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We need to stop comparing ourselves.

A flower does not think of competing with the next flower, it just blooms.

I’m still learning to grasp this but one day you will realise you don’t have to look like one type of woman and you don’t have to look perfect.

I once heard a quote which has actually been going around for years:

“You Don’t Have to Be Pretty. You don’t owe prettiness to anyone. Not to your boyfriend/spouse/partner, not to your co-workers, especially not to random men on the street. You don’t owe it to your mother, you don’t owe it to your children, you don’t owe it to civilization in general. Prettiness is not a rent you pay for occupying a space marked ‘female.’ – Diana Vreeland”

Vreeland was a noted columnist and editor in the field of fashion, who worked for the fashion magazines Harper’s Bazaar and Vogue. You may have seen these powerful few sentences, superimposed on an Andy Warhol Polaroid shot of Vreeland from a session in 1973. With its feel-good, empowering message, it’s easy to see why the quote is being passed around so much. I learned that the entire paragraph quoted above actually belongs to Erin McKean, an author, editor, and blogger that she wrote back in 2006!

You don’t have to be pretty and I’m not saying that you SHOULDN’T be pretty if you want to but it’s so tiring obsessing about my body, gym routine and diet. Food and exercise should be about the health benefits and how it makes you feel on the inside, not how you look to others.

Why are we acting like we are going to be papped? That our Facebook and Instagram pictures are going to go viral for all the world to see?

The fact is that I’m not disappointing anyone if I don’t look like a celebrity but it’s so weird that the default aspiration for a woman in terms of how she should look is someone who is paid to look like that professionally. Lots of talented and beautiful women from the music industry, models and even the Hollywood elite are talking about the pressure they feel of living up to their own airbrushed and photo-shopped billboard and magazine covers!

Why do normal women and especially young women and girls feel they have to look like their filtered, edited and cropped selfies in real life? Who are you disappointing?

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