Last month I spent nearly $500 on skincare and facial treatments. A figure that may not sound like a lot but when I really consider where I’m at in my life at the moment, is unnecessarily exuberant. I say that though and will probably do the exact same again next month without batting an eyelid. Why? You ask. Because great skin is the foundation to beauty. Or so we’re told.
I easily justified my quest for pore-less skin by scrolling through endless articles on the internet (what a wonderful place that is), that told me that perfect skin is achievable and is far more in fashion than a face full of contouring and cover-up.
That was until I came across an article about 26-year-old model Sara Guerts. There’s nothing like a story about a beautiful, young woman challenging the standards of beauty to give you a little perspective.
When she was 10, Sara was diagnosed with Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome (EDS), which is a series of connective tissue disorders than can affect bones, blood vessels, and skin. To put a complex disorder simply, it prevents Sara’s body from forming collagen, a structural protein that works to keep the skin firm and elastic resulting in Sara having full-body ‘wrinkles’ far ahead of her time.
Sara recently opened up about her struggles with her body image in an essay written for The Mighty. She shared that it was failed relationships in her early 20’s that sparked her to reflect on the way that her opinion of herself reflected her relationships with those around her.
“Upon serious self-evaluation, I realized my insecurities caused me to lack any confidence, which had an impact on all of my social and personal relationships,” she wrote. “I observed that hating certain parts of myself and body triggered my unhealthy mindset, which others sensed as well.”
Since, Sara has amassed a strong following on social media and launched the body positive campaign ‘Love Your Lines’. She’s challenging the way that we look at beauty and the insane standards that stem from the fashion and modelling industries.
“I aim to break society’s transparent barriers of perfection. Barriers that subliminally tell us all to be perfect in all aspects of life, work, social and personal interactions,” she said. “‘Be this skinny and you’ll be happy,’ ‘Buy this and you’ll be happy,’ ‘Look this way and you’ll be happy.’ Really? It is the imperfection that makes us perfect and is where true beauty lies. A reminder we all need: love your body, love yourself, be gentle with your body, be gentle with yourself.”
Reading Sara’s story really does hit home how individually unique we all are. I personally can’t wait to see her on international billboards for a major fashion brand, representing a move toward a diverse and inspiring industry.