Success – Perspective And The Path

The journey to success is not often a linear one, nor is it rife with “yes!”s and obvious, silver-plattered opportunities. Rather, it is littered with failures, mishaps, wrong directions, and “what the hell was I thinking!?”s. Reality can be tough!

But…our perspective of that journey – that non-linear, tumultuous, stress-inducing road – can make all the difference in whether the path ends with success* or another “not-quite.”

*success as defined by us, let’s be clear

When we can take each “failure” as a positive, we are on our way to finding the successes we are aiming for. Why? Because each time we fall, we learn something new – we learn how to better navigate the rocky road of life and about who we are, what we need, and how we function optimally. In other words (and as we tell our kids in Martial Arts classes) when we lose, we learn…and that’s why we LOVE to lose.

It is horribly unrealistic to expect that the seas are always going to be smooth. It is also unrealistic to expect that we will fearlessly and perfectly navigate through every storm and crashing wave. What IS realistic is to expect that each fall we take will provide us with invaluable feedback, a lesson of some kind, and something positive in the end (knowledge gained, new connections, self discovery, an “ah-ha” moment…whatever it may be.)

Open your mind to the possibility of failure being a much-needed life guide – without it, we are incapable of learning that our limitations are often much farther out than our minds might impose, and that we are indeed destined for greatness. 

Fear not if you falter, then, but reap the rich rewards -PLB

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!