Pressure to be Perfect and Redefining Beauty

Join me this Thursday, 2/11 for

Real Talk Salon - Redefining Beauty

RITUAL UPRISING.jpg
Courage starts with showing up and letting ourselves be seen.
— Brené Brown

 

When I was younger I wanted to be 5’10” - just like Cindy Crawford.  I was a dancer, so I learned how to perfect the “cat eye” in 6th grade.  I even dreamed of becoming a Director of Corporate Philanthropy at L’Oreal.  And I remember being afraid to leave the house without makeup on as young as middle school.

 

The boys used the word “hot” to describe the girls they were into (and they still do), so that’s what I aspired to be.  I would come home from college and be complimented on “looking good” despite an ongoing inner battle.    

 

And eventually, I learned how to leverage my looks for professional success. 

 

I believed that looking pretty was the goal (besides getting straight A’s and never failing).  “Beauty" was just like my idea of “healthy" and "successful" -  PERFECTION.  I obsessed about looking perfect and maintaining the carefully curated image of a happiness and having it all together. 

 

{ do it all + have it all + look the part = successful woman } 

 

Every moment of every day had an underlying thread of stress that came from this pressure to be perfect, perform, keep up the image.  It meant not just success but survival.  

 

The obvious self-critical body image issues permeated my psyche, keeping me in cycles of comparison and keeping up - thinking I wasn’t enough.  My beauty (and femininity for that matter) was something external - something perceived, something outside of myself. 

 

I saw myself through the lens of "the other,” especially the male gaze. 

 

I didn’t OWN my beauty or my femininity.  It was sold to me by big media and big companies, in competition other women and then validated by the attention of boys and men.  

 

I objectified myself. 

 

I manipulated myself to look “hot,” to be liked, to "get ahead"… The lengths I went to were quite extraordinary - everything from makeup to diet pills, plastic surgery to laser hair removal, eyelash extensions to tanning beds and even trying Botox. 

The interesting thing is to note is how much of this was done in secret.  Why?  Because deep down I was ashamed.  And secrecy fuels shame. 

“Shame is the most powerful, master emotion. It’s the fear that we’re not good enough.”
— Brené Brown

Deep down, I felt like I wasn’t enough - pretty enough, smart enough, accomplished enough, wealthy enough, interesting enough, funny enough, playful enough, thin enough, tan enough… ughhh...  It was exhausting!  

 

I did everything in my power to push and prove myself, to project the image of perfect... to “make up” for what I felt I intrinsically lacked. 

“Shame, for women, is this web of unobtainable, conflicting, competing expectations about who we’re supposed to be. And it’s a straight-jacket.”
— Brene Brown

 

Operating from a place of lack influenced every decision, every relationship. 

 

I spent an incredible amount of effort seeking something outside of myself to give me a sense of security, self-worth and success. 

 

What about the affects of this subconscious belief that I wasn’t enough?   And the energy it took to keep up this image? 

 

This sense of dis-ease within my own being...

  • didn’t allow me to feel beautiful… or radiate my true beauty. 
  • made me feel separate from others… like an onlooker in my own life.
  • impacted my relationships with other women… comparing instead of connecting.
  • kept me chasing and distracted… stuck “playing the game."
  • killed my creativity... my power to create my life. 
  • prevented me from hearing my truth… and expressing it.
  • gave me a complex that made me question my ability to make a change and a positive impact. 

 

I know I’m not alone.  Maybe you’re feeling like this is where you are right now.  Maybe you've believed that you are not beautiful.  Or perhaps you've let your beauty be defined by others.

 

Ask yourself:

  • How do I define beauty? 
  • What is influencing my ideas and beliefs about beauty? 
  • How do I experience beauty? 
  • What makes me beautiful? 

 

And know that the times are changing.  Women are waking up. 

 

It’s been a long road to accept myself fully.  But I couldn’t accept others until I could accept myself.

And now I make it a point to feel my beauty everyday.  But couldn’t see the beauty in others - in life itself - until I saw it in myself.

 

The beauty in me is my fuel.  It is who I am.  It powerful, sensual and feminine.  

Your beauty is the unique expression of life that flows through you.
— Kiki Federico

 

And THIS is why I want to talk about beauty.

 

Beauty it’s been hijacked by industry and capitalism as something cosmetic, and it’s being used to keep us purchasing and PLAYING SMALL. 

 

When you think that there’s something wrong with you - you don’t say what you really mean, you don’t challenge the status quo, you don’t create new things…

You’re too busy trying to be who you think you should be, look how you should look - compensating for what you lack. 

So what if you weren’t lacking anything?  

 

What if you knew the real beauty that you are and fearlessly shared that with the world? 

 

Beauty is a natural feminine force.  It is powerful and influential but NOT manipulative.  Beauty is unto herself - sovereign, radiant and magnetic.  

Beauty makes you feel something - it lights up your soul.  Beauty moves you deeply.  

 

What if you knew how to light up other people’s souls with your beauty?  

 

And here is my moment to preach: 

 

Too many women are masking their true beauty - dimming their light - to try to fit into an image of what’s been sold as beautiful. 

I believe we must stop hiding our dissatisfaction - and thus our passion and power to make a difference - behind a mask of perfection.

We must stop following along and start becoming more of ourselves. 

 

It is time for us to redefine beauty, to own, embody and EXPRESS our true beauty for the benefit of all beings - especially our daughters.

 

You still with me? 

 

 

This is the force behind this week’s Real Talk Salon presented by Ritual Uprising. 

 

The topic is "Redefining Beauty,” and we will be talking about our cultural quest for beauty and how to adorn your body to express yourself and reflect your inner light.

 

The evening will be luminous girls night out at Love + Luxe, SF gallery + jewelry atelier, in celebration of our divine feminine radiance… 

 

You can expect a sensual and intentional evening full of sisterhood, sparkling jewelry, delicious elixirs, lite bites, ritual and an enlightening conversation.

 

I will be interviewing Rachael Webb, Spiritual Business Coach and Kristina Welzien, Founder of Wabi Sabi Beauty. 

 

Join us on Thursday, 2/11!   Only a few tickets are left! 

 

 

With wild grace and beauty, 

Kiki