Beauty standards beware

Close up of lips with red lipstick on and make up brushes.

Every day we are bombarded with pictures of celebrities and models airbrushed with Photoshop. It’s no secret that the media has been notorious for supporting unrealistic beauty ideals. Women with every “flaw” edited into oblivion, their bodies contorted into proportions that couldn’t even realistically support human life are often plastered on to every advertisement we see. With these ridiculous standards it’s no wonder women all over the world often look in the mirror and become overwhelmed with feelings of inadequacy. Of course make-up companies are right there to tell women and girls that they can fix their imperfections with the right product! Ready to cash in on the plummeting self-esteem of women globally. The media consistently sends the message that it’s not acceptable to be healthy and love who you are, as you are. That you should fill any void you feel with the various products they recommended. This message is completely false.

For years I’ve witnessed the hypocrisy of celebrities scrutinizing the media for the messages they send, while perpetuating these ideals themselves. Women in the media are often quoted speaking out against beauty standards, but continue to use Photoshop and cover their faces with product. Thankfully, Colbie Caillait has decided to take a stand in her new video for “Try” by challenging the media and showing us all her bare naked face.  You can check out the video below.

I have to admit this song made me slightly emotional – and when I say “slightly” I mean I was curled up with a box of tissues by the end of the first minute.  The lyrics of the song beautifully challenge current beauty ideals by deconstructing the tasks that most girls engage in to fit them. She targets grooming, physical fitness, sexuality, and fashion, and contests them by saying “you don’t have to try so hard”. Caillait reiterates throughout the song the importance of liking yourself at the end of the day. Not only are the lyrics encouraging, but throughout the video we also see Caillait, as well as many other women and young girls, turn off the Photoshop and remove their own makeup. The people in the video seem to relish in their bare beauty and quite frankly, it’s wonderful.

I’m not sure when the idea that we can’t be beautiful as ourselves came about but I believe that concept to be one of the least useful as of yet. Every time a celebrity so much as goes out for coffee without make-up the tabloids are there to “catch” them in the act. As if it’s a crime to leave the house au naturel. One of the reasons why I find this video so significant is that Caillait is bearing it all and she’s proud of it- as she should be. For Caillait it’s not a moment where she’s been “caught” or feels shame towards her natural face. She felt concerned with the messages media outlets and celebrities convey and decided to do something about it.  She also tweeted that she did absolutely nothing to prepare for the filming of this video in terms of tanning, dieting or working out. I hope this video will encourage more celebs to bare their naked faces and relish in their natural beauty.

As for all of you at home, I challenge you to take five minutes out of your day. This can be any time and any place you choose.  Take off your make-up, let down your hair and stand in front of the mirror. Leave any criticism at the door and just take a moment to appreciate your natural face. What do you like about you? There’s something good about everyone (even yourself) if only we take a moment to give it recognition.


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