Love yourself as you are (not the same as self-worship or narcissism, rather a healthy self-acceptance). Then you don’t have to succumb to marketing from ads. If you know you are beautiful, then no-one can get to you! Elena Rossini is a talented Italian filmmaker, who made the documentary The Illusionists, on why men and women spend time and money eliminating wrinkles, bleaching their skin (or in Japan, having surgery to look like western women). Just love yourself as you are.
During her research, Elena discovered that ‘sad people make the best consumers’. She says ‘The message always seems to be you’re not okay just as you are, you need to spend money in order to be beautiful, and ultimately to be happy’. Beauty company Raw Gaia became the first in the world to never use phrases like ‘anti-aging’ on its packaging. Whether you’re 19 or 90, practice self-care.
Wildflower is a sweet and empowering children’s story about Daisy, who is new to the garden and opening her petals to the sun, wen Rose tells her that she’s just a weed. Weeds aren’t planted on purpose and only get in the way. Soon she starts comparing herself; she isn’t tall like a sunflower, nor sweet like strawberry, nor fragrant like rose. She worries that she is a weed after all, until a strange and beautiful plant offers a different perspective. Maybe Daisy can choose her own purpose. And why do others get to decide who she is? Perfect to teach young children self-compassion and confidence. Everyone has something special about them, and supporting one another can help us grow. The importance of loving yourself exactly as you are.
Your One Wild and Precious Life is a beautifully written book by Irish psychologist Maureen Gaffney. Once you have a few decades on the clock, life can seem sort of cross-roadsy. If you are thinking ‘How did I get here?’ and wondering ‘What do I do now?’, this is the book to take stock and figure how to make the best of every precious moment, for the rest of your life. She learns what we learn from infancy to old age and that you can find a better way forwad, no matter what has happened in the past, or what age you are. Profound and reassuring, this book can transform your thinking on who you are and how to reclaim control over your life, and face the future with optimism. Irish Times calls this a wise and profound work, and a love letter to humanity’.
If you imagine a woman who is 50 years, and she’s perfectly happy with her natural appearance (doesn’t wear any make-up, doesn’t care about clothing) – she’s not going to make corporations any money. In order to to maintain this endless cycle of consumption, the ideal is unattainable. Elena Rossini
Everywhere an image, a phrase, a demand or a recommendation screaming for my attention, trying to sell me something, tell me who to be, what to desire and to need…. Something is missing: I can almost see the gap where it used to be. But it is not remarked upon. Nobody says a thing. Paul Kingsnorth