“Looking good” can cost you a hell of a lot of money. Regular hair cuts, manicures, waxing, and keeping up with the latest trends don’t come cheap. Even doing it at home means you’re potentially buying hair dye, nail varnish, make up, hair straighteners, curling irons, and wax strips or razors. I’m not anti any of this; they can also be a hell of a lot of fun. But the important thing is to realise that they aren’t stuff we need. Using them is a choice: a choice which leaves us completely in control of what we need to look like and what we want to buy.
Some of my happiest weekends have been spend make up free, wearing walking boots and scruffy clothes. Some days I’m having too much fun to brush the hair on my head, let alone remove it from other parts of my body. Other days, it’s super fun to dress up, do my hair, paint my nails and put on make up.
But recently I’ve been feeling the pressure. It started innocently enough: I began browsing through outfits on pinterest to hone my Project 333 look. Outfits took me to hair and beauty, occasional browsing turned to whenever I was waiting for the kettle to boil, and soon I was hooked. Pinterest can be great for getting ideas and inspiration. But looking at picture after picture of beautiful well-dressed women was starting to make me feel really bad about myself. I was comparing how I look to how they look and coming out lacking. I was starting to feel as though I had to make an effort to look good. Every. Single. Day. And even that wasn’t enough.
It’s worth remembering that a lot of money goes into convincing us that we need to buy things to be beautiful. It’s also worth remembering that we have a choice, that we can say no.
So I’m going to stay away from pinterest and from instagram for a while, and I’m going to try and get back in touch with my own sense of style and awesomeness. Because I know from experience that the longer I stay away from conventional images and beauty, the more attractive I feel. I become less fixated on what I look like, and more confident about what comes out of my mouth. I remember that yes, I could stay in and shape my eyebrows, but I’d much rather me having a laugh down the pub. Give me a bottle of wine over a mascara wand any day.
Disclaimer: Alcohol is possibly not the answer to long term happiness either. But I think you get my point.