In the wake of International Women’s Day, I came across a couple of quotes that made me stop and think. More than a decade ago, blogger Erin McKean, writer of A Dress A Day, wrote:
You Don’t Have to Be Pretty. You don’t owe prettiness to anyone. Not to your boyfriend/spouse/partner, not to your co-workers, especially not to random men on the street. You don’t owe it to your mother, you don’t owe it to your children, you don’t owe it to civilization in general. Prettiness is not a rent you pay for occupying a space marked “female”.
Then, on March 8, International Women’s Day, Susan B. of une femme d’un certain âge wrote:
You don’t owe it to the world to look taller and thinner. You don’t owe it to the world to look younger or more conventionally attractive. You only owe it to yourself to be authentic, to wear what feels right.
Why do we, as women, feel the need to conform to some preconceived image of beauty? Negative body image, often fuelled by media and advertising, contributes to eating disorders, depression, anxiety, relationship problems, substance abuse, and a variety of other health issues. It’s time for us as women to say no more. We are NOT decorations!
There is nothing wrong with wanting to be pretty, but the question I would ask is why? Why do you want to look or dress a certain way? Is it to please yourself or someone else?
Whether your approach to fashion tends toward minimalism like this look from Jessture by Jessica Hu,
is colourful and eclectic like Iris Apfel’s,
or falls somewhere in between, discover your unique style and feel true to who you are. It’s so much more important to be happy and healthy than to fit someone else’s idea of pretty, sexy, or alluring. After all, you’re a person of immeasurable value, not a decoration!