August 21st and 22nd

August 21st – This has been a lot of work so far, so make today a day to celebrate YOU! Indulge yourself with the foods, activities, people, etc. that you love today and simply focus on doing things that make you happy without feeling guilt because you deserve it! How does it feel to celebrate you for a whole day? How can you maintain the feeling in your everyday life (if you want to, that is)?

This was easy because I was at the beach :) I try to do this anyway, on a smaller scale, in my daily life by “rewarding” myself whenever I get through something difficult and allowing myself to indulge in shopping, free time with friends, the foods I love, etc. to a degree. I just try to strike the right balance and never feel guilty about the times I do indulge because I know for every day I spend being lazy theres another one where I am running all over the place, for every less-healthy food I eat I’ve chosen something better for my body, for every shopping trip I take I’ve worked to make money to save and put away, and so on… so long as the balance is there the guilt doesn’t have to be!

August 22nd – Choose a product that you use regularly to alter your appearance (lipstick, hair product, razor, diet pills… whatever) and try going without it for the next week (or however long you feel comfortable) without using that product. During that week pay attention to how you feel without the product, and why you feel that way. This is a good way to really understand how the beauty products we use daily impact our self esteem.”

“Applying make-up, nail polish, shaving legs, and most other sexist, cosmetic double standards are NOT antitheses to being a feminist – the motivation behind the products are. While these products are all derived from the sexist ideal of a “perfect” woman, many women (and men, for that matter) enjoy these items; there’s nothing wrong with that choice. However, there is an inherent problem when there is no choice involved. [People] should be strongly encouraged to consider the motivations behind their habits but not castigated for living them out.” I saved this little snippet of a debate on my laptop awhile back… but I forgot to add a link so I have no idea where it came from (can anyone help me out?) Still, it delivers the exact message I wanted to with this challenge – it’s not about giving up the products that make us feel attractive but, rather, examining the effect these products have on our self-esteem and self concept. In doing so we can examine our motives and make an educated decision about whether or not to continue with the use of these products.

I took this idea on theorietically in my own life a few months ago, in regards to shaving. I don’t feel comfortable enough yet to stop shaving, I’m just going to be honest here. However, what I do feel capable of doing is giving up makeup for the next few weeks. Admittedly I have an off-and-on relationship with makup to begin with, but this should still be a challenge because I am breaking out this week and I’m used to covering up. We’ll see how it goes…