Friday, 3 February 2012

Imperfection Equals Perfection

mirror skin



Once again, L'Oreal has hit the headlines for airbrushing its adverts into oblivion. For some reason unbeknown to us, they felt the need to make the beautiful Rachel Weisz look like an alien.


Why? Isn't she gorgeous enough as she is?


It did get us thinking, though...how many of you ladies also feel the need to make yourselves look perfect? Does the pressure of airbrushing get to you too?


Lots of you probably. How many of you over-analyse every spot, every line, every pore? How many of you feel guilty when you spoil yourselves with chocolate or a burger?


Like every woman, we've each felt the pressures of looking perfect. We bemoan each and every tiny thing about ourselves. This is our rant at a superficial, ugly world...


Please feel free to rant along with us!




Teresa and Sam x


Teresa:

A few weeks ago, Samantha and I were having a chat about Audrey Hepburn and I let slip I had never watched 'Breakfast at Tiffanys'. Yeah, I led a very sheltered life as a child and had somehow missed out on watching this iconic film. I feel rather embarrassed to admit I have never seen Audrey at her finest and to be honest, I have gone along with many conversations in the past as if I knew everything about the film when I didn't! After Samantha had picked her jaw back up, she quickly scheduled a date for us to both sit down and watch Audrey in THE Givenchy dress.

One cold, wintery afternoon, we got together, biscuits and tea aplenty, and got comfy on the sofa to watch the classic. And I was stunned almost immediately. Yes, I was in awe of the gorgeous Audrey, but something else stood out to me more than anything - Audrey was real!

Yes, she was ridiculously skinny, but it was refreshing to see a face without botox and teeth which were not brilliant white. When she frowned, her brow had a wrinkle. In fact, all the women were the same, botox-free and and some even had yellow teeth.

And do you know what? I actually felt really good about myself. God, how I wish I could watch television and flick through magazines and witness normal looking people, models and celebrities every day. Why do we have to live in a culture of virtual faces and bodies? Have you seen Alexa Chung on the front of Elle this month? Where are her calf muscles? They've been digitally removed!

We all know the mass media use airbrushed photos of our idols. We know the mascara advertisements use fake eyelashes, but we are still peed off because our eyelashes don't look as good as those on the advert when we use that L'Oreal mascara. We are all annoyed when a new foundation is advertised as flawless, yet on application our skin looks the same except with one colour tone over the top of it. If only we could all walk around in our lives with artificial lighting to achieve model-like cheekbones.

I think the whole airbrushing and photoshopping phenomena is only going to get worse. All those faultless figures and flawless faces are becoming the norm. We have more chance of looking like Wilma Flintstone than a front cover model of a magazine! The escalation of new imaging touch up software just means we are going to become even more anxious about our own appearances. Wouldn't it be lovely if we could have real photos, real people, real life in our magazines?

The real kick in the teeth is in those magazines when they 'reveal' how awful Miss Celeb looks when she was having a 'normal' day picking her children up from school. You know, when she looks like us! And you would think it is the biggest sin in the world because Cameron Diaz has got a few spots on her face or Kate Winslet has got cellulite. Any celeb spotted with a slight imperfection is literally scolded on the pages of these popular trashy mags.

And as the ageing process kicks in we become even more sucked in and we start researching the best lotions and potions to retain our youth instead of just accepting the fact yep I am getting older now. How can I accept my face when Demi Moore is much older than me and looks bloody amazing? (pre Ashton Kutcher split).


Sam:

No one is perfect. Sorry to disappoint you, but it’s true - that phrase is clich├ęd for a reason.

Sadly, I have a lot of experience in this subject. I am speaking as someone who has spent her whole life searching for perfection. Searching rather fruitlessly for that ridiculous, non-existent Utopia.

It saddens me that I’m not the only one, either. In fact, I’m not even in the minority. I would hasten to bet that every single one of you reading this blog would like to change something about yourselves right now. Am I right?

Boobs too big? Too small? Nose too crooked or too big? How about those legs? They could do with a touch of lipo, right? And while we’re at it, what about botox to zap away our frown lines? Maybe even a face lift…

Or how about starving ourselves for a day because we ate one too many chocolates last night? Perhaps we could set our alarms an hour early so that our partners don’t realise we wake up looking like bedraggled scarecrows.

Honestly, if I got started, I’d end up looking like the Bride of Wildenstein.

bad skin

Why do we put this pressure on ourselves? Why do we think thin equals beautiful, or flawless skin is achievable? Why are we all in a never-ending quest to be perfect, when it can only end in disappointment?

Pathetic, isn’t it?

Of course, my story is only too common. I was bullied when I was younger for not being pretty enough. I also wasn’t cool enough, wasn’t thin enough, wasn’t fashionable enough. I was basically just not enough.

Then, when I was starting to overcome these differences, I was abused by an ex of mine. I was beaten up, emotionally battered and told I was a ‘fat cow’. Then there is the fact that I have forever been judged as a bimbo simply because I am blonde and have boobs.

Ridiculous, right? I’m not one to boast, but I do actually have a brain.

Anyway, I dwelled on each and every one of these things for years. I was Bulimic throughout University (I still have issues with eating) and I used to self-harm. I was on anti-depressants strong enough to make me numb, and I had many sessions of counseling.

In fact, I remember being on a school trip and breaking down and crying. My whole body racked with heaving, gasping sobs, and I was so distraught I refused to eat for days. I had decided that I would never be ‘beautiful’. I thought no one would ever love me.

Knowing how badly it affected me when I was a little girl, it now makes me furious to see adverts, films and TV shows giving us such a false reality. Just how are we meant to compete with airbrushing? How are young girls supposed to grow up thinking that that is achievable?

We may know that airbrushing happens, but that doesn’t stop it from hurting. That doesn’t stop us from asking why we can’t have lips like that, why our boobs aren’t that perky, or why our legs aren’t that thin.

I have plenty of flaws, I really and truly do. But don’t we all?

I have laughter lines, a scar across the forehead (curling tongs), scars up and down my legs (tomboy), crooked bottom teeth, child-bearing hips and a couple of ‘beauty spots’.

I even have a giant V-shaped scar on my bum from where I sat on my hair straighteners. I had no clothes on. It HURT.

I used to struggle to even face mirrors because I would stand there for hours analysing my flaws. I would literally stare into a magnifying mirror and wonder why I looked bloody awful.

“Ughhh, look at those pores. Like dinner plates!”

“I have a backside the size of Brazil.”

“Oh god, look at that spot. Everyone is going to LAUGH.”

“Jesus, when did I get that line?”

What we have to realise – what I have to realise - is that we all have our imperfections. Yep, even celebrities – they just get a helping hand with theirs.

So what if you have things you’d like to zap into oblivion, boost, or bury beneath a paper bag and hide? Isn’t that what makes us human?

My mission (and yours too!) is to start focusing on the good parts of me, on what I do actually like. Let’s start to see the truth: perfection doesn’t exist - it is a mirage. Each and every single one of us has an imperfection of some sort, and that is what makes us beautiful.