I would in no means call myself an ‘activist’ but I do get very passionate about certain topics that interest me. One such area is body image and the unrealistic and sometimes unhealthy images media portrays to what the perfect body (I use this term loosely) looks like. Firstly I can’t be a hypocrite and say all media is bad after all as a blogger I’m part of the industry. I just think somewhere along the line the whole aspect of what the ‘ideal’ body should look like and the definition of pretty has become seriously warped.
As a 31-year-old female I still feel the pressure to ‘look good’ and to try achieve what society dictates as attractive. As a teen I read weekly Bliss and Sugar magazines containing beautiful pictures of flawless happy girls from cover to cover and wished I too could have long glossy locks and porcelain skin not my frizzy hair and spotted face. From a young age the pressure to look like these girls can really effect your self-esteem and self belief. Even now I flick through magazines and see how flawless Kim Kardashian and the likes look and then go and look at myself in the mirror and sigh. It’s ridiculous I know at the stage in my life but I still feel pressurised to fit in with this idea of beauty.
I’m a curvy girl who was basically a stick until my twenties. As soon as my twenties hit so did my boobs and hips. I have cellulite, spots, hair in unsightly places and carry extra weight just about everywhere. My dress size is a UK size 12 – 14 which I know doesn’t make me a whale but sometimes I’m made feel like I am. Sometimes, well quite honestly often I feel ugly. Being ill these past two years and everything that comes with it has further impacted my self-esteem. It is tough looking in the mirror and seeing that ghostly image staring back at you. Your skin looking dull, your eyes bloodshot and unkept eyebrows. It’s also tough not having the energy or desire sometimes to even be able to wash your hair or dress yourself. The whole reason I set up A Paler Shade Of Beauty was to try create a safe and supportive environment for those of us going through illness or the stresses and strains of life. My mantra “even through illness beauty remains” is something I want to actively promote. We may not look like the images in the magazines, which nearly all the time aren’t real but this doesn’t make us any less beautiful. There is no one set of criteria to fill in to be considered beautiful. Beauty doesn’t have a one set standard. It comes in MANY different forms. Beauty is not only skin deep but extends to every single part of us. We are all unique in our own way each one of those ways beautiful.
I recently got in touch with Fiona from Trinkets Jewellery and had a fantastic chat with her over the phone. Fiona is an Irish online jewellery store owner who also feels extremely passionate about body image and the way it’s portrayed in the media. So much so she started a campaign to put real women behind her products. She didn’t want to use generic stock images for her jewellery so she got the brain wave to put women’s faces, women like you and me behind each piece.
I believe that unrealistic images of women used in advertising leads to negative self-esteem. I want to see more “real women” used in advertising and I am doing something about it. I will give away free jewellery in exchange for pictures of women wearing it to use on my website. Fiona De Buitlear
I think this whole campaign is fantastic. Not only for us but for the next generation. I feel it’s very important to educate our youth to embrace who they are and how they look and to help make sense of the bigger picture. I completely support Fiona’s campaign and felt the need to share it with all of you lovelies. Fiona kindly sent me a necklace which I will be wearing and taking a selfie with to join in on her campaign. After all I am one of those real women who is still trying to accept all the lumps and bumps that I have. Click here to hear more about Fiona’s campaign.
image from: http://isaiahstephens.deviantart.com/art/Beautiful-Body-Types-386328971