At their upcoming event on 4th June, BeRealTalks invite key speakers including BodyGossip’s Natasha Devon, psychologist Dr Linda Papadopoulos, stylist Carol Spencer and other influential women to discuss that all-important question: Does size matter? Here, they explain why it’s an issue modern women need to talk about …
Beauty can mean so many things to so many people, but at BeRealTalks we mean what does it mean to you, how you perceive yourself, and how you feel others see you?
How many times have you heard people say, ‘true beauty comes from within’? – you may have heard it by someone from your close family, perhaps when you were a teenager, stressing about your muffin top, the latest bout of acne or another body issue. While you may have believed this advice to be intrinsically true, you probably disregarded it as being irrelevant to your life. Unfortunately, it seems women rarely grow out of this behaviour and while repeating the same messages to our children and believing it most passionately for them, we still find ourselves clinging like a limpet to the Western ideal of beauty. If only we could lose a few pounds, were a few inches taller, banish cellulite, grow thicker, longer hair; if only we could basically turn into a Disney princess, we believe we would be happy. How can we believe so inherently that true beauty is about confidence, and yet paradoxically think that a successful diet will make all our dreams come true?
So what is ‘beautiful’? Some big brands have attempted to show that beauty comes in all shapes and sizes. Dove’s Real Beauty campaign which launched in 2004 was conceived after market research indicated that only four percent of women considered themselves to be beautiful, and used a diverse group of models of all ages, shapes and sizes. The latest ad campaign from Dove shows a group of women who were drawn by a forensic sketch artist, once as they perceive themselves and then redrawn as others see them. Unsurprisingly the second drawing is considered more attractive. The message is that we perceive ourselves to be less appealing than we really are. The problem is these women are, once again, showing that they want to feel beautiful on the outside in order to boost their confidence. Is it time for that old adage, ‘beauty comes from within’ to finally become our battle cry?
These contradictions have been passed down the generations, from the suffragettes who fought for the vote while wearing corsets to give them a tiny waist, to the 1960s when being stick thin like Twiggy was all the rage, moving to the Jane Fonda feel-the-burn-and-wear-tight-Lycra brigade of the 1980s, who demanded power in the boardroom. Today, we know that most celebrities are airbrushed to within a low-cal inch of their lives, yet we still aspire to be like these images. Our senses are blasted by such contradictory messages. We are at war with ourselves as we struggle to find confidence from within, while waiting in line to buy the latest, greatest face cream or diet aid, all the while thinking, ‘will the latest cream make me feel beautiful?’
Luckily our generation also has its warriors fighting to change the mindset for what is truly beautiful. BeRealTalks, are one such organisation, who are hosting an event called Why Size Doesn’t Matter, which includes a line-up of inspirational women to entertain and enlighten. This is not a self-help group, it specifically aims to challenge the beauty and diet myths and to celebrate women in all shapes and sizes – it will explore ways you can be the best you and feel great 24/7, which is surely something we all hope for?
Spabreaks.com’s Hot Tub readers can enjoy an exclusive discount on tickets, with the code: is BRdbSpa570009 (£15 instead of £23.50) when booking before 10th May.
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