Bouncy hair…preferably blonde.
White skin…but with a sun-kissed glow, of course (though no freckles, please).
Thin… but not too thin.
Smooth skin…not a stray hair in sight.
That’s the beauty ideal, right? That’s the image you’ve been sold for years and the image you’ve likely spent thousands of pounds trying to achieve. Those are the beauty boxes you’ve been trying to tick.
Only, there are loads of us out there that are never going to look like that. Not even close.
So we flick through magazines and scroll through Instagram feeling more inadequate by the second. We constantly seek out new ways to mould our bodies and faces into something that they just aren’t meant to be.
And whose fault is it? Why are so many of us becoming obsessed with obtaining an impossible ‘perfection’?
Conservative politician Baroness Williams is in no doubt about where to lay blame for this cult of perfection that leaves so many women (and men) with rock-bottom self-esteem. Talking to the Telegraph she said, ‘There’s an obsession in the beauty industry with perfection and many girls have got such a distorted perception of what beauty and perfection looks like’.
So is it a problem with the beauty industry? Are we to blame for this epidemic of low self-esteem?
Twenty or so years ago I would have said yes. Everyone from big beauty houses to small independent salons fixated on a singular view of beauty. The leggy blonde with perfect skin, naturally perky boobs and glossy hair was hard to avoid. We saw her on TV ads, billboards, in magazines. Stores and salons were packed with lotions and potions designed to hide our imperfections or eliminate our lumps and bumps. Beauty was very much about covering up ‘flaws’ and trying to become something (or someone) else.
The tide is turning.
As legacies go, it ain’t great. But although that very much sums up what the beauty industry has been (and what it still is, in some cases) it doesn’t dictate what the beauty industry stands for now, or what it has to be going forward.
Already the tide is turning against this one-size-fits-all version of beauty.
Women of colour still don’t enjoy the same range of make-up options as their white sisters but cosmetic brands are starting to stock a wider variety of shades to cater for people with darker skin tones. Women at the larger end of the sizing scale still aren’t represented particularly well in beauty ads but we are beginning to see more diversity in model sizes on TV. Advertisers are now using women over 50 to showcase their anti-ageing products. And there is definitely far less airbrushing going on now than there was 10 years ago.
We’re leading the way.
At Mimosa, we absolutely love the changes we’re seeing in the beauty industry. After all, we’ve been preaching this stuff for years — the salon was founded on the belief that every single one of you is beautiful, exactly as you are. The belief that true beauty starts deep within you, and that how you feel is far more important than how you look, is at the heart of everything we do. As is the belief that there is no cookie-cutter version of beauty.
And while it’s great to see bigger brands (finally!) beginning to empower rather than belittle women, we’re not sure that we should wait around for the traditional beauty industry to catch up and to make us feel worthy, make us feel empowered or make us feel gorgeous. We have to grab that stuff for ourselves. With both hands!
The beauty industry isn’t blameless. For years certain factions of it have been touting a false ideal. And for years certain brands have failed to recognise that our differences and our ‘flaws’ are part of what makes us all so flippin’ gorgeous.
But for every beauty brand out there that has failed us so spectacularly, know that there are those of us who have been here all along, championing you and your own version of beauty. And we’re going to keep on doing exactly that.
So slap on the fake tan IF you love how it looks. But know that your natural pale skin is equally gorgeous.
Wax your legs, your brows and your bits IF that’s what works for you. But know that there’s nothing wrong with you if that’s not your thing.
Have a manicure IF that pop of coral pink brightens your mood when you’re typing. But know that you can look just as polished without it.
Don’t do it because a magazine article told you that you should. Don’t do it because a TV ad made you feel inadequate. Do it for you, and you alone. Or don’t do it at all!
Whatever beauty looks like to you — and more importantly, however you want it to make you feel — we’re here to help make it happen. Book your next appointment today and celebrate your beauty, your way.