Who run the world? Girls. No seriously, how privileged are we to be living in a time where women are the most powerful they have ever been. I’m so inspired by the amazing women I meet and read about that I have decided to start a “Female Focused” segment on the blog where I write about a particular woman every month that has impacted me. I mean, look at some of these incredible figures – we are in some of the most coveted positions in the government (yasss Vice President Kamala Harris!), we are the CEO of Fortune 500 companies (go Rihanna!), and we are some of the richest, self-made people in the world (I love you Oprah Winfrey, with an astounding $2.5B USD net worth). Yet throughout all of these coups that we have managed to achieve over the years, we still have the tiresome and nagging voice in our head that has been drilled into each and every woman their whole lives by society – the pressure to achieve our dream and be beautiful at the same time.
Beauty standards these days are simply not achievable – and don’t ever forget that. If you have any form of social media in your life (I have a few…), the amount of apps out there where you can nip, tuck, smooth, conceal and more is shocking. In 2020, it was reported that 71% percent of women didn’t post a picture of themselves without modifying it first (Grazia). When our first instinct when we take a photo is to modify it, we know that we have a problem with the pressure women face in society. It’s literally virtual cosmetic surgery… and to be honest, when you first try it, it’s pretty satisfying! But how do we do it in a way that isn’t destructive to ourselves and to other women. Here is someone who truly inspires me who is paving the path to a more realistic and empowered future for women.
If you haven’t heard of Emily Clarkson, I highly suggest that you look her up. This 26 year-old influencer based in London is sharing such important messages about body confidence with her community. So much so that she has managed to amass close to 200K followers on Instagram. I think women are looking for a beacon of light in this minefield of beauty standards. She posts videos that go viral about filters on apps and even on the social media channels themselves, this is one of my favourites. Her mission is to have women (and men for that matter!) question what they see on social media, and understand that most likely, they are being lied to. More likeminded women like Emily are popping up every day and, as a woman who works in social media, I thank her for her honest and refreshing perspective on beauty standards. “When we are constantly filtering ourselves, even subtly with things like the Paris filter on Instagram, our real lives will never ever look as good as they do on the Internet,” she says. If the reflection we see in the mirror is ‘uglier’ than the one we see on [social media] we’re just setting ourselves up for disaster.” – Emily Clarkson.
I challenge any blogger or influencer out there to put their bare face on social from time to time. Ahhh! That’s a scary one, right? I love makeup, and am no stranger to a bit of retouching, but I do try to level with my community and share when I’m having a bad skin day, or when my hair falls flat, or when I simply can’t even film because I’m not liking how my body is looking on camera. It affects us all and no one in my industry has told me otherwise. It won’t happen overnight, but I think if we band together, we can make a difference to the brainwashing that has happened to an entire demographic of women. Little by little if we push ourselves to be just a touch more real, we will get there.
I agree. While there’s nothing wrong with being attractive (duh!) and trying to look your best, being the person your dog/husband/kids see first thing in the morning, sans makeup, is SO important. It connects you to your audience! The few Influencers I follow are funny, fun, beautiful, and not afraid to talk about the “real” stuff; periods, acne, large pores, weight, mental health. My favourite video’s are when you’re being silly or saying, that’s it, I’m done and I’m going to eat cake and watch Netflix. Keeping it real, ( really real!) is what good content is. It’s what you (and other like minded influencers) can be proud of.