A few months ago I had a rant about the distorted perception of beauty ideals that society feeds us. I thought I was over it but a couple of days ago I was filtering through Instagram and came across hundreds of photos of different women who all look exactly the same – flawless, thin, immaculately contoured faces (and necks!), fashionable clothes and requisite duck-faced-pouting on cue. I am not an envious woman by any means but I found myself marveling at the beauty of these women whilst simultaneously questioning my own.
I am 35 years old and have two kids. I have had enough life experiences to call social media out on bullshit. For heaven sake, I am an advocate for authentic living! I pride myself on my quest for continuous personal development! I know I am awake enough to understand that my body is not my masterpiece – my life is… yet here I was, equipped with all that awareness and I sat obsessively googling “how to lose fat in three days”. Not my finest moment. For a few solid hours, I thought of my body and face as a project that I need to revise. Whatever Instagram tried to sell me, I bought. It took all my fucking money.
For a while. And then I stopped because I was exhausted. It’s exhausting trying to portray my body and face as art. My body and face is a paintbrush that gets to TRANSFER the INSIDES onto the canvas of my life where others are inspired by it. My body can never be my offering. I cannot be cursing my paintbrush every day because if I didn’t have it, I’d have nothing with which to paint my life’s work. And, my life’s work is the love I give and receive through the stories I tell. We are encouraged and willed to obsess over our shapes and sizes and this has no effect on our ability to accept and offer love or kindness or peace or comfort. None. I am sick of it. The longer I sit wringing my hands in agony about the shape of my paintbrush, is less time to get to work painting my life.
I have realised that the truth about it all boils down to one thing. Every single paintbrush shape, colour and size works perfectly – just perfectly. Anyone who wants to tell me the opposite is trying to sell me something. I am not fucking buying. I am painting.