Real Living Beauty was born out of equal parts inspiration from the countless beautiful women I know, frustration with the state of female self-image in the world today, and ambition to do something about it.
After reading this article in a recent issue of Glamour, the true severity with which most women judge themselves became undeniable. Once upon a time, I was one of these women, and I spent decades working through the irrational self-loathing and impossible standards of “beauty” that surrounded me. In my thirties, I find that I am more satisfied and secure than ever with how I look. Still, after reading the aforementioned article, I had to ask myself: Why did it take me so long to get here?
It is an easy and common argument to say that our world is saturated with enhanced, airbrushed, structured, stylized and contrived images of women. The reason this argument stands is simple: there is truth behind it. Even some of the most naturally beautiful women of our time are subjected to having their “flaws” tweaked before images go to print. Even without Photoshop, if an average woman were to strive for the standard of beauty established by the media today (red carpet, press events, “candid” beach shots), she best be prepared to hire her own team of trainers, nutritionists, stylists, spa technicians and hair and make-up artists to help her prepare for stepping out.
This is not to say that I shun celebrity culture and decry the practice of personal upkeep. I tune into the Oscars every year, and I appreciate an indulgent body scrub as much as the next gal. But as for the images, it’s time to balance the scales. It shouldn’t take a woman a decade or more to fight through feelings of inadequacy to a place of self-love. We need more images in the world that represent the women we see every day of our lives. For every flawless image of a rising starlet, I want to see three images of unaltered, real life beauties. Images of your mothers and friends – images of you.
Real Living Beauty will begin by featuring the beautiful women from my world, both in images and words. It’s time to take ownership of the images of women that fill our brains and infiltrate our psyches. It’s time to talk about the things that truly make us beautiful. It’s time for women to recognize and embrace their beauty, not after decades of struggle, but as soon as they are old enough to recognize the stunning image in the mirror.
Look for my first feature in early October, 2011, starring my very own gorgeous sisters.