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March 18, 2021
Why do you use beauty products? To improve the health of your skin? To provide yourself with moments of self-care? Or for cosmetic reasons?
Mama Joy and I have always advocated for skin positivity. It’s a beautiful thing to feel proud of, and accepted for our uniqueness, our beautiful differences, or our age (and the physical changes that come with that wisdom). This past year there has been a wonderful skin and body positivity movement on social media. People sharing photos showcasing what in the past may have been considered "flaws". Dropping the filters and the photoshop and just ROCKING their wrinkles, acne, stretch marks, unique bodies, disabilities, natural hair, hair loss, scars and much more. It has been so inspiring to observe and be part of.
But what about when that’s not possible and you’re just not feeling it? When your current body or skin situation or mental health just doesn’t allow you to feel good about your appearance? If seeing other people showing pride in the same things that make you feel badly about yourself…just hurts?
Recently we’ve been thinking about, and practicing, body, skin, hair, and age neutrality. What if, instead of feeling proud of (or badly about) the way we look, we work on understanding that how we look just isn’t that important? To honour our bodies for what they DO rather than how they LOOK?
Easier said than done? True. It’s definitely a process and some days, we just don't quite get there (and that's okay). As with most self-work, it takes time, attention and dedication. Below are some practices that we’ve found helpful to lessen the impact our appearance has on our self-image.
💜 Spend less time on social media, or only follow accounts that make you feel good about yourself. Facebook and Instagram are a place for people to share their lives, and often only the best moments (and cutest photos) are shared. With the addition of filters and photoshop, it can be a misleading representation and lead us to feeling negative about ourselves in comparison.
💜 Throw away your scale (unless you need it for health reasons). Not having a number to react to, can lead to eating for pleasure and exercising for fun and health!
💜 Try to spend less time looking in the mirror or taking selfies. If you find yourself in a cycle of judging your skin in the mirror, posting an affirmation on the mirror can help. My favourite is “You are unique and no one else is like you.”
💜 When I do my skincare routine, rather than looking in the mirror, I touch my skin and observe its softness. I close my eyes and pay attention to how my skin FEELS. Enhancing my self-care rituals with facial massage has been very helpful for treating skincare as a self-care practice, rather than a cosmetic practice.
💜 Drop all body talk from conversations. We started this practice for the benefit of our kids, but it has made such a huge difference in how we feel about ourselves!
💜 Take time each day to celebrate what your body does for you. Go for a walk if you’re able. Eat a delicious meal if you can. If you have hearing, listen to some beautiful music. Create some art. If you have sight, watch your favourite show. Hug a loved one! Do whatever you enjoy and thank your body for making it possible.
💜 Buy clothes that fit you, rather than trying to fit into clothes that don’t. Wear clothing that makes you feel comfortable, has a positive social or environmental impact, or improves your ability to do activities you enjoy, instead of buying clothes based only on appearance.
💜 Pay close attention to your intuition and energy. Spend time with people who make you feel good about yourself. Maintain distance from people who drain your energy or make you question your worth.
We’ve been practicing these tips for the past year and have really found them life changing. We still enjoy putting on makeup, getting dressed up and appreciating our unique beauty. The difference is that now our self-worth is SEPARATE from those things, rather than dependant on them.
Do you have any tips for cultivating deep and meaningful self-love? Let us know in the comments so we can add them to our self-work practices.💜
xoxo Sylvan & Mama Joy
March 19, 2021
I love this discussion and these tips! Thank you so much for sharing ideas that help us focus on what is truly important. Our bodies and our skin are subject to change and the effects of age, That’s just the way it is. But what doesn’t seem to change is our inner self, that part of you who feels eternallly young and vibrant. Some people call this our “inner child” some call it our spirit. It’s the spiritual, divine part of us that keeps us alive, both literally and figuratively. To remember and focus on the fact that we are essentially who are REALLY are on the inside and love and nurture that beautiful, beloved, timeless, endless and eternally wise “soul” part of us. That is the greatest gift we can give ourselves. We are infinitely greater than what we can see on the outside layer.
March 18, 2021
I have to admit I sometimes have a negative view of my appearance and it does affect my daughter too. But I have always seen the individual beauty of each woman l have ever met, there is always something unique and inspiring, so lovely! My husband will tell me I am beautiful and I am trying hard to accept the complement, to tell myself yes I am beautiful, but it’s a struggle, but I am working on it. Social media and the fake beauty that exists there sometimes affects us all especially women I think and my daughter and I discuss this often. Everything has to be perfect or why try and we talk about how people used to do things just for the fun of it! It’s good advice that you have given for coping with things like this.
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