The secret of beauty is that it changes over time, and it is different for each person. As we get older, our appearance alters. We gain lines and grey hairs, and we may look very different from how we did when we were young. They say that beauty is in the eye of the beholder. But when you are both the beholder and the beholden, looking at your own beauty, you can be the harshest of critics. Comparing ourselves to others, and to how we looked in the past, we can often find ourselves lacking. Like the wicked stepmother in Snow White, we might feel that we are no longer the fairest in the land. But are we being fair to ourselves when we do this?
As a beautician, you may think that I’ve always been satisfied with my own beauty, but nothing could be further from the truth. My personal quest to be beautiful has not been straightforward. Throughout my life and as I have grown older, I’ve always strived to improve myself. I’ve compared myself unfavourably to my peers and thought that I needed to change my own appearance to look better. I’m forever looking at old photos and wishing that I still had the great skin and hair of my youth. I’ve spent many hours of my life staring at myself in the mirror, dissatisfied with how I look, and not loving myself for who I am. And yet, I know that in ten years time I will look back to how I look today and wish I looked like this again!
When we think about beauty, rather than looking back, it is much more helpful to embrace the present moment. How can you bring out your own, natural beauty of today? Everyone who comes to me for treatment is different, with a different story and different expectations, and so I treat them each as an individual. Rather than trying to make them look like younger versions of themselves, or emulate someone else, my job is to help them unlock the beauty that they already have within them.
Many people ask me why I do what I do. The truth is that my own experiences have always underpinned my professional career. My personal struggles towards being beautiful have led me to help others achieve this seemingly elusive goal. The fact that I’m still finding my way in my own journey of beauty, and growing towards acceptance of how I look today, means that I can empathise with each customer. I ask myself what I would want out of the treatment if I were them, but I also apply what I’ve learned about myself and my own beauty to personally tailor each treatment to suit each need.
So next time you look at an old photo of yourself, rather than wishing for a time machine, realise that although your appearance may have changed, you are still beautiful right now. And, with the right treatment, you can bring out that beauty which was always there, and shine.