Why does our mission to help women feel good about how they look and what they wear matters
Lets look at some facts, in early 1900s women were forced to put down their aprons, rally together and fight for equal rights to vote and equal rights to work and choose their professions. Over the past hundred years we went from being expected to raise kids and cook three course dinners every night to being expected to look like Heidy Klum, have a career, have Instagram friendly family days out and make Pinterest inspired DIY party decorations while still rallying together and continuing to fight for equal pay and equal rights not to be groped by men in power. That’s a whole lot of plates to spin and a whole lot of pressure.
I’m not going to go into too much detail on how due to the rise of social media and popularity of celebrity culture most women feel under a lot of pressure to look like those women on the covers of magazines. You have heard it all before. Personally I have been on some sort of diet for the past 20 year. I pretty much failed at all of them
On the other hand feminism encourages us to love ourselves just the way we are, all natural. Well, thanks for that! If looking in the mirror I don’t like the bags under my eyes or all my jiggly bits I now fail at self-love too?
Here are two polar opposite images, both promising women happiness and fulfillment once achieved and here we are, unable to achieve either and beating ourselves up over it as if previously mention pressures of being a modern day woman were not enough.
We say why not aim for the middle? If some days we swing a little to one side and other days a little to the other then that’s ok, at least we remain in the ballpark area of where we want to be. So as you might have guessed I am talking about balance rather than perfection. We don’t need to look like supermodels to be successful, all we need is to care about how we look and here is why.
In 1910 Wallace D. Wattles wrote that humans live their lives on three levels: Mind, Body and Soul. In order to live a full and fulfilling life we need to take care of all three levels and neglecting one over another will deprive us of full potential to happiness. We need love and connection for our soul, we need to learn, be challenged and experience new things for our mind and we need to take care of our bodies, eat healthy, exercise and develop some sort of love and appreciation for it. Aiming for perfection can lead most of us to disappointment and guilt so why not aim for balance and alignment instead? We are not talking about vanity at all. As vanity is yet another extreme. If your looks are ‘be all and end all’ for you then you are probably not getting fulfillment in the areas of mind and soul. We are talking about embracing being a woman and about that look on a woman’s face when she sees herself in the mirror for the first time wearing something that really suits her and knows she looks good! And there is absolutely no shame in that! Being proud of your appearance does not automatically mean that you are facilitating objectification of all women, nor does it mean that you have nothing else to offer to the world. It is not ‘either or’ situation. Let’s look at amazing women like Oprah Winfrey, Reese Witherspoon, Michelle Obama………… they are all crushing it in their respective fields and relentlessly promote women as entrepreneurs and influencers and they are doing it in stiletto heels and most amazing gowns. They don’t all match all the beauty standards but their influence and success does not depend on it. They simply embrace all aspects of being a woman. And that brings me back to that look and that feeling. I’m sure you all experienced it before. If you are out shopping for a special occasion and find something that emphasizes just the right parts of your body and fits you like a glove and you just want to do a little dance right there in the changing room because you know you look the best version of yourself, you look good! How does that feel? Don’t you feel a little taller, more confident, a little lighter, don’t you hold your head a little higher? There is absolutely no denying, irrespective of gender looking good on the outside makes us feel better and more confident on the inside. However, there is also no denying that leading a fulfilling life, looking after your health, exercising, laughing often and loving intently makes us happy on the inside and as a result makes us glow and look good on the outside too. So we are back to the same situation where we are best served not by choosing either inner beauty or outer appearance but going for the balance of both.
Second reason for caring about how you look is pure and simple human psychology or in other words- judgement! Please don’t rush into judging judgement. Its only human and trust me, you do it too! Have you heard the saying that we eat with our eyes first? Most of the time we savor and appreciate visually attractive food more than homely, rustic slop of a stew, we decorate our homes and gardens with flowers and we even wrap gifts in pretty paper and bows to make it even more appealing and joyous to the receiver. Therefore it should come as no surprise that most people give preference to people who they find visually pleasing. That rule applies in professional world as well as personal. Psychologists in Princeton University claim that impressions are formed in less than tenth of a second of meeting a person. It’s logical to wonder if a person who has no idea how to dress appropriately for the role they are applying for or currently hold have the competence to perform the role to the highest standard. It is said that a how you do anything is how you do everything. So it is logical to doubt whether a person who does not care at all about her or his appearance will have the right maturity and pride in their work. People will make impressions and judge you based on your appearance whether you want it or not, so why not send the right impression from the start rather than work twice as hard to trying to prove your competence later?
Ask yourself, what impression you are trying to make? Are you an ambitious entrepreneur or knowledgeable corporate career woman? Now look in the mirror. Look objectively, without judging or focusing on specific parts of your body you tend to be least pleased with and concentrate on first. Does the way you look create the right impression? The world is going to make impression of your either way, are you sending the right one? Let’s be real, if you don’t have the right skills a power dress can only take you so far, however if you invested lots of time and effort into developing your professional skills it makes sense to ‘package’ them appropriately. Once again, no woman needs to choose between her skills and abilities and looks. You are best served giving appropriate attention to both and it is completely up to you how far you want to take it. We do not promote risking your health or financial stability with pursuit of unattainable beauty goals, however if on the inside you are an attractive, professional, knowledgeable woman who is in control of her life and up to date with the world it would only benefit you if your appearance said exactly that.