5 Ways To Say Eff Your Beauty Standards | Uncustomary

We’ve come a little ways in the realm of body positivity and I’m proud of us, but there’s an enormous road ahead of us. Just because Tess Holliday landed a major contract and is the first size-22 supermodel doesn’t mean we can put a neat little check mark in the box next to “Body Positivity” on our to do list.

What would that check mark even represent, though? I’d like to think what we’re going for is making everyone feel comfortable, beautiful, and unjudged in their own bodies and there was no stigma against any body type.

The good thing about Tess Holliday shining in the spotlight is she’s using her platform to draw attention to companies not having plus size clothing, the stigmas and judgments in the fashion industry and society in general, and start movements like #EffYourBeautyStandards.

Whether or not you think hashtags are stupid and millennial, I hope you’ll agree that the concept behind the movement is valid and necessary. The idea is we are challenging conventional aspects of beauty and reclaiming the feeling of sexy for ourselves, whatever that means for us.

The thing is, our idea of beauty is heavily influenced by society and the media whether we want to admit it or not. It’s almost impossible to separate our own vision of aesthetic beauty from what’s been shoved down our throats since Day One. I often tell people to spend a lot of time alone, naked, with the body part(s) they have an aversion towards. If you were to spend three days alone at home naked with that body part, would it bother you or does it only bother you when other people see it? What about it bothers you? What about it doesn’t “look good”?

It’s easy to say “my legs are too knobby”, “my nose is too bumpy”, or “my waist isn’t small enough” but think about why that is. What makes your legs too knobby or your waist too large? Is it a comparison to something else? It must be! If we weren’t comparing these body parts to something else, we wouldn’t be able to say they were “too” anything. They would just be.

Most of the time we develop our ideas of beauty from what we see on magazine covers and in movies or TV shows. Do your best to erase what you’ve learned about beauty and accept your body, and all other bodies, as valid. Whether someone is short, fat, flexible, covered in birthmarks, or bald they deserve to be happy and you have no right to take that happiness away from them. Make everyone feel comfortable in their bodies enough that they want to celebrate them.

How do we erase what we’ve learned? We start with accepting ourselves, believing we’re beautiful, and celebrating our bodies as they currently are. That doesn’t mean if you want to exercise, lift weights, improve your flexibility, change your hair color, or wax your legs you can’t– it just means if you gain five pounds or get too busy to go to your bi-monthly waxing appointment you don’t lose confidence or esteem in yourself. You love yourself no matter what.

5 Ways To Say Eff Your Beauty Standards | Uncustomary

Here are 5 Ways To Say Eff Your Beauty Standards

1. Exude inner confidence

First and foremost, you deserve to be confident about who you are and how you look. I love the following quote by Gabourey Sidibe, “So when you ask me how I’m so confident, I know what you’re really asking me: how could someone like me be so confident? Go ask Rihanna, asshole!”

You have the right to be confident. We have to stop telling overweight people they’re brave for posing naked or wearing a bikini to a beach, we have to stop feeling like a woman with a beard is courageous for taking a selfie on Instagram, and we have to stop saying someone is gutsy just because they didn’t choose to get fake breasts after their radical mastectomy.

Eff your beauty standards.

Sure, if you’re dealing with self esteem issues, your first time showing up to a pool in a two-piece might be nerve wracking, and you might feel brave for doing it. That’s okay! Celebrate your success! I’m just saying there’s no need for us to be “wowed” by Lena Dunham’s lack of fucks she gives about being naked on her TV show or asking Mindy Kahling how she can be so self-assured. They’re badasses, and so are you.

2. Wear clothing that’s not “for your shape”

Magazines to this day do monthly features on how to “dress for your shape”. Here’s an in-depth article of how to hide your flawed areas! Are you someone with chunky thighs or a big stomach? These articles of clothing and accessories will accentuate your “good areas” and divert the eye your “problem areas”.

Eff your beauty standards.

If you want to wear a crop top and you don’t have a “flat stomach”, then wear a fucking crop top. If every magazine insists you have a “pear shape” and should only wear A, B, and C shaped dresses to accentuate the good and hide the bad but you don’t like those kinds of dresses, you don’t have to buy them. In fact, wearing things that accentuate your “flaws” is a great way to give the middle finger to people who tell you what you “should be” wearing.

That said, if you do like those kinds of dresses then fill your closet with them! Life is about wearing and doing things that make you happy.

5 Ways To Say Eff Your Beauty Standards | Uncustomary

3. Celebrate stretch marks

I say stretch marks, but I mean anything we’re told is something we should “take care of” or “remove”. Anything they make a cream for at your local drug store because you shouldn’t “have that on your body” is something we should start celebrating. Stretch marks, liver spots, wrinkles, birthmarks, dry skin, acne, dandruff, unibrows, and cellulite are all things that might be a natural part of your body that you’re told to hide until you can get rid of it.

Eff your beauty standards.

You are always welcome to buy “anti-aging” creams to delay your wrinkles and do leg lifts to decrease the amount of cellulite in your thighs if those are things that bother you, but don’t think for a second that you have to. Go out in the world without covering that part of your body up and see what kind of reaction you get– you might be surprised. Draw attention to that part of your body, take back the power you let it have over you. Think about what that part of your body means. Did you get those stretch marks from giving birth to another human? Did you get those wrinkles from living a long life you’re proud of? These battle scars are a part of your journey so celebrate them like you would a four-year-old’s birthday.

4. Take selfies

Selfies might seem “conceited” and I’m not suggesting you flood your Instagram feed with them and only them, but the idea that selfies are conceited is the same thing as thinking self love is vain. Share where you are right now and say and believe, “I’m amazing!” You’re important enough to be photographed even though you’re not a celebrity on a front cover photoshoot in Hollywood.

Eff your beauty standards.

Taking a photo of yourself demonstrates that you feel good about yourself and want to share that feeling with the world. Taking a selfie is about saying I’m here now, this is what I look like, and I think I look damn good.

5. Take it offline

Take the message of self love you preach online to the streets! Tell people they look beautiful in person and have face-to-face conversations about the importance of challenging conventional beauty and stereotypes. Join forces with people in person to say…

Eff your beauty standards.

The internet is an amazing tool for delivering the message of self love, taking photos that push the envelope, and connecting with a support group who can help you on your journey of empowerment, but that’s still only a small fraction of life. I’m not insinuating that the internet isn’t “real life” because you know as well as I do there aren’t many people who live without it these days, but in-person interactions are still a part of living and a very valuable part at that.

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Want even more tips, tricks, and support with your journey of self love? Treat yourself to my e-course, Self Love: The Key To Happiness.