Proud2Bme | Let’s Change Our Mindsets, Not Our Bodies

  • Body Image
  • Body Positivity

Let’s Change Our Mindsets, Not Our Bodies

By Kaitlin Irwin--Is there one right way for our body to look? Of course not, and as a writer for Proud2Bme, I’m all about challenging the deep-seated notion that we’re supposed to be striving for that “perfect body.”

So when I came across “body contouring,” I was appalled. Sure, I knew about facial contouring for cheekbones and such, but the makeup game has evolved and I was totally unaware. Now, nothing is remotely wrong with wearing makeup, and whether or not you do really doesn’t matter. It’s just that seeing these makeup hacks for contouring the entire body really shook me up and made me question the whole concept of makeup in the first place. Why do people choose to wear (or not wear) makeup?

I personally don’t wear it, but that’s just my personal choice. For one, I don’t know how to properly put on makeup, and it’s just something that I was never interested in. On the other hand, I have friends who are highly skilled with applying makeup, and they can make some awesome looks. Heck, I’ve even seen entire communities dedicated to makeup as an art form, and that’s pretty darn cool. I’m more interested in people’s reasons for using makeup, rather than the makeup itself. This brings me to body contouring. Is it really necessary for the average person to contour their legs, butts, abs, collarbones, backs of their necks, and even their cleavage? Sure, there’s definitely skill here, but to what end?

Videos of body contouring tutorials are being celebrated online for helping women cover up their flaws and present a more appealing body. What? Tell me, am I missing something here? I just can’t see how body contouring fits into having a healthy and happy relationship with yourself. All I see is covering up the natural human body and painting on a “new and improved” appearance. It concerns me because it’s sending yet another message that we’re aren’t good enough as-is. Plus, with body contouring being an inexpensive and maybe even fun thing to do, I’m nervous that we’re going to be seeing a lot more of it in the future.

I’m hoping that body contouring will just be a passing fad. Let’s be honest: human history has been filled with wacky beauty trends, and the idealized figure changes over time. Heck, it’s changing right now, and that’s great! I think more and more people are moving toward the belief that bodies are diverse, and that’s kind of the most beautiful thing of all.

If anything, I hope that body contouring proves to be an unrealistic and impractical beauty routine. Watching the tutorials, I couldn’t help but wonder what happens when these people sweat or sit down. Perhaps the deepest impression this beauty trend will make is the makeup stain it leaves on clothes.

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Proud2Bme is an online community created by and for teens. We cover everything from fashion and beauty to news, culture, and entertainment—all with the goal of promoting positive body image and encouraging healthy attitudes about food and weight.

This site was developed in partnership with Riverduinen and made possible by generous contributions from JPMorgan Chase, Globant, the University of Delaware, and The Hilda & Preston Davis Foundation.

Proud2Bme was first launched in the Netherlands by Riverduinen, a mental health organization that has licensed the concept to the National Eating Disorders Association. Unless otherwise noted, all original content on this site is copyright The National Eating Disorders Association. The Proud2Bme brand, logos, and trademarks are property of Rivierduinen.