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I Ain’t Sorry

Women and girls have never been more aware of how they look than in 2016. From Instagram to Snapchat- not to mention the likes of FaceTune (which enhances your appearance in regular, ampoule everyday photos)-  many millennials and all teens will never know a time before the selfie and the filter.  The phrase ‘the selfie generation’ is increasingly being used to describe a breed of girls who spend up to five hours a week (according to feelunique.com) looking into the camera lens on their phone.

Gone are the days of asking someone to take a quick snap for you on your camera on holiday and the ensuing surprise when you develop the film. Today, diagnosis we don’t think twice in asking a friend (or stranger) to re-take the photo/’use the flash’/’not from that side’- behaviour that five years ago would have been at best, narcissistic, and at worst, rude.

In March Snapchat introduced a filter that alters your face to make you look more ‘perfect’ (slimmer nose, tanned, airbrushed skin, bigger eyes) it does seem like a universal – and questionable- standard of ‘beautiful’ been firmly set, along with a profound level of expectation.

Designer Desigual uses Snapchat filters instead of makeup
Designer Desigual uses Snapchat filters instead of makeup

The beauty industry is jumping on the bandwagon. Words like filtered, airbrushed, contoured, perfected and flawless are as entrenched in our 2016 beauty vocabulary as sparkly and blue were in the nineties. Even ‘fresh faced’ or ‘natural’ makeup looks require 10-15 products to achieve. It seems that is it no longer possible to be ‘flushed’ and ‘glowy’ from a brisk walk or a holiday tan- nowadays you need highlighters, bronzers and light-reflecting illuminators.

Makeup is not without its fair share of bad press. History has suggested we are somehow deceiving men by wearing makeup: Kansas, USA  in 1915 even made it a ‘misdemeanour’ for women to wear makeup ‘for the purpose of creating a false impression’ and Shakespeare’s Hamlet complained ‘God has given you one face and you paint yourselves another’. But did Hamlet and the Kansas legislature have a point?

But what about the individuality and creativity makeup enables? You only have to look to Lady Gaga with eyeballs painted onto her eyelids and Lupita Nyong’o wearing bright blue lipstick to awards shows to see women using makeup for artistic self-expression rather than contoured perfection. Brands like Mac and Illamasqua foster this on the high street and a quick glance at AW 2016 catwalks – especially Kenzo and Versace- sees makeup as a pivotal and daring part of the design aesthetic. But, off the catwalk, are unnatural expectations of ‘everyday’ beauty damaging our confidence?

Lupita Nyong'o Photo by Anthony Harvey/Getty Images)
Lupita Nyong’o Photo by Anthony Harvey/Getty Images)

In an age where sharing apps allow girls to put every element of their lives on display, it’s easy to see how the ‘perfect’ face has become valuable social currency. But this all evolved rapidly, and it wouldn’t be short-sighted to imagine a time where filters and flawlessness become outdated and cliched. There may never be a return to disposable cameras or a wholly undocumented existence, but as the selfie generation grows up,maybe unfiltered, un-contoured and imperfect will gradually become the new ‘beautiful’.

Written by Alice Leahy
Women and girls have never been more aware of how they look than in 2016. From Instagram to Snapchat- not to mention the likes of FaceTune (which enhances your appearance in regular, visit this site everyday photos)-  many millennials and all teens will never know a time before the selfie and the filter.  The phrase ‘the selfie generation’ is increasingly being used to describe a breed of girls who spend up to five hours a week (according to feelunique.com) looking into the camera lens on their phone.

Gone are the days of asking someone to take a quick snap for you on your camera on holiday and the ensuing surprise when you develop the film. Today, cheap we don’t think twice in asking a friend (or stranger) to re-take the photo/’use the flash’/’not from that side’- behaviour that five years ago would have been at best, cost narcissistic, and at worst, rude.

In March Snapchat introduced a filter that alters your face to make you look more ‘perfect’ (slimmer nose, tanned, airbrushed skin, bigger eyes) it does seem like a universal – and questionable- standard of ‘beautiful’ been firmly set, along with a profound level of expectation.

Designer Desigual uses Snapchat filters instead of makeup
Designer Desigual uses Snapchat filters instead of makeup

The beauty industry is jumping on the bandwagon. Words like filtered, airbrushed, contoured, perfected and flawless are as entrenched in our 2016 beauty vocabulary as sparkly and blue were in the nineties. Even ‘fresh faced’ or ‘natural’ makeup looks require 10-15 products to achieve. It seems that is it no longer possible to be ‘flushed’ and ‘glowy’ from a brisk walk or a holiday tan- nowadays you need highlighters, bronzers and light-reflecting illuminators.

