What We Do To Feel Beautiful

What We Do To Feel Beautiful

What lengths would you go to in order to feel pretty?

What does it take to feel beautiful? What does it take for you to dance around your room and sing the immortal song from "West Side Story", "I Feel Pretty"? Now, be honest! Don't stand there and piously quote, "beauty is only skin deep" or "beauty is in the eye of the beholder". Come on now, out with it. You do something to feel pretty. There is some little routine that you indulge in, at least once in a while, that makes you feel beautiful in your own eyes.

Let's think about some of these practices for just a moment. What seems of no consequence to us may seem very strange to someone else. For example, one day my husband came into our room while I was plucking my eyebrows. He watched for a moment with a puzzled look on his face.

"Why do you do that?" he asked.

"Because I don't like how they look when they're bushy."

"It seems like that would hurt."

"It doesn't," I replied.

Well, it does, but I wasn't about to tell him that. Just a little. Compared to birthing twins, it's nothing. It helps to keep it all in perspective. I wondered what he would think about waxing? Now there's a practice that I don't even pretend to understand. When I think of it, all I can feel is hot duct tape being ripped off my skin. Ouch. I wonder, if like Band-Aids, they have an "ouch-less" brand of waxing.

My husband teases me a little about some of my routines, such as putting on makeup. He sweetly assures me, romantically, not to worry that my barn door doesn't need painting. A real smooth-talker, he is. He doesn't understand that sometimes I like to put on the makeup because it makes me feel pretty. Some days I need it so I can fool others into thinking that I'm alert and enthusiastic. All in all, I think a little eyebrow plucking and some makeup is within the realm of "normal" for our culture.

Granted, some people may take it to an extreme. What others do to be beautiful in the eyes of others may very well make some people raise eyebrows. For example, most people have heard about women of yore wearing corsets. That is child's play compared to the abolished practice of foot binding that Chinese women endured for centuries. It was believed that a 3 to 5 inch foot was a symbol of wealth. The neck rings of certain African tribes make us cringe. How about those trendy lip plates? The bottom teeth of the woman are knocked out to make room for a clay plate inserted in the bottom lip. And I mean plate, as in the size of what you eat off of at dinner. The bigger the better.

Hardware isn't the only novelty item when it comes to beauty. Japanese women smear chicken manure (that's a polite way of saying chicken poop) over their faces. Oh, don't worry, it's in the form of a cream, so that makes it okay. It is supposed to smooth out those pesky wrinkles that appear after decades of living. We Americans have a similar novelty. For a mere $200 per treatment, you can have facial gurus smear nightingale manure (that's also bird poop, people) on your face. I wonder if there is a discount if you ask for pigeon poop -- oh, excuse me, excrements -- instead. Oh, and don't worry, it's "sanitized" poop, so that makes it okay. Brings to mind the Proverb, "A fool and her money are soon parted".

So, now that you are all lathered up with wrinkle erasing bird poop, let's top it off with some lovely and expensive perfume made from whale vomit. Sounds alluring and enticing, doesn't it? Call me unsophisticated, but whale vomit and perfume don't seem to go together. How does one advertise that anyway? I can see the commercial now. A couple at a five-star restaurant, enjoying fine dining. The man leans in close to the woman, dressed to the nines and says:

"My darling, what is that wonderful scent you are wearing?"

"It's whale vomit, my love."

Talk about killing the mood.

Never mind the beauty practices we consider strange in other countries. Look closer to home, and you'll find African and Japanese ladies scratching their heads, wondering why those American ladies use bull semen to cure wrinkles; or how can they stand ripping hair from their bodies with primitive wax methods. It does bring up the question of whether or not we in America are qualified to judge others on beauty, when we think that using our lunch hour to inject paralytic agents into our faces is a sane use of time and money.

Though beauty may be in the eye of the beholder, it shouldn't make you raise your eyebrows or vomit! Then again, maybe you could market that as a facial cream.

Cover Image Credit: Isabell Winter

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8 Ways To Get Skin Clear Enough To Rock Any Insta Aesthetic

Want a sure cure to acne? Diligently follow these steps.

Confidence is key to being successful, and what better feeling is there than having a glowing and clear complexion? You have a big presentation, a job interview, or you plan to go out on a date, and your face is breaking out... so what do you do?

Follow this advice to clear your skin up in just a matter of a couple of days.

1. Drink plenty of water

This is the first step to clear skin, getting all the toxins out of your body! Stay away from pop/soda and other sugary drinks.

2. Wash your face when you wake up and before you go to bed

Washing your face as soon as you wake up gets all of the dirt and oil that built up overnight off your face. This will not only extract the dirt and oil from your face, but it will also be refreshing to start your morning with a clean face. Washing your face before bed is important, this prevents acne from forming overnight.

I suggest using Yes To Tomatoes face wash for this step.

3. After washing your face, use a moisturizer

When your face is dry, it produces natural oils to keep from overdrying. Therefore, when you don't moisturize properly your face has a surplus of oil that it doesn't need and in turn, it will clog your pores and cause acne.

I suggest using Burt's Bees Sensitive Night Cream. I don't only use this at night, but also during the day if I need to. I typically moisturize after each time I wash my face.

4. Wash your pillowcases weekly

I'm sure everyone knows this, but people don't always do it! Using a different (and more sensitive) laundry detergent for your face washcloths and pillowcases would also be beneficial!

5. Stay away from face wipes that are full of chemicals

The ones that say "rapid action pads" and "maximum strength" will never be good for your skin. The best way to balance your skin out is to use natural based products. If you open a package of face wipes and the smell burns your eyes, throw them out ASAP.

6. Instead, use herbal complexion sticks

You can find these at Walmart or a drug store near you. Most herbal complexion sticks are 99% natural, therefore you don't have the abundance of harmful man-made chemicals on your face.

Burt's Bees Herbal Complexion Stick is what I use, and I've never had any issues. It cleared my skin from bumps/acne in about a week!

7. Keep your hands off your face

Your hands are dirty and they carry oil that isn't supposed to be on your face. If you often touch your face, your pores will become clogged with bacteria. You touch your phone, door handles, laptop keys, and many other things throughout the day. You do not want that dirt and gunk on your face!

8. Consistency

If you want your face to clear up, you must be consistent with your routine! Find products that best fit you, and stick with them.

Here is a list of products that are helpful when it comes to clear skin (other than the ones I have already listed).

Clean and Clear Morning Burst, Biore Pore Unclogging Scrub, Pond's Cold Cream Cleanser, Mario Badescu Skin Care spray, Pond's Dry Skin Cream.

These products among many others will put you well on your way to clear and glowing skin! Everyone has different skin types, but these steps and products are some that work well for me and many others.

Cover Image Credit: Macey Mullins

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Don't Compliment Our Bodies, Appreciate Our Self-Expression

Praise bodies, but with caution.

“A sex symbol becomes a thing. I hate being a thing.” -Marilyn Monroe

infinite. Both positive and negative evaluations are detrimental to women and our culture as a whole.

Oftentimes people are left dumbfounded: Why would a compliment do any harm? Isn’t it nice to let her know I like X, Y, or Z?

vastly complex topic, stereotypes of any kind acknowledge that there is an innate difference between people of different races, identities, etc. There is always the other side: people who don’t fit the mold, who defy expectations and ideals.

The wide diversity of women’s bodies is wonderful in and of itself, regardless of their deviation from societal constructs of beauty. Our choices to express ourselves should be paid more attention, rather than the arbitrary body we happen to possess. Appreciate who we are inside, and who we choose to be.
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