A few years ago, Robert Hoge, author of the book “Ugly” spoke at TEDx Southbank about his experience growing up with a face forever altered by congenital health conditions. His words popped up again for me this weekend as I was catching up with my favourite podcasts and a few vlogs. All of these had a segment talking about
1. Spanx, the Kardashians and the new Kimono brand (Reid This Reid That)
2. Reviewing shapewear to be worn under dresses (Patricia Bright)
3. TED Talk by Robert Hoge on owning your face.
Lots of us have grown into today’s culture of idealized beauty, fueled by disordered eating, impossible workouts, miracle slimming teas and societal currency. I have young teens who are in my life starting to ask me whether they look better with the makeup or not, with a bit more skin on show or not, and even whether they should start dating. Aside from answering with ideal answers- the ones that always sound canned from a school textbook, I am always looking to amend the view I have from the culture and help them too.
I listened and watched and I struggled to stay tuned. You see, I really enjoy all these featured hosts and their guests, however, I always have to turn off body critical discussions for self care. Even when it comes from a place of sharing from personal experience, or critique of social culture, it grates on that the standards of beauty for women and even men are so limited. All three segments handled these remarkably well, however .
My favourite was Hoge, whose lifelong journey to owning his own face is a model to study well as we each come to love and accept our own bodies