A-Z of being female: A is for Appearance

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“When you judge a woman by her appearance, it doesn’t define her, it defines you” – Steve Maraboli

I remember the first time I wore a pair of heels on a night out. I was wobbling down the road to the bus stop and, quite frankly, resembled more of a foal walking for the first time than a sophisticated woman out on the town. As I got closer to the bus stop, I could see the double decker charging down the road. Shit. Do I run, I thought, or do I wait for the next one? It was evident what choice I made when I turned up to the bar with blood pouring out of my knee and a twig in my hair. However, all the other 18-year-old girls were heeled up, so I had to wear them too, right?

I decided the next day, after throbbing feet, a grazed knee and seeing video footage of me trying to dance without toppling over, that I wasn’t a heel person. Goodbye to the left heel, which was sticking upright out of a drain when we were last together. Hello to my Ugg slippers, who carry me to wherever I want to go in the house and never let me fall. I will always love you.

The truth is, it’s not just heels. I’m not really a make-up person, a hair person or a ‘dress to the nines’ person. I’m a scrape-your-hair-back-in-pyjamas person at home. If I go out, I put on minimal make up, straighten my hair at best and usually wear the classic outfit we all know and love – jeans and a nice top. For me, the best nights are when I’m comfortable.

No one really bats an eyelid; all my friends and family have different styles and looks, each to their own. The people that seem bothered are, surprisingly (although not really), strangers. When you go on a first date, when you have a job interview, when you go to the gym – your appearance is mainly judged by those who don’t know you or have just met you. Take celebrities for example. They get judged the most by the media, trolls on social networks or people they don’t know on the street. All our lives, we have been bombarded with headlines such as, ‘What is Selena Gomez wearing?’ or ‘Look at Jennifer Aniston without make-up!’ or ‘Britney Spears has piled on the pounds’. I would place a bet that their parents, friends or even acquaintances probably don’t make the harsh comments strangers do. What I find the biggest shame though, is this mostly applies to one half of the population: people with vaginas.

You don’t tend to see men discussing whether they should get implants in their arse cheeks. You don’t usually see men panicking if their hair is going frizzy in the rain. It’s simple; the pressure of appearance is mainly applied heavily on to women.

Now, this isn’t to say men get away with it. This is not a bitter rant against men. I know lads who hate the fact their bodies are all out for everyone to see, if they are around a pool or at the beach on holiday. Guys still worry about styling their hair or wearing the right outfit. But I have to say, the pressure on women seems so much heavier.

Therefore, I don’t obsess over my appearance. Don’t get me wrong, I like to wear nice clothes and I love the feeling of leaving the salon with a new hairstyle. However, I refuse to let the way I look control me. I’ll wear whatever I want and, if people judge me, so be it. I rarely wear heels and I don’t care. If my hair gets wet in the rain, oh well. I just can’t be arsed to get down over the appearance of something. There’s more to life.

So, fuck it. If you want to do a Lady Gaga and own it in an outfit made entirely from raw beef, do it. If you want to rock up to your wedding in pyjamas instead of a white dress, BLOODY DO IT. People who feel comfortable are way more fun than people who look the part but feel incredibly insecure. Be you. Be fun. Appear however you like. Ignore the pressures and do you. As Lizzo advises, do your hair toss, check your nails and feel as good as hell!

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Liz @ TEWP x


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