Double Trouble and Magic Potions

For myself, and I think for many women – especially those of us who consider ourselves to be modern, intelligent, feminists, educated or whatever – there is a disconnect between what I think about my body intellectually and what I feel or believe deep down about it. Intellectually, I say to myself that I am naturally beautiful and I don’t need to conform to any social standards, particularly those that devalue and degrade women, in order to be beautiful.

However, all the while that I am telling myself this, I am hating my flabby tummy, hating my big nose, hating the pubic hair that defiantly grows all over my pubic area – in short, believing whole-heartedly that I am not beautiful, because I do not conform to the current definition of beauty.

And then, I hate myself for hating myself – I’m a smart, modern woman; I shouldn’t be hating my body! You can’t win, can you?

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Through this project, I want to explore the construction and creation of beauty, not to mention the acceptance – the possibility of acceptance – of the natural beauty inherent in myself and others. Of course, through these explorations, I will come up against, and question, the unrealistic expectations placed on women; the unrealistic standards, the inhuman standards of beauty demanded of women, when most or all of us are naturally beautiful.

That being said, I don’t think it’s a crime to take care of ourselves, to use lotions and potions on our bodies, to groom ourselves. I don’t think it’s a bad thing to doll ourselves up, to put on make-up in order to look fancy or professional or sexy. Instead of saying all this is wrong, I just want to document and examine things – from my daily beauty rituals to larger issues connected with beauty, bodies, self-acceptance, image, etc.

Perhaps a distinction can be made between being beautiful and getting fancy, getting all dolled up. Perhaps make-up makes us fancy, but we are all naturally beautiful – and we do not need all the make-up and waxing and colouring and shaving to make ourselves beautiful.

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2 Responses to Double Trouble and Magic Potions

  1. kimmirrors says:

    Liz,
    I appreciate what you’re doing here and will look forward to following you on this part of your journey. I have long considered myself to have a rare type of BDD, Body Dismorphic Disorder, in that almost without exception I can look at myself in the mirror and no matter what the reflection is, I honestly say to myself, “Damn girl, you are hot!” I’m talking even during times that I know I have either put on weight or lost too much weight, my hair isn’t coiffed, my attire isn’t stylish, the list goes on, and yet I honestly believe I look amazing! To say that I agree wholeheartedly with the old adage that “beauty is only skin deep” would be an understatement. That said, I’m curious about what you will discover with this experiment and looking forward to reading what you have to share with others in cyberspace. Should be an enlightening adventure. Thanks for inviting me along. Kim

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