Things Are…And Aren’t…What They Appear To Be

I posted these photos on Instagram because, as an athlete, I’m often around other people exercising, aiming for fitness or sport goals, or in a sports class. Our goals, our aesthetics, our abilities, and our priorities are all different and I make a HUGE point to remind people that comparison is never a helpful tactic. But when I say that, I don’t just mean comparison to other people – what they have or don’t have, how they look or don’t look. . .  – I also mean that we need to be gentle with ourselves

Our own mirrors, cameras, eyeballs (!). . .can tell very different stories simply based on angle and lighting. Hell, time of DAY can make a difference too – did you just have a huge glass of water? Have you eaten three meals already? Are you a woman dealing with cyclical change?

Sometimes people say very kind things, but they say them in a way as if to put themselves down… That makes me crazy. We all have room for improvement, but we also all have a lot to be proud of. When we see images of people in “perfect” shape it’s easy to be hard on ourselves – because I’ve grown up in sports (which I consider a great thing!) I also have the side effect of always wanting to achieve. To – absolutely – my own detriment sometimes!

What we ourselves (a highly visual species) post on social media generally portrays the happy, the fun, the good, the ideal “stuff”…but not as much the rough patches, the blemishes, the mistakes. As with everything, we all have our own reasons for that…and tons OF them. For some of us, we look to one another for inspiration and motivation. We also like to share funny and personal tidbits along the way – we are connected to friends, after all. But it’s important not to forget the human element, and that there is more to what we see.

Lately, I’ve gone easier – I was down and out with a cold, I’ve been struggling with a back problem…it’s just been harder to push myself to the limit. BUT…I’m doing okay. I’m healthy and have a LOT to be thankful for (I’m serious, I could write a monster gratitude list off the cuff.)

Being off my game doesn’t mean I’m suddenly a horrible person or I’m not still doing a good job! I make little jabs at myself (NOT nice and NOT a good habit, ps – I work on that every day) but I’m never going back to depriving myself. Fortunately when I was doing that, I didn’t think I looked well at all, and it was not the result of wanting to change my figure. Still, that unhealthy propensity is there and it takes daily reminders sometimes that my own EYES can deceive me…just like yours and everyone else’s can. 

Social media definitely doesn’t help that case so I think showing that appearances are easy to alter is a positive thing. It’s okay to post the good and happy and pulled-together…but just don’t forget that everyone has imperfections. Lighting and angles also play a big part – both for good and for not-so-good. We aren’t getting professionally airbrushed like celebrities in Vogue (well, maybe some are!) but there’s still room for focal shifts!

 

 

New Physicians Formula

Sharing because I’ve not seen these posted, but did see them in-store.  What’s interesting is their whole “InstaReady” and “filter” angle – certainly not new (from them or other cosmetic companies) but largely speaking to modern culture’s obsession with social media (this could take a positive spin…or a negative one – that’s up to the individual!)

What it means for companies is that though cosmetics have always been designed to help us achieve and us-but-better look – why bother, otherwise? – the approach has shifted to facilitate looking even better (airbrushed, anyone?!) in photos and video.  In addition, the focus is also on getting ready as quickly as possible – how do I add a filter asap without the camera, kind of thing…

Life in 2016 (nearly 2017)!

Fashionjitsu.com

Fashionjitsu.com – PF Eye Primer Duo and Multi-Finish Eyeshadow 

 

Fashionjitsu.com

Fashionjitsu.com

 

Fashionjitsu.com

Fashionjitsu.com – PF Glide On Gel Eyeliner (shimmer, metallic, matte) 

Ageism in Fashion

I was really excited to see this post because…Ohhhh, how true this is!  

I grew up during the reign of ladies like Christy Burlington, Linda Evangelista, Claudia Schiffer, Cindy Crawford, Amber Valetta, Naomi Campbell, Paulina Porizkova, and Shalom Harlow – most of whom are in their mid to later 40s now.  At the time..they were all young and spritely, nary a wrinkle to be found (naturally no editor would have entertained THAT idea!)

moviepilot.com

moviepilot.com

These days, those Fashion icons still look stunning…but they are no longer gracing covers, and haven’t for a long time.  Those who are anything older than teens, for crying out loud, seem to be airbrushed to oblivion – scarcely a realistic picture for the younger generations.  (I say younger because sometimes it isn’t as obvious to them just how much goes INTO creating a flawless image – no, your favorite celebrity did NOT show up to the shoot that way.  Once you have had any stretch of time in Fashion, you know just how MUCH is poured into the final images presented in your glossy.  *It’s A LOT.)

smashcave.com

smashcave.com

As the above article mentions, “It isn’t uncommon for models in their 20s to serve as spokeswomen for anti-aging creams…”  Having taken Marketing as one of my college double majors, I fully recognize the angle cosmetic companies are aiming to take in order to make their products enticing.  But at the end of the day, no topical will have the more dramatic effect a filler or other injectable might.  They might help, absolutely, but the immense fine-tuning that’s often presented (once again, thank you, airbrush) is not likely the outcome of dutiful application twice daily.  

Kristen McMenamy Photographed by David Sims, Vogue, 2010, vogue.com

Kristen McMenamy
Photographed by David Sims, Vogue, 2010, vogue.com

So in my own my…a 20 year-old posing for a wrinkle serum?  Doesn’t make sense.  Should we start our skincare early?  YES!  But is it entirely fair to have these ultra-smooth faces sell us our anti-aging products?  Not so sure…  We are certainly intelligent enough to make educated, adult decisions, but how about being presented with something a bit more REAL?

I’m happy to see that the conversation includes Runway as much as it does other aspects of Fashion as a whole.  Back in the day, touting youthfulness was the thing – I get it.  But it IS 2016.  I feel like society should have – yes, I said “should have” – matured beyond these parameters.  I don’t really proselytize – I don’t feel pushing my opinions onto others is the right thing to do.  I’m not shouting from rooftops that this is “an outrage!”  

But. . .what I AM saying is…it is important to represent the wider array of beauty that exists in the World.  It’s helpful, particularly in a time overrun by social media, enhancement apps (that double as Adobe!), and the “flawless,” Insta-presentation of our “best selves” at all times…that we SEE, and learn to APPRECIATE, aging.  If…let me say…for no other reason than we aren’t broadsided one morning looking in the mirror in our 30’s thinking “wait!  What are these!? This doesn’t happen!  All those ads for these products…those ladies are so young and fresh and line-free!”

I’d kind of like to know I’m not alone, and have beautiful ladies decades other than myself to look up to.  Comparing our older selves to teens – even if subconsciously as we pass the magazine stand – simply isn’t healthy.  Hallelujah that some aren’t afraid to out the topic!

Stila Perfectly Poreless

Stila has just introduced a Perfectly Poreless Putty just in time for summer!  The product features a “unique moldable texture” which helps to give the skin an airbrushed perfection…  The former calls to mind the “bouncy” touch of many Asian products on the market.  The latter claim reminds me of the plethora of other “perfectors” out there…  But why not another one!?

The nice thing is that this has a variety of shades, much like a foundation would.  Some “putties” are only offered in translucent, so I like that this “beyond foundation” compact does have some color to it…and not in only one tone.

There are rather a few hard-to-pronounce names in the ingredient list (it isn’t quite as long as it appears, fortunately – multiple shades are listed), but at least the ingredients ARE listed (drives me BONKERS when they aren’t!)  So, thank you, Stila, for that.  I steer clear of Lauroyl Lysine myself because it can clog pores, at least for me!