Wednesday, October 10

Waiting to Be Pretty: Has the Pressure to Be Beautiful Stopped You From Chasing Your Dreams? (Guest Blog by Safia Bartholomew)

We've all had that moment when you walk into a job interview, audition or meeting and suddenly the outfit that you carefully picked out days before makes you feel less than beautiful and not so confident. You start combing through your curly ‘fro wishing you had taken your friend’s advice to flat iron your hair or you can’t help but notice people staring at your more than bee-stung plump lips. Maybe you haven't even made it to the audition because although you dream of becoming a singer the only examples of successful singers that you can think of look like Beyonce with coke bottle slim figures and you are this close to being a not so few pounds overweight.
Are you the type of woman who will check your insecurities at the door and carry on giving the best performance of your career? Or, are you like too many of us who are sitting on the sidelines letting our dreams pass us by because we are waiting to be prettier?
It is no secret that the media and Hollywood dictates our perceptions of beauty – showcasing images of the same type of girl over and over again…we get it!
This past weekend I was looking through the recently launched blog of Tracee Ellis Ross, most known for her role as Joan Clayton on Girlfriends. I have always admired her unique beauty and style. While in some ways she fits the universal mold of what Hollywood tells us is pretty (light skinned, tall and thin), what she is most known for are her unique features – wide toothy grin, Diana Ross’ eyes, and a beautiful ‘fro of massive curls.
In her recent blog post titled “A Culture Confused By Fake Boobs” Tracee describes the trickle down affect of our culture’s expectations of a woman’s body. One that is not a reflection of the everyday woman but of a body that is augmented and modified. While I personally never took note of Tracee’s breast before, she shares that on numerous occasions on auditions and with her management team the issue of the perkiness of her breast (or lack there of) became a focal point as she was encouraged to wear a push up bra. As she describes, “I felt hurt, reduced to an object, a pair of tits – tits that were, apparently, un-cast-able”.

We all know the old adage “You have to look the part to play the part” but where does this concept go too far? How much do we have to modify our appearance to “look the part” and be accepted, be successful?
There are many women who are willing to nip and tuck a little or put in a few extensions to have the long and flowing hair that is perceived as beautiful to get as close to their ideal as they can (which is absolutely fine if that is their choice). But, plenty more women are allowing rejection to knock them down. There is something about being rejected for your looks that can make even the most confident woman want to sit out and stop fighting.
The thing is, there will always be someone more talented, intelligent and prettier than you. The problem is that as soon as you change yourself to meet someone else’s standard, that standard can easily and suddenly change. So, you might as well learn to like what you see and focus on building your faith in yourself, persistence and confidence. Work on your craft!
Get used to hearing the word “no” from people and don't let it affect you. Even Halle Berry, who has become the prototype of beauty in Hollywood, has heard more than a few "no’s" in her career. There are so many examples from all industries of women who are at the top of their game but are not known for their looks. If they made it through the door, so can you.
There is nothing wrong with doing little things to make yourself feel pretty so that you put your best foot forward, but do not stay stagnant waiting to suddenly transform in order for you to go after what you dream of.
I applaud Tracee and other women who are pushing to defy the mold. I applaud YOU for taking the steps in seeing the beauty in yourself, recognizing your flaws and pursuing your passion anyway.
trey will be sharing her own struggles with learning to defy the beauty standard at The Artist Millionaire Workshop. There is only less than two weeks left until the workshop! If you haven’t registered yet please click here to sign up.
What beauty struggles have you had to resist in pursuing your dreams? Please leave a comment and let me know!
- Safia


Anonymous said...

I have been having exact experience lately. Especially this past summer I have not felt like I look the way I used too. So I find myself holding back and not participating with different areas in my life that require me to be revealed.Not to long ago I had a interview and felt they were just concentrating on my appearance. Sadly, we are a visual society, those that are pretty are held at higher esteem and promoted.

Anonymous said...

I try to challenge what societies beauty standards every day.