We hosted our Princess Tea Party a little over a month ago and as promised I’ll be posting here my speech which was delivered at the event.
Please share your thoughts on this subject in the comments section.
The subject of beauty is one that is very important to us as females.
Right from infancy, it would seem that we are conditioned to respond more to beautiful things. Mothers would attest to the fact that more attention is given to the appearance their daughters than their sons, especially when they are very little.
When my daughter was born, it was as though a rainbow had swooshed through our apartment as we suddenly found ourselves in a sea of brightly coloured apparels and accessories, much of which were gifts from friends and relatives.
As we grow older, our looks become the currency with which we transact with the world. We learn very quickly that people respond to us based on how we look or the image we are projecting. When our looks is in conformity with the set standard at that time, we tend to get more positive responses from people.
The saying “don’t judge a book by its cover”, doesn’t always hold true as very often, it is the ‘cover’ we present that becomes the lead magnet to our content.
However, becoming a slave to fashion is one sure way to frustration and depression. While it is good to pay attention to ones looks, keeping up with current trends can be quite onerous especially in the light of the fact that societal standards of beauty is constantly changing.
It would seem as though, one minute we are being told that to be fair skinned is more preferable, while the very next minute, dark skinned models are being celebrated. Many of us grew up subjecting our hair to harsh chemicals in a bid to achieve the straight permed look only to find out now that we should have left the nappy hair we were born with!
What’s a girl to do!?
About 51% of responses to a survey stated that the responders had suffered some degree of bullying based on their looks.
As ladies, I am sure that many of us can relate to having experienced negativity or some degree of pressure to fit into societal standard of beauty.
I remember as a child, being the subject of much teasing because of my dark skin. I became used to nicknames like ‘Blackie shadow’ and other derogatory appellations, tagged on me by people who thought it was just harmless fun. But while they had their fun, my self-esteem got so damaged that by the time I became a teenager, I had become very shy and introverted and my academic performance was affected by it too.
Examples abound of people who have suffered from the effects of being shamed because of their looks. My sister once told me about a lady who came to her to buy some dieting aids for her children because she felt they were too fat! Her choice of words and her attitude bothered my sister who wondered how she must have been body shaming the poor kids.
The essence of this summit – Princess Tea Party, is to provide a platform where as women, we can come together to confront the issues that affect us on an emotional level. This summit is designed to be a therapeutic experience.
For those of you who like me, have suffered the negative effect of body image issues, there is help in the house. We expect that as we go on with the programme, the scales will fall from your eyes and light will flood in to illuminate your soul, shinning on the beauty that is locked up within.
Many of us are ‘Sleeping Beauties’, we are walking around waiting for true love’s kiss while the beauty within us remains asleep under layers of self-doubt, insecurity, low self-esteem and the need for external validation. You do not have to wait for 100 years before the beauty that is within can come alive – it’s time to “WAKE UP!!!”
Beauty is not the birth right of a chosen few, it is a treasure anyone can claim if only they knew how. The good news is that each one of us is born beautiful, we are all attractive in our own unique ways, however, like precious jewels, our beauty lies hidden beneath the surface and needs to be mined and processed before its true value can be revealed. It is possible to awaken one’s inner beauty but like everything in life, it requires effort but the results are always amazing!!!
I’d like to share some of my beauty tips with you.
- LOVE YOURSELF.
Self-love is the foundation of my beauty regime.
It is said that “beauty is in the eye of the beholder” and my question is, “who is beholding you?” if no one is beholding you, then you’d better behold yourself!
Take a good look at yourself and decide what your best features are – it could be your eyes, the shape of your nose, your complexion or your legs, it could even be the way you smile or your personality. Whatever it is, appreciate that feature and play it up to your best advantage.
Many atimes, we focus on our weaknesses as we compare ourselves to others. This will only rob you of your joy and shatter your self-esteem.
Sometime in my teenage years, I began to receive compliments from friends about my legs and for the first time in my life I was being celebrated, what I did then was to start wearing short outfits which showed up my ‘best’ assets and the more compliments I received, the more my confidence grew. That was how I was able to shake off the gloomy cloud I had been living under!
- DEVELOP YOUR MIND.
Being intelligent, being socially aware and having great conversational skills are very attractive qualities in everyone. They impart confidence in you and make you a point of attraction to others.
You invest in your mind by reading, travelling and exposing yourself to diverse kinds of information. The internet is a minefield when it comes to acquiring knowledge but sadly many ladies merely use it for self-promotion.
Don’t be a beauty without brains. There is nothing as repulsive as a beautiful face with a vacuous mind.
- TAKE GOOD CARE OF YOUR BODY.
Your body is a tool for your effectiveness here on earth. For you to achieve anything here on earth, you need your body and it is important for that body to function well.
Work hard at being healthy, eat well, drink plenty of water, take regular exercise and sleep well.
Be sure to take care of your personal hygiene and ensure that you are well groomed always.
Your skin is the largest organ of your body and it sometimes can be a barometer for the state of your internal health. When your body is not well taken care of or is under stress, you often find yourself to breakout in spots or other types of skin diseases. Unfortunately, many ladies use cosmetics to mask these problems instead of fixing the problem by imbibing healthy lifestyle changes.
- PRACTICE MINDFULNESS.
From time to time, move away from the noise and chaos that characterises daily living and spend some time alone in peaceful meditation or prayer.
If you can afford it, find at least one hour in your day in which you can be alone with yourself.
Practice deep breathing during these times to relax your body.
There is no makeup artist talented enough to recreate the beauty that is reflected on a relaxed face.
- MIND YOUR BODY LANGUAGE.
Even when you’re not talking, you are still saying something by the way you comport your body. This is known as ‘body language’. It consists of the non-verbal signals you are sending to the world through your composure.
From the way you’re sitting or standing, or by the expressions on your face, even a casual observer can decipher your state of emotions. People can read a lot about what is going on in your mind from the way you are carrying your body.
For an instant boost of confidence, stand up straight, pull back your shoulders and smile. When you project confidence, you immediately add an attractiveness to your being which draws people towards you.
- FIND YOUR OWN STYLE.
It is alright to be trendy and aware of current styles but don’t be a slave to fashion. Bear in mind that not every style that is in vogue suits everyone.
For instance, the current catsuit style is not for everyone but yet I still see some women whose body shape is not suited for the style still wearing catsuits! This fashion trend is very unforgiving to those of us with big tummies or big bums.
Develop your own style based on what is flattering for your body shape and what bests accentuates your best features whilst taking attention away from your less attractive features.
Remember that there is beauty in our diversity so don’t be a clone of any fashion model.
- MIND YOUR LANGUAGE.
In the Bible, it is written that ‘it is not what goes into a man that corrupts him, but what comes out of him’. Many people poison their bodies and their environments by the word they speak.
Learn to say positive things about yourself and others. This starts with having positive thoughts. The Bible tells us that ‘as a man thinks so is he’. We form our reality out of the words we speak. If you want to be beautiful, say beautiful things to yourself. If you want other people to find you attractive, say beautiful things about them.
One thing I’ve been trying to instill into my daughter is to
‘always have a compliment waiting on your lips for the next person you meet’.
People are more attracted to the person that makes them feel good about themselves.
In conclusion, I want everyone here to know that there are different expressions of beauty. The way you look is just an expression of your beauty. Much of your beauty comes from who you truly are and how you relate with your world, so invest more of your resources into becoming a better you.