Although it feels strange to start a blog about beauty, I have been asked nearly every week for tips. In a culture that still holds youth as a prerequisite to beauty, it might seem strange for a 43-year old woman to ask for Oblique Beauty tips. But maybe my age can help bring a different perspective to a blog about the topic.
You must feel good if you want to appear attractive.
My top tip is the old saying, “You must suffer to be beautiful.” This is a terrible idea. It’s toxic, cruel, and geared almost exclusively at women. The line is designed to make them spend a lot on costly and often painful fashions and treatments. My experience is that if you want look great, or even fabulous, you have to feel okay.
Although feeling okay can be subjective and not always possible for everyone, it is possible to feel happy whenever you want. This blog is all about beauty. It also includes the pain that you might choose to inflict on yourself to meet an Oblique Beauty standard.
Long-term thinking is key.
My mother passed away far too young. Each day is a miracle in my eyes. Statistics show that I will likely live to my eighties or even beyond. Although there are no guarantees in this life, these averages are worth considering. I can recall feeling immense pressure when I was younger to be able to solve all my problems by the age of 25. I was always trying to please others. To please others, or to get work, I changed my appearance. I wanted to be fashionable. I may add that not all of my attempts were successful. I wish I could tell the younger me ‘this too will pass’, that the approval of strangers doesn’t matter, that those expensive shoes/clothes/treatments weren’t actually going to change my life, that I wouldn’t find the right partner for me until I was in my thirties, and that it is better to be alone than with people who are harmful. I wish I could travel back in time to tell myself that many things that seem important now won’t be as important in a few decades.
There are no bad bodies. Only bad clothes.
You are not the problem if your body isn’t able to fit into the clothes or you don’t look like the models in the ads.
You don’t have to look like this model. You don’t have to wear those jeans. It doesn’t matter if you have that stuff. There is no perfect body, but everyone is beautiful. You can look better in clothes if you find the right clothes for you. You can cultivate your style and beauty.
Remember, some fat is healthy.
There is a culture epidemic of fat-shaming and thin-shaming. I want to make it clear that fat is normal, beautiful and acceptable. I suggest looking at different beauty pages if you don’t see people who are bigger or curvier than you are (or people of average weight) in beauty pages. It is harmful and false to think that only thin people or only white people, only those under 30, only ablebodied people, or only cis-gender persons are beautiful or fashionable.
When I was modeling, my weight fluctuated (hello, unhappy/pressure to lose weight). Looking back and even now, I see that I look much better than I did when I was underweight for my body type.
I felt happier when I wasn’t trying to shrink my body (point 1), I felt healthier (point 2), and I had better health over the long-term (point 2). However, I also realized that the fat I carried was part of what helped me look better. This was flattering for me. Although my body knew the right balance, I did not listen to it. Pressure from toxic boyfriends and modeling agencies also didn’t help. Your ideal balance will be different. However, please don’t think that being thinner or more beautiful is better. It’s not true.
Four things you can do today to make tomorrow better
It’s a common question that I get asked about my look before a shoot. So I’ll share it with you. This might be a good idea for you.
My experience is that looking good for a shoot/special event/the special occasion in your life is largely dependent on feeling good. It’s easy and it works like this:
– Don’t drink (or do drugs) today.
Take it easy today on salty foods.
Get enough water every day.
Get a good night’s sleep tonight.
I admit that I love salty foods and sometimes enjoy a glass of wine. My daughter is a wonderful person who doesn’t like me getting enough sleep. I don’t like following strict routines or diets (even the simple ones), so I won’t be following this plan all day. However, part of my professional life includes public appearances and feeling sharp/not drunk. If I have a big speech, a video shoot or just want to feel better, these are four things I will do. It works every time.