There is a sad, but undeniable truth in our society about the way we view ourselves and those around us. Companies, the media, and we as individuals create and project constant social beliefs and pressures about what is beautiful and what is not. On top of what defines beauty, there are countless stereotypes for the way a person should dress, act, do their makeup, and treat their hair (or lack of it…). Rarely do we define what beauty means to us… rather it’s spoon fed to us from movies, billboards, music videos, magazines, and sadly from our peers starting from an age where all we should be worried about is where our imaginations can take us.
But, this version of what beauty should be is only skin deep. One of the best things about long-term travel is that it helps redefine what beauty means to you. It kicks to the curb all of the stigmas that society has and lets you shine through as an individual. Don’t believe me? Keep scrolling and find out three ways beauty is redefined from abroad.
3 Ways Your Definition Of Beauty May Change
1). Makeup Free Mondays Become Makeup Free Every Day
When you’re traveling long-term with minimal amounts of belongings – like traveling with only a carry-on bag – you’re not going to bring much in the way of makeup with you (case in point… I have one mascara and one eyeshadow). Plus, if you’re traveling to tropical places where you’ll be sweating, no one wants layers of goop on their skin. And, when you hit the ocean or the pool to go swimming it’s just going to run. But, most importantly, you’re there to explore, to experience, and to learn. Not to impress the man of your dreams with how great your makeup looks 😉 (unless that’s what you’re going for… and then more power to ya!)
I have a bit of makeup with me when I travel, but truth be told, I wear it maybe twice a month. I used to not like leaving my house in the States without at least mascara on, but now I prefer leaving with a fresh face. Beauty isn’t about what masterpiece you can paint in the morning, but about how confident you feel in your own skin as you head out to explore each day.
2). Perfect Skin (Or Rather, Lack There Of) Becomes Your Storytelling Canvas
Tan, radiant, a soft glow, and smooth what could be better? While all that is nice, it’s not the realities of traveling. As you hike through jungles you’ll get scratches on your legs, as you walk around in the evening you’ll get bug bites, and as you sunbathe you will inevitably get sunburnt from time to time.
In just three months of full-time travel, my body has transformed from having great skin to my storytelling canvas. Ohhhh that scar, that’s from when I climbed around the missing stairs to the Blue Lagoon in Malaysia. Ooo those big bites, I think they’re from the time we watched a fire show on the beach in Perhentian Kecil. In other words, beauty isn’t about your skin, but about what you can do in it! I feel beautiful because I can hike, bike, walk, swim, kayak, and everything in between.
3). The Latest Beauty Tips Become Something You Don’t Need
Did you see that new face mask? It’s supposed to take years off! What about the new gel nails? They’re so cool! Well, there’s always going to be a new trend, always something to make you look more “youthful” and beautiful, but the truth is… it’s all just marketing. Tactics used to get us to buy things we don’t need and that often don’t work anyway. You’re beautiful just the way you are. It’s fascinating how people from the US buy tanning lotion, go to tanning salons, and lay outside when there’s just enough sun not to freeze in order to hopefully turn a little darker.
Fly across the world though, and many Asian cultures want the opposite. They cover their arms and legs from the sun, they use whitening lotion, and they try their darnedest to avoid getting darker. There’s no one way to be beautiful, but traveling and seeing different “requirements” for beauty all over the world makes me feel beautiful in my own skin. You’re beautiful just the way you are – there’s no need to change.
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