Ignoring societal pressures to look a certain way and embracing beauty.

By Alexis Fletcher

I remember when I was an aesthetician many years ago and I went to a fancy spa for a special event. They had a sale reps from their equally as fancy skin care line giving one on one consultations. Naturally I was very thrilled about this. 

I will never forget that experience. The first thing she told me was, “you need to use this serum to help with the issue of your freckles,” I was dumb founded. I decided several things then and there. My freckles are not a problem. Some people are twits and I will never make women feel bad about themselves.

I am a feminist. The culture of beauty is an interesting one to me. The societal pressure to look a certain way can be detrimental and stifling.  However, we cannot confuse this pressure with the importance of self-care. Taking care of your skin or getting a manicure does not mean you buy into this culture.

Interestingly, there is a flip side to this.  As ideals become more unrealistic, so does the feeling of guilt when doing something for oneself aesthetically.  I often hear women express worry and negative thoughts about making time for themselves.

Having the tools to care for yourself so you can look and feel good is empowering. Taking ownership over your body, whether it’s having the knowledge to treat your acne or express yourself in public, is positive.  Confidence allows you to take care of others better.  We can get out of our heads and focus on the things happening around us.

I must thank that sales rep from many years ago.  She helped me get out of my head.  Freckles are not a fault.  Neither are the wrinkles around your eyes that you get when you smile (and while we’re at it, everybody feet look weird).  This realization has served me well.  Especially since now I am basically one giant freckle.