Makeup is not without its fair share of bad press. History has suggested we are somehow deceiving men by wearing makeup: Kansas, USA  in 1915 even made it a ‘misdemeanour’ for women to wear makeup ‘for the purpose of creating a false impression’ and Shakespeare’s Hamlet complained ‘God has given you one face and you paint yourselves another’. But did Hamlet and the Kansas legislature have a point?

But what about the individuality and creativity makeup enables? You only have to look to Lady Gaga with eyeballs painted onto her eyelids and Lupita Nyong’o wearing bright blue lipstick to awards shows to see women using makeup for artistic self-expression rather than contoured perfection. Brands like Mac and Illamasqua foster this on the high street and a quick glance at AW 2016 catwalks – especially Kenzo and Versace- sees makeup as a pivotal and daring part of the design aesthetic. But, off the catwalk, are unnatural expectations of ‘everyday’ beauty damaging our confidence?

Lupita Nyong'o Photo by Anthony Harvey/Getty Images)
Lupita Nyong’o Photo by Anthony Harvey/Getty Images)

In an age where sharing apps allow girls to put every element of their lives on display, it’s easy to see how the ‘perfect’ face has become valuable social currency. But this all evolved rapidly, and it wouldn’t be short-sighted to imagine a time where filters and flawlessness become outdated and cliched. There may never be a return to disposable cameras or a wholly undocumented existence, but as the selfie generation grows up,maybe unfiltered, un-contoured and imperfect will gradually become the new ‘beautiful’.

Written by Alice Leahy
Congratulations, there you caught the admiring glance of the cute guy at the bookstore and he asked you out! He’s smart, medical funny, buy more about and he’s not an axe murderer, but for some reason, you’re not romantically attracted to him. At all.

This is so awkward. He seems really into you, but now you have to figure out how to execute the perfect vanishing act… Or do you?

In the Elle article, 9 Women on How They Say No to a Date, Sally Holmes regales us with the sometimes cowardly, yet undeniably hilarious ways some Millennial women deliver what I like to refer to as the “Finish Him.” You know, that awkward moment when you have to find a gracious way to say, “I’m just not that into you…”

boy-bye

As a Dating Matchmaker with Tawkify, my female clients (of all ages) grapple with how and when to simply say, “no” to a potential suitor. It’s not uncommon for some to exchange numbers, order another round of drinks, or make-out with someone they’re not even interested in.

This ironic, yet prevalent, aspect of dating etiquette made me wonder: Why don’t we [women] behave more authentically on dates?

Sadly, the answer is pretty simple. Society consistently sends the message that a woman must be agreeable to be well received, and in turn, well liked. In some of the most extreme cases, the perception that she is pleasant may also keep her safe. With these thoughts lingering in our subconscious, even I find myself wracked with guilt in instances where I don’t feel a connection to that “perfect guy,” but can’t quite pinpoint why there was a romantic mismatch.

Date coaching has made me more aware of the fact that I’m not alone. Feedback sessions often reveal that my clients also overcompensate for lack of chemistry by becoming uncharacteristically amenable to the whims of a “good date.”

In light of this reflection on my own behaviour, I decided to submit to self-correction and embrace the discomfort of an honest conversation. I now challenge clients to continuously check in with themselves while on dates and I encourage them to be honest with their match on the spot… That’s right! I tell them to just let him know if Cupid’s arrow missed the target.

cupid-arrow

There are myriad ways to get the point across, but first, I empower them to cut the date short if they’re not feeling him. There’s really no use wasting his or your time. From there you can let him down easy with verbiage like this: “I enjoyed meeting you, but I realise that I don’t feel a connection between us.” Funny enough, the word, “no” never comes up, but the message is unapologetically clear. As it should be.

No matter how uncomfortable the conversation, this statement is without-a- doubt, liberating. At the very least it frees you from the “dodge and disappear” act you’ll have to perform later on, and at best, it can create an opportunity for another type of relationship – a friendship.

At the end of the day, the longer you spend hemming and hawing over a guy you’re not even remotely interested in, the less time you’ll have to focus on meeting someone you’re really excited about. So the next time your date turns out to be a dud, skip the magic tricks, channel your inner Beyoncé, and just “tell him ‘boy, bye!’“

Written by Amaris Crawford

contact her via email at Amaris@amariscrawford.com.

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