Saturday, 22 March 2014

The no makeup selfie and true beauty

Ah... The selfie. I have to say, I'm not the biggest fan. But then I'm the type of person who floods facebook with way too many pictures of my kids, which I'm sure annoys plenty of people!

Going around at the moment is the no makeup selfie, where women take pictures of themselves with no makeup and post it to FB and twitter. It has now become a method to raise money for cancer research, with over £2 million being raised so far ( I think this is wonderful idea, and am impressed with whoever thought of combining the two. But it originated as a challenge to women's courage to post these photos, and that concerns me. 

This is not a post about the evils of makeup. I know wearing makeup for a lot of women is about increasing confidence and looking good for themselves and their partner. But some of the selfies I've  seen worry me - women who had to hide behind items to be able to take them, or for whom this was the first time their friends and family had seen them without makeup. It isn't about showcasing a woman's natural beauty, it's about the shock factor of seeing her without her mask on. That to me isn't about self confidence - it's about expectation. 

And that's what worries me the most about this no makeup selfie trend - it implies that women's normal face is one covered in make up, and we should be ashamed of what is underneath. I don't know about you but that isn't a message I want my daughter to grow up with. 

The no makeup selfie has taken something worrying about today's society and turned it into a charitable cause. As I said, I think that's wonderful and hope the campaign raises even more money. But I just hope the original trend doesn't diminish our view of beauty. Because to me beauty is the woman sweating and bruised from a long labour, beaming as she holds her trophy at the end. It is the athlete whose feet are blistered at the end of a long race but her face shows pride in her accomplishment. It is the elderly woman whose lined face expresses every early start with her children, every late finish at the office and every time her grandchildren made her laugh. 

That is true beauty. And that is what we should be passing on to our daughters. 

My version of the no makeup selfie... Not much of a difference (I'm a date night only wearer!). 

Monday, 10 March 2014

Things I'd forgotten about having a baby

1. How much labour hurts. There's no getting around it - there's no pain like it.

2. The enormous sense of pride when you see what you've managed to create and birth. This goes hand-in-hand with the wonder of God's creation.

3. How it feels when your milk comes in and you're engorged and HUGE. And the relief when it settles down.

4. How long it takes to recover from birth - even if you've had no complications - and all the things that go along with it (after pains, night sweats, bleeding, cramps and pain).

5. How your love multiplies (not divides) between your existing family members and your new addition.

(Clearly, I've had our second child! God blessed us with a girl, 16 days overdue and weighing 9lbs 6ozs. You can expect lots of sleep-deprived ramblings soon, but for now I'm just learning how to be the mother of 2 under two).