We’ve all done it, stood in the check-out line and been tempted by the lure of those pretty faces smiling at you and hot button topics pulling you in. You reach for it, and then you realize what the “h*** am I doing”? Fashion magazines are poison.
You’re drawn in by the glamour of the beautiful people, the latest trends and new makeup tips. From the moment you pick it up, you find yourself comparing yourself to the women in the magazine. Heck, I’ll admit I’m in the same boat as you! I like looking at the new looks for inspiration too, but ultimately these are ways they control what we think and how we feel about ourselves. Advertisements are designed to entice you, then sucker you. We may consciously know that the images are altered and perfected, but subconsciously we are becoming infected with self-hate.
Why should you define your style by the trends? It is YOUR style, afterall. Let me tell you a secret, and I am not in “the industry”, but they aren’t doing anything that you couldn’t do. Experimenting with shape, texture, color, etc is not the work of a genius, if you ask me. You have eyes, decide for yourself whether or not you like the look. It is all about how YOU FEEL in the clothes. Honestly, I have kept clothing items for 5+ years because I can still pair them with items in my closet for an interesting look and still feel good wearing them. Who you are and how you feel, should not be defined based on “the industry” standards. Personally, I enjoy being and looking a little off-beat because it allows me to be unique and feel like ME! The less I look at the trends, the more I enjoy being in my own skin. The more attention I pay to my own beauty and allow it to radiate from the inside out.
As a woman of color, the messaging can be even more harmful. With titles like “Ten 5-minute hairstyles” and “Find the Right Shade for You”, women of color are faced with a not-so-subtle reality that we are omitted from the selected skin tones, and hair textures. Yes, many magazines are becoming more and more inclusive. But, of the 4 or 5 white models chosen to represent each look, 1 black model simply does not include the full range of darker skin tones. I see the attempt, but no. Sure, there are black fashion magazines, and they have value, but why is it necessary to create our own magazine to make sure we are covered? Does that sound inclusive to you? The message is clear. We feel othered, and it does not feel good.
I know society tells us we must look a certain way, but if we all followed the rules, we’d all be carbon copies of each other. That’s actually pretty much what people in the ‘burbs’ look like, but I digress. My game plan in creating my own style, which is still a work in progress, is to marry classic pieces with pieces that are unique and visually appealing to me. This helps me to maintain a level of normalcy, so that other humans don’t run away from me, but also so that I can express my inner weirdo, which I love.
I saw a clip of a recent recording of Good Day DC, the two black hosts had some interesting facial reactions to the discussion of the alleged “Most Desirable Face”. Their side eye was absolutely correct. First of all, whose beauty standards are we talking about? Second of all, who even cares? Why is it even valuable to discuss the most “desired” face? As if the media hasn’t already damaged our perceptions of beauty, now we need a face to aspire to as well? My face, my size, my skin, my hair and any other body part should not be up for scrutiny against unrealistic ideals and standards. Each of us are unique and beauty is not a commodity, despite what the media wants you to think. You already are beautiful. #yourbeautyiseternal
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