It was with a hoot and a holler and a little happy dance that I read this Guardian article about an ad campaign featuring Christy Turlington and Julia Roberts that was banned in the UK by the Advertising Standards Authority because of too much airbrushing.
I particularly liked the closing paragraph: "Pictures of flawless skin and super-slim bodies are all around, but they don't reflect reality," said Swinson. "Excessive airbrushing and digital manipulation techniques have become the norm, but both Christy Turlington and Julia Roberts are naturally beautiful women who don't need retouching to look great. This ban sends a powerful message to advertisers – let's get back to reality."
Let's get back to reality. Yes! Hear hear! I think this ban is a step in the right direction in a return to real women and natural beauty, and I sincerely hope that it is a harbinger of things to come.
My summer mission on this blog - the Feel Good Project – is all about feeling good, but how can we feel good about ourselves if we compare ourselves to images of women who are enhanced or airbrushed to such an extent that they seem perfect, flawless?
This week’s tip for the feel-good project is to forget about looking at magazines or other images for inspiration. I want you to find a picture of yourself that you love, that isn’t airbrushed or re-touched, but that reflects you, your spirit, your heart. A picture that reminds you of who you are and what emanates from you when you feel good.
Last year I wrote this post about Remembering Who I Am - I still have this picture on my desktop to remind me of the person that I want to feel like and honour on a daily basis.
So, this week, forget the airbrushed pictures, forget the images of “perfection." Let's get back to reality, and look at the picture of you that makes you feel good, that makes you want to celebrate yourself. These are the types of images we need to surround ourselves with on a daily basis."
What we think determines how we feel. It makes sense, right? If we are constantly telling ourselves negative messages, odds are we’re not going to feel good about ourselves. A constant stream of thoughts like, “I feel fat” or “I wish I was in better shape” or “I really need to lose 10 lbs” sit within us like lead weights, and create a mindset or self-image that is not positive.
Sometimes we’re not even conscious of the messages we’re saying to ourselves. They’ve become so commonplace that they are simply our go-to commentary when we look in the mirror, try on clothes, or get ready to go out of the house.
This week’s task for the feel-good project is to be aware. Listen to any negative messages you tend to repeat to yourself. And then come up with something positive to replace them with.
The more positive messages we give ourselves, the better we feel, and, as a result, the more positive thoughts we have. And so the cycle goes on. Positive thinking begets more positive thinking. By diving into the positivity cycle we can refresh the way we think. And that can FEEL GOOD. Which is what the Feel Good Project is all about, right?!
You know that song? The one that lifts your spirits the moment you hear the opening phrase? The song that makes you smile inside and out, that reminds you of an important message that simply uplifts you?
This week, the Feel Good Project is all about music. About finding those songs that speak to us, inspire us, and have the power to turn our thoughts around.
Music has the ability to change our mood. If I wake up and am feeling the blahs coming on, I’ll throw on my feel-good playlist and choose one of my go-to songs. Some of them I pick because of how the melody makes me feel, some I choose for the message in the lyrics, and some simply remind me of a moment in my life that touches my heart.
So, this week, take some time to make your top 10 feel-good playlist. Put it on repeat. Smile. And let yourself feel good. If you need some help picking out your tunes, check out the blog of our music guru, Connie, for inspiration.
Here’s my current feel-good playlist:
Beautiful Day - U2
Viva La Vida - Coldplay
I Hope you Dance - Lee Ann Womack
Superwoman - Alicia Keys
These Are Days – Natalie Merchant
We Belong – Pat Benatar
Story of Your Life – Ali Slaight
Good Mother – Jann Arden
Chasing Cars – Snow Patrol
I Don’t Want to Wait - Paula Cole
Dynamite -Taio Cruz
What About Now - Daughtry
What’s on your playlist?