I feel a great deal more free being able to express myself as more femme than my biology would normally indicate. I’ve generally been quite welcome in this space, too, with only the occasional problem. Shopping at Ulta or Penney’s or the like has been fine, too, though I’m still really learning how to shop.

The other side of it, of course, is that there is an entire industry built upon the insecurities of women. And that’s not right.

I see it when I go into Ulta. There’s a lot about myself that I want to look a certain way. But I have no doubt that I will never look perfect. I don’t really think there is such a thing, honestly. We look how we look to others around us and to ourselves. That’s it.

So I go in to get zany highlighting colours from Nyx and hair tools from BaByliss and and fragrances from Kate Spade and the like. I am making that choice.

On the other hand, there are a fair number of products that are there seemingly to feed into that self-conscious part. You have that one clogged pore—here, you need our system. Which isn’t to say that there isn’t a need for these products—I had rather rotten skin in my teenage years and even now, in my 30s, am susceptible to acne. There are people that need stuff to clear up stuff. Fine. I get that.

But there also seems to be a lot that is built on worry. On negativity. I hate to see that part of it.

I wish I could be more specific. I guess for me the closest thing is clothing. Remember, I’m around 6’3″ and more than 200 pounds. I’m built like a semi-wiry male. So clothing can be rather annoying for me: I can fit in a 10 in something but have to squeeze for a 14 in another. I’m looking at you, Rue21 and Forever 21. The way it all varies and the way people so easily get categorized… dang, that’s tough stuff.

It’s why I appreciate campaigns like the one from Dove, one where they very clearly indicate that there are many different views of beauty. It has the virtue of being true: I, for one, don’t find the blond swimsuit-model look to be attractive. I like difference. Uniqueness.

That’s a positivity we should feed into, rather than letting negativity take away from us.

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