[unpaid/prioradrelationship] Trying to dodge the commercial aspect of International Women’s Day especially when it comes to the beauty industry is like trying walking in the rain with no umbrella. However, one initiative caught my eye because I think it speaks to all of us by laying bare our doubts and giving some thoughtful actions to address them. Something I know I’m guilty of is hearing the negative – I can hear 100 compliments and one negative comment and the thing I take away with me is the one not the 100. According to The Body Shop, one in two women feel more self-doubt than self-love. 47% of women in the UK feel they are ‘no good at all’ and 60% of women worldwide wish they had more respect for themselves.

Being immersed in the world of beauty is not helpful in maintaining confidence and particularly being a mid-lifer in a social media world which is thoroughly geared to prizing youth. However, it’s not easy for many people for many reasons and yet its an irreversible part of our lives, so it’s a question of getting on with it, making choices about what you see and what you hear by editing who and what you follow. I spent my most ‘successful’ years almost crippled by doubt and stepping back by not chasing a following, not trying to compete and not being sucked into the toxic abyss has been the best thing I’ve ever done. I do me and let others do them and leave it at that and finally, I’m comfortable.

Self-love isn’t about being all immersed in oneself, it’s more about raising yourself up so that you can raise others – its a bigger thing than self-involvement. It’s important and it matters that your doubts get lower while your confidence gets higher – and it’s easier to write than it is to do. The Body Shop’s campaign is about sharing a million acts of self-love to impress that self-love isn’t about having a bath or using a lotion or finding a new mascara (however nice those things may be), it’s about digging deeper within to respect and appreciate long ignored or under appreciated aspects of yourself. If you can form one thought of self-appreciation reading this, that’s a journey started. That thing that you can appreciate about yourself is something that others may see and begin to appreciate about themselves – confidence is catchy!

Something I do quite a bit of work on is ageing and the language the beauty industry uses to keep mid-lifers caught in an eternal youth seeking trap. I will say, again, that beauty isn’t one thing, it’s many, many things. Your beauty isn’t something that you are forever losing or is continually disappearing. Beauty changes as you age but it’s not something lost – you always, always have it but easily forget to see it. The act of self-love I can suggest is not passing the narrative we’ve learned on and to try and unlearn that your own beauty is diminishing.

There’s no emotional utopia in life (I don’t think!) but small things add up – I’m guessing but I think the idea of being able to raise others up will be the point that resonates because we are so used to not putting ourselves first. Acceptable if it’s for others, but not if it’s ‘just’ for ourselves….

Anyway, I’ll refer you to the campaign HERE but also remind you, in the vein of self-love, that if it doesn’t resonate with you, feels like yet another thing to add to the emotional pile, or is in any way triggering, move on. Positive choice is self-love.

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