Like exercise, therapy, meditation, yoga & nutrition, beauty and make up are mental wellness tools. Self care ritual's are a right of passage to feel better about ourselves.
Beauty is a personal preference. However like spirituality, beauty is a highly inflammatory subject with opinions as wide ranging as drag queens to celebrity culture. Fashion to ethnicity, body dysmorphia, retouching, botox, eating disorders, acne, anxiety, art, fairytale, story, sustainability & mythology. It's viewed as aspirational, inspirational, oppressive all at the same time.
The emotional underpinnings of what on earth this whole beauty thing is are difficult to wrestle with - and with laundry list no wonder!!
But the crux of the issue - in contemporary culture, how you look effects how you feel. It's the ritual of putting on make-up, washing your hair, the art of self grooming that gives you the hit of endorphins that we all crave.
For some people (male or female) beauty is like armour, make-up their war paint [theirs even a brilliant mens makeup brand by that name (https://warpaintformen.com/), the founder Danny's story is incredible if anyone is interested in body dysmorphia (BDD)!] . For others beauty feels like a mask to hide behind, for others still beauty feels like an oppressive obligation to 'have to look beautiful', wear makeup, wax your legs, wash your hair or - heaven forbid for any bra burning feminists - shave your underarms [this is a joke, obvs].
Like anything, our beauty regimen is a tool. It can be either be a healthy adaptive self care ritual, a means of self expression or just another thing to become addicted to, to over use or in the extreme causes medical issues and deformities.
Ultimately it comes down to authenticity and balance. Will you find the ability to navigate the emotional storms that one needs to navigate in the minefield of being beautiful? A beautiful man or woman.
It sounds cliche, but beauty really is an inside job first. The rest is the icing on the cake.
May your life be your masterpiece in progress as ever we are becoming, L & S.