Today, someone told me that my skin looked great and I looked really young and it made me cringe. I know the person who said it meant it as a compliment and without any malice. Yet I still cringed. I spend a lot of time (and let’s be honest, money) on skin care. Yet I still cringed.
I realized I cringed because there was a part of me that resented the “compliment”, as if looking young is all I am supposed to aspire to in my 30’s. And that resentment didn’t come from a place of personal feeling. It came from a place of society feeling.
Over the past few years, there has been a trend of not being able to have any sort of opinion without being told you are wrong for having it. This is especially true when it comes to women and their looks. Call a woman beautiful and get told that she more than her looks. Tell a women she looks like she’s lost weight and get told that she is beautiful at any size. Mention a woman’s skin looks amazing and get awkward silence in response. And on and on.
Look, if you know me, you know how I feel about women and our struggles and how we’re portrayed in the media. But dammit. I just want to be able to admire someone’s make up, or get motivated by their quest to be healthier, or accept a compliment on my skin, without worrying that it’s not empowering someone.