…that will be my life. (Said Estheticians everywhere)
It has been my experience that women are quick to view their perceived “flaws” and will go to great and sometimes dangerous lengths to correct them. In fact, sometimes they will go from washing their face with nothing but bar soap, directly to surgery — without even considering the plethora of less severe (and much safer) options that are available today. As Estheticians, we are studied in the science of skin and aging, so we know that rarely are these actual “flaws.” Rather, they are perceptions based upon how women measure themselves against the unrealistic standards suggested by media.
~excerpt from Estheticians Are a Girl’s Best Friend (2016)
There are many important elements to an Esthetician’s work. There is the obvious, such as facial treatments and skin care products. But those of us who have been at it a while have come to realize there is what I like to call the Psychology of Esthetics. And this is the element that I love the most, and it is what kept me in the treatment room for so many years.
Women (more than men) are bombarded on a regular basis with ads that target our self-esteem. We are encouraged to alter ourselves in various ways. It is suggested that we must lift, tuck, tighten, plump or hide something. We should eat this, we shouldn’t eat that; we’ve gotta exercise this way or that way because our waist needs to be smaller and our tummy needs to be flatter. (I think currently our butts are supposed to be bigger, but that could change at any moment.) We should remove this or surgically install that. And at the very least, we should buy products to camouflage who we really are…because who we are is somehow flawed?
It has been my experience as an Esthetician that most women tend to long for how they looked 10 years ago. When I hear that, I always try to remind them that 10 years from now, it is TODAY’s beauty that they will be longing for (and so on and so on). So it is wise that we do not waste a moment looking back, because we will miss the greatness of today.
Don’t get me wrong. Even though I can ride a horse and I can catch a fish (please don’t make me bait the hook), I am definitely a girly-girl. And like every other Esthetician I know, I’ve got cupboards and drawers full of products, makeup and girly stuff. (Okay, so I’m not talented with my curly hair, but that doesn’t stop me from having a ridiculous number of products and equipment for that too). Obviously I am not against anti-aging products and services because I have enjoyed a wonderful career around that. I am supportive of safe injectibles and surgeries, or whatever is a woman’s personal choice. (Who knows, maybe someday I will find the nerve to try those myself.) But my point is that I wish every woman was able to ease up on herself…so she can appreciate the journey and love herself along the way.
What if every women looked in the mirror daily, gazing deep into her own eyes, and told herself that she is beautiful today. What if she spoke of self-love? Her accomplishments, her contributions to her family, her friends, her career, her world? What if she muted her TV every time an ad appeared trying to convince her that she needed to change something? I wonder if she then would see herself as I see her when she is in my treatment room?
Be your own kind of beautiful.