I came across an article that asked “Does looking good really make you feel better?? Or is it another tagline used by big companies to make us put our hands in our pockets?” and it got me thinking.
I enjoy wearing makeup and creating outfits, I also love getting my nails done and having an in salon treat every now and then. Does that make me vain?? Then again I have also been at the other polar opposite end of the spectrum. After my son was born, following a very traumatic birth I was diagnosed with post-natal depression. I wore nothing but pyjammas, I didn’t brush my hair for days, the thought of leaving the house totally and utterly terrified me. And do you know what kept running through my head?? What would everyone think if they saw me right now?? They would think “Eww”, “lazy mess”, “she’s struggling look at her”, “she looks disgusting”, yeah I had a whole lot of these thoughts run through my head.
So, I feel like I am judged for being high maintenence, or run the risk of being called vain if I do take care of how I look, but, I am just as insecure about not taking care of myself and apprearing to the world like I am anything other than a perfect mother. Or what if everyone knew I am not killing it at mere life, because, well, according to everyone elses Instagram, Facebook or TikTok , life is easy, looking after yourself is something that comes naturally as does the straight white perfect teeth, freshly done nails and hair thats so shiny a mirror would be well jel.
In this post I am going to look in to why looking good can make you feel better. A lot of research has gone into this myth or hypothesis. I have found some amazing facts that I would love to share with you guys. I share these findings in the hope that it will help maybe just one person. It’s something that all of us can relate to. Not feeling great about the way we look. Feeling that way about your looks definatley 100% impacts how we feel. As well as my findings behind the psychology of why when we look good we feel good. There are some amazing products, clothes, and tips that I would love to share. I found them very helpful so maybe you will too.
Here's The Why.
It’s not just a saying, or a myth, that when we look good it, in turn, makes us feel good on the inside. There are psychological reasons for this. There has been a great deal of research done to prove that looking good creates a sense of confidence within us. And we all know just how much of a change a little bit of confidence can make to a person.
When we look at ourselves in the mirror, and we think we are looking great. It of course causes us to feel confident. Just confidence alone can make one hell of a difference. It changes the way we carry ourselves. We find ourselves able to talk to people we would normally feel shy around. We feel empowered and our self-worth goes up. With people smiling at you and giving compliments. You gain clarification that gives you even more of a boost.
Humans are drawn to pretty people. Scientists tested over 100 newborn babies. When looking at faces, babies held their gaze longer when looking at a pretty face. As opposed to a face that does not fit the traditional small nose, large eyes, high forehead, features. That’s not to say that you have to have all of those features to be deemed pretty. I am just using this as an example. To show that we are wired in a way that makes us drawn to good-looking people or things. This is the reason that confident, good-looking people stand out in a crowd. Because we seek them out.
Speaking From Personal Experience.
When I had my second child I was diagnosed with post-natal depression. I sat around all day in my baggy bottoms and huge T-shirts. Every time I looked in the mirror I felt like I was looking at someone else. Thankfully I have a family who told me to get my big girl pants on and get myself dressed every day even if I was not going anywhere. That for me was the start of me getting better, not getting over it, but getting back to my old self. People would compliment me on how good I was looking for just having a baby, and of course, that made me feel great.
The thing with compliments is because they make us feel good, we do look for compliments even if you think your not. We are always looking for clarification that we are doing good in life, and a compliment does just that. So, even if you don’t feel up to it, do just one small thing for yourself. Even if it’s just washing your face and applying a little moisturizer, then the next day, wash your face, put on a little moisturizer, and apply some mascara.
It doesn’t feel like it will make a difference to how you feel at the time but believe me, once you have done whatever self-care task you chose to do no matter how big or small, it will, 100% make you feel so much better. When depression or anxiety kicks in the worst thing you can do is fall into the rut of not forcing yourself to do one thing each day. You have to do it.
Look Good Feel Better - The Makeup Masterclass For Cancer Patients
My mother was diagnosed with Pancoast’s cancer. There was a very short amount of time between the diagnosis and her death. 18 months 3 weeks. It was a very difficult time for my mum. She was never the vulnerable type, you never saw her being anything other than strong, brave, and ready to handle anything.
MacMillan Cancer Trust and Maggie’s Centre were a great help when my mum was diagnosed, they helped with lots of things. They gave advice on finances and they were brilliant for emotional support too.
One other charity I am truly grateful for is the Look Good Feel Better Charity. They hold workshops run by trained volunteers. The workshops range from makeup and skincare to wig care/maintenence and nail care. It also gives people the chance to ask questions and the volunteers have the opportunity to cover some senario’s people living with cancer may face and give advice on how to cope.
Look Good Feel Better are not only one of my favourite charities but they gave me one of the happiest memories I have of my mother after her diagnosis. She never ever gave in to cancer. She was very tough. When she was diagnosed and she came to my home to break the news to me, we were talking once the initial conversation had taken place and I asked her something along the lines of “Have you cried yet?” to which she replied “I will cry the day I am cancer free” she never spoke like she was going to die. And although most of the time she kept a brave face on there were days where the mask would slip and we would see what she was really feeling. I could see that she was becoming so very tired.
She went through Chemotherapy and Radiotherapy. She did start looking a little ill as her hair became thin and she always looked exhausted. So one day after her Chemo she called me and said that she had been invited to a makeup masterclass run by a fully trained makeup artist where she will be taught how to apply her makeup like a professional and she will be recieving some comploimentary gifts too.
My mum did not wear makeup but she knew that I would not let her get away with not attending this. While she never wore makeup atall I was a makeup finatic.
I was so surprised by just how excited she was about the whole thing after she had attended the workshop. It was like she had a boost of energy. She spoke about all of the stories people shared, she excitedly told of how one lady had attended this workshop 6 times, the first time she had just been diagnosed and this time she had just had her last round of Radiotherapy with her cancer shrinking from the size of a Lemon to the size of a pea. She was laughing and joking and for s plit second she was back to being my crazy, amazing, funny mum, not my mum who has cancer.
She showed me all the tips and tricks she was taught, I could see a massive difference within her. Her hair had got thin and she had lost a lot of weight. So she was not feeling all that great about her appearance. She had been hiding away indoors. After attending that class she told me that it taught her that she is still the person she was before her diagnosis. And that hiding away was doing her more harm than good.
My mum still did not wear makeup after the masterclass. And she did get freebies which she gave to me. So, the makeup applying part of the class was pretty much forgotten. It was not about the makeup it was about my mum getting back tobeing able to socialise, she got the chance to feel understood, she found people she could relate to, it gave her a happier outlook on the life that 3 months ago was very different to the one she faced now. All of those things helped my mum. It was the start of my mum becoming more than just a cancer patient.
This very personal story is just another example of how looking good can improve your overall well-being.
Affordable Finds To Help You On The Road To Self Care And Self Love
I hope this post helps just one person, I hope that you understand that we all have the inner voice that is just so very negative. Do not lie down to it and do not believe a word it says. That negative narritive is actually there to try and keep you in your comfort zone, its a defense mechanism. But it does not serve us well, push through the negative talk and get out of your comfort zone, I promise you will feel more alive than ever before.