Thursday, 8 August 2013

A Vision of Beauty

I recently came across this quote by the lovely Dita von Teese:

"I love artificial, man - made beauty. I like the idea of being whoever you want to be, not just saying -this is what I've got -this is what I've been living with"

And I couldn't agree more. I'm all for self acceptance, for loving what you've got. Of course, you must, you absolutely have to do this. But that's something different altogether to creating beauty. I don't mean forcing your body to (though the chances are it won't) fit the 'perfect' type of beauty we're told we have to conform to. That's just bullshit. And who wants that anyway?

Let me ask you: what sings to your soul? What insults it? What do you want to be? What expresses who you are? How do you want to look? How do you look, and how can you make the best of yourself?

Have a vision of what you want to be (a realistic one, that you can achieve and be proud of. The chances are you'll never look like Angelina Jolie, and why would you want to? That's not you), and create it. You're body is your most precious piece of art. Create your version of beauty. YOU. No one else. 

Just don't forget to love and accept your own natural beauty, before creating your own man made version. 

Look at the transformation of Dita von Teese: 

She looks gorgeous in both pictures, but she wasn't expressing who she is in the first one. 

Maybe you're more of a Mandy Ingber. Yogic, peaceful, make-up free, beautiful... 

You can create this too, by being healthy, exercising, and (while, of course, I don't know her personally), she gives off this vibe of happiness and peace. It may not be as 'man-made' as Dita professes, particularly if your idea of beauty is not getting your breasts enhanced, your hair dyed, elaborate make-up, training your waist into a tiny corset... but, if you are the opposite and you're not happy with who you are and what you've got, then guess what: you don't have to live with it. You can learn to love yourself, and, in the process, take steps to create something new.

Your body is your canvas. And it is absolutely perfect the way it is. But what you put in to it, what you put on it, how you move expresses who you are.

So, what do you want? 

We only get one body and one life. Have fun with it. Live in a way that honors your being. 

Sunday, 4 August 2013

Beach Babe

Can I just say that I love exercise.

I love, love, LOVE exercise. (Though, yes, I say this post-workout. I still have to make myself do it, but I'm grateful when I do).

I walk everywhere, I go running (there is nothing more beautiful - or warming- than running along an expanse of sandy beach in the middle of winter), and I practice yoga. But I also know the importance of including more toning exercises into my regime. To get my fix of these, I usually do exercise DVDs. When I was living in London, I went to some fantastic classes, but here, in this remote and sandy little town, exercise classes are usually expensive and hard to get to. So, if you're in my position, then exercise DVDs can be your new best friend...

(N.B: these are also a fantastic investment: the price of one class, and exercise from the heart of the fitness movement in California. All this, in your own home, whenever you feel like moving).

Mandy Ingber, Jennifer Aniston's trainer, is a goddess. Her beautiful, sculpting, mellow yoga workout DVD, Yogalosophy, is a necessity of mine. I've been using it for over a year, and I'm still not tired of it (but have forced myself to shake my routine up). She gets you in top shape against the stunning back drop of the ocean in sunny L.A., all the while reassuring you that you are already perfect. How can you not love this DVD? It's about getting you into the best shape your amazing self can be, not conforming to a rigid standard that we all to often believe we must make our bodies fit, in order to be beautiful. No, no, no; this is a DVD of self-love. It's a peaceful workout, but oh boy, will it make you ache the next day.

I've recently fallen in love with Karena and Katrina's Beach Babe DVD. If you're looking for an exercise DVD that gives you a fantastic toning workout (with many different workout options) with a chilled yet upbeat soundtrack, then this is the DVD for you. It incorporates light weights, yoga moves, and other toning body weight exercises. The arms workout is a killer.

The wonderful Tone It Up! Website:

Oh, and I want Katrina's hair!

Next post: when highlights go wrong....

(Oh, wait, this already happened. I took this picture to a hairdresser last summer, and asked for 'natural, sun-kissed hair'. I came out with bleach blonde streaks in my dark brown hair. It was not a good look. Rest assured I dyed over them in a dark brown. They then turned green...if only I had taken pictures!)