Self-expression is free, and nobody can step in and do it for us. But, ladies, do we possess the freedom to be self-expressive? Our clothing and hairstyle choices are a big part of self-expression. So, why do we commonly hear women say, “I want to keep my style and be who I am. But I feel judged, especially by other moms. Am I really too old to dress the way I do, or to have brightly colored hair?”
I remember the first day that I dressed for school with self-expression. I felt a wash of freedom. I felt comfortable because I was being who I was, not something that someone else wanted me to be. That feeling was nearly squashed by my mother, “You cannot wear that to school!” I could, and I did. Was I more comfortable being who I was, or would I have been more comfortable trying to be something that I was not? I am sure that you know the answer!
A special person later in my life once said, “Just be comfortable! Just be you.” The words were life-changing. I embraced them as a mantra.
We all possess the freedom to be self-expressive, and with that comes comfort. And we do feel absolutely comfortable when we are in tune and nurturing our authentic selves. Quite the opposite, we often feel as if we are in a ‘crunchy’ void, somewhere not so comfortable, when we are being someone other than ourselves in appearance – especially when we do so to please others.
As the years of life go by, other people (especially women – unfortunately) say that we must fit into the invisible confines of an age limit with our clothing, our hair color, and our style. But who makes the rules? Who honors our authentic self if we do not do it? I vote for freedom. I vote for comfort. I vote for our innate ability and right to be our authentic selves. But we do not need a vote because we already own the right!
“Authenticity is the daily practice of letting go of who we think we’re supposed to be and embracing who we are.” – Brene̍ Brown
Embrace Your Natural Beauty and Character
When I think of beauty, I think about a woman who is full of life. A woman who smiles at life. A woman who lives life intentionally – sustaining and nurturing her soul. And I want this for all women, including you!
Embracing your natural beauty, who you are, may sound lame. But it is far from that. Natural beauty comes from within and honoring that comes from determination.
Here are some practical ways to get started:
- Practice accepting yourself as you are
- Surround yourself with positive people
- Toss out media-defined ideas of beauty
- Practice self-care
Want to read more about this? Check out our blog post How to Embrace Your Natural Beauty
I encourage you to focus on character vs. standards of beauty. Your character includes what you do well. It also consists of making choices that align with your core values. By doing so, you encourage self-acceptance and discourage poor self-esteem and body image. Follow the same advice that you would give your daughter or another young girl in your life. Cultivate a life that honors your natural beauty and character, and let your mantra encourage other women, young or old, in your life.
Ignore the Naysayers and Social Media
I am going to say it, social media is off-track when it comes to beauty standards. It contains a lot of garbage.
Social media is filled with vlogs, blogs, and posts that relay the message, “Don’t wear this if you’re over (35, 40, 50, 60…)!” Who sets these fashion rules? Are you willing to abide by the misinformation? Information that influencers are being paid to push. I hope not. I cannot say this enough, embrace self-expression, your natural beauty, and your character.
Do your best to ignore the naysayers. But they aren’t all on social media. Some are right at your doorstep. It can be difficult to ditch the gossip that tears us down. Women tend to take it personally. “Psst…she has pink hair, who does she think she is at her age?” Ask yourself, what is the truth? The truth is that you feel good in your pink, lavender, or blue hair. The truth is that you feel inherently comfortable and are in style (your own style) in the clothes that you wear. The truth is that age is only a NUMBER! It is not meant to be a tool that someone has misused to judge you!
Do you need to take drastic measures and stop being friends with gossipers? Our friends really should be our allies. This means having our friend’s best interests in mind. Toxic friendships are not good for your being. You may need to break off a friendship if it means taking better care of yourself and honoring who you are!
The Mental Health Benefits from Massage
Your focus on your own body and mental health (forget the naysayers and gossipers, and the typical pressures that women often feel – like, fighting for your own style) can take you away from what troubles you in the world and put your mind in a deserving and healing place of relaxation.
You can also boost your mental health through massage. The continued and consistent use of massage is proven to reduce stress, provide positive treatment for anxiety, and decrease the risk of developing depression. It is therapeutic and it is backed by science!
So, we hope that you take a mental health day, or a reflective hour, to take care of you!
We want you to feel good!
We want you to be free of anxiety and pain!
Do you reside in the Austin, Texas area, or are you planning a visit? We want you to experience the mental health-boosting benefits of massage!