it feels like we're doing things for the sake of other people more than ourselves then we need to ask ourselves some questions about what would really make us happy.

How far are you prepared to go with your beauty regime?
Is your regime based on being attractive for your own sake, for a partner, or to be accepted by society?

I would say I probably groom to please myself 60%, 25% for my hubby and 15% to be considered 'normal', although in some ways I do relish in being 'alternative', both by being fat and by being tattooed. Go figure!

What's your take on this?

Thanks for reading!

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