I read an article this morning detailing different women that have had to get used to how they naturally look during lockdown. Without the ability to continue the upkeep of things like fillers, acrylic nails, Botox and fake eyelashes, these ladies have slowly had to come back to terms with their natural look as the nails fell off and the fillers reduced back to nothing.
Personally, I don’t have the energy, money or effort in me to follow those type of trend and beauty tricks, but I was taken in by the article. The women said that the transformation back to the look they were born with was an opportunity to really question why they bothered in the first place.
However, it has also proved to be quite a difficult time as the women have had to face up to learning how to accept and more importantly, love themselves which is tough thing to crack at the best of times.
Psychotherapist Danielle Sandler explains that the lockdown can bring a lot of conflict to people’s self-image as it strips us all back to our bare essence, removing the masks we tend to wear daily (both physical and metaphorically).
Having the time to reflect has allowed them to really ask if they were doing all this for them in the first place or if it was mostly for the appearance they gave off to others. It’s even inspired some to stop following so many accounts on Instagram and other social media sites that promote fillers and altering beauty with the likes of Botox and spider like eyelashes.
I have also found that this time of reflection and self-exploration has given me the time to come to terms with some of my body and mind. I no longer wear any make up and I have discovered that I prefer my complexion this way. The only thing I tend to put on each day is moisturiser and a tiny bit of concealer under my eyes – and the concealer is only to hind a few bags under my eyes hear and there when I have a zoom call.
And I won’t be going back to it. Apart from special nights out (whenever they return) or date night, I’m just not interested in my spending my money on things that hide my natural look from me. I’d much rather spend my cash on new slippers or comfortable yoga tops.
Anxiety that at the beginning boiled up from an old eating disorder has now calmed and even turned into a weird new respect and loving for my body as I start to value flexibility, nourished skin and posture more than the size of it.
Because of my isolation, all my choices and thoughts and outlooks are influenced by me. I am not able to check myself side by side to another or compare waist sizes. I cannot be shamed by the size of my meals (big or small). In this inner-dimensioned world, I can no longer be attacked by the constant advertisements and campaigns telling me what I should look like, how I should dress or even act.
And it crazy because – if you had asked me how much of an impact the images of magazines and celebrities had on me, I would have said very little. Now that they have been quieted to nearly nothing, I am able to see the damaging effect it did all have. It was subtle, yes.. but it was powerful and warped my thinking more than I ever imagined.
I had confused my inner voice and gut instinct for so long with what the capitalistic dialog was feeding me. Constantly and subconsciously it was high jacking my thoughts to tell me I wasn’t good enough and needed to change.
With this removed and the room the reflect and think, I have been able to reconnect with self-love and more balance view of healthy.
So today listeners.. I want you to take time to be proud of your body – both for it’s function and for it’s look. Understand that exercise should be a way to align your body and mind and allowing gratitude to flow through you for what you are – rather that what you should be – will always give you a much bright glow than any bronzer you can find.
Become present and aware while continuing to slow down so that your mind my catch up.
Breathe. Re-centre and re-focus your intentions.
Rest. Peace will always be hard to find when we are low on energy and running on empty.
And remember, self -love is one that takes nurturing, patience and kindness.