As I am currently staring down the prospective barrel of a discounted gym membership (because they always have those deals around New Year’s), I realized the other night that I could not touch my toes from a seated position on the floor, legs stretched out in front of me, so maybe I’m not the best person to be giving anyone health or wellness advice, but I’ve never been a “resolutions” type of person anyway. There’s nothing to resolve! Life goes on until it doesn’t, and change is a constant, so the very nature of resolutions is the status quo!

(Related: Fashion Advice to See You Into 2023).

Not to get all philosophical on you, because that is not what this is supposed to be about. I would much rather toss some beauty revolutions your way than resolutions — it’s way more exciting that way and probably more likely to actually get done. But I can’t think of any right now other than if you have a breakout, wear a bold lip color, and no one will notice because they will just look at you and go, “Oh, lipstick.”

30-second summary:

  • The article encourages readers to recognize and reject societal pressures about beauty, choosing instead to define and embrace it in their own personal way.
  • It highlights the importance of optimism and working towards positive objectives, rather than dwelling on past troubles or societal expectations.
  • The author promotes the idea of beauty as a form of empowerment, a concept that can be owned and uniquely expressed rather than conformed to.
  • It challenges traditional New Year’s resolutions, advocating for continuous change and self-actualization rather than a once-a-year commitment.
  • Overall, the piece is an inspiring and candid reflection on self-awareness, individuality, and the strength found in embracing one’s own unique beauty and power.

I’m trying not be too sad about the ending of this year. A lot of troubling shit went down and continues to go down, this is true, but to march forward into another Gregorian (or was it Roman?) structured faction of time with defeat weighing heavily in our hearts would be the wrong thing to do. I don’t like telling people what to do, but I can say from experience that not only do you have to work towards good things happening, but first you have to choose to let good things be the objective (alternatively, if you want chaos, it’s very easy to achieve chaos!).

And what about beauty? To me, the very word connotes optimism, self-actualization, and all that good stuff. I mean, beauty is power — sort of in the way that they say knowledge is power, but beauty is just as important because just think of all the miserable wannabes out there who don’t see their own beauty and/or are constantly trying to fulfill someone else’s definition of it. Beauty doesn’t look just one certain way, obviously. It’s a mutable, fluid, and sometimes fickle concept. But I think it’s best represented when it’s fully owned and unabashedly worn, like a favorite shirt or some wacky brooch. Believe me, enough things are uncertain out there, so having a handle on yourself and your abilities is a top-notch starting place.

And I’m not even necessarily talking about cosmetic beauty, although that’s always been a wonderful ritual to connect yourself to your own beauty. I mean, that’s what makeup does, doesn’t it? On some special occasions, I set aside a generous portion of time to “get ready” and essentially become myself — or at least the version of myself that I want to be for the time being.

I’ll probably always feel a bit weird encouraging people to “feel beautiful” because, honestly, it’s so personal and mostly none of my business, but I totally want you to.

Same with the whole “be confident” mantra — easier said than done! Honestly, if I can just be comfortable, that’s leagues ahead to begin with. Feel whatever you need to feel to be OK with stuff — it’s the difficult, confusing shit that often yields those lighting bolt realizations that you never would’ve reached if you just went along telling yourself you were fine the whole time.

But then again, I’ve spent the better portion of my young adulthood trying to unlearn the conditioning that women are supposed to be beautiful, like it’s our #2 duty in life other than making babies (or possibly #1 to get to #2?). 

I mean, that’s mostly it for me. There are a lot of perspectives about beauty, and the internet is never lacking in several ways to tell you How to Beauty (myself included, hah!), but ultimately it’s up to you.

Once I started choosing beauty in a personal and thoughtful way, and not as just some icky feeling about playing into some confining social arena where women are pitted against each other to triumph as the fairest of them all (thanks a lot, literally every children’s fairy tale I grew up with!), I started really having fun in my own skin.

At least now, when I’m taking forever to get ready, it’s because I want to perfect my most terrifyingly sharp liner and not because I’m futzing over whether my hair looks stupider up or down (I also realized that no one really notices that shit anyway so it really is just up to me). 

So, yeah. Guys, the future may be looking rocky, but if any YA fiction novel about a teenage girl leading a rebellion of the people against the crushing regime of an oppressive government has taught me anything — and there have been a lot in the past couple years, haven’t there (I have also been re-watching a ton of Buffy the Vampire Slayer) — there’s no better time than now to get very much acquainted with your own power if you have caught any of my aforementioned drifts.

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