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Does Gender Play a Role in Beauty Convention?

Does Gender Play a Role in Beauty Convention?

While there is much debate on the subject, it is clear that beauty is circumventing itself. Neutrality or non-binary gender is playing a huge role in how things are shaping up.

The merger of Burberry and Gucci men’s and women’s fashion show in Milan solidified this. Unisex clothing and accessories shared center stage with traditional garb opening the door to a whole new breed of clientele. Men’s and women’s fashions were replaced by gender neutral items in a spectacular show that included many famous transgender models. It created quite the buzz around the world.

There is a kind of paradox when it comes to beauty trends in general.

This paradox will not have an impact on future trends.

Let’s take a look at things.

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Women have used fashionable clothing, accessories, make up and hairstyles for centuries to express themselves. In the same context, men have had used beards, hats and adorned themselves with tattoos in an attempt to appear more powerful. While the trends themselves may have been different, the basic principles have remained untouched since the Ancient Egyptians.

What do beauty, beards and gender have to do with future trends? Nothing and everything.

If gender is not going to be so important in the future, will there be a need for fashionable products? In a world where non-specific identity is paramount, many questions loom. Why are so many men growing beards? Even more important, why are there so many different beard types? It should not matter. Yet, in this recent article on many beard styles in StyleMann.com the author showcases over 25 of them. Our fascination with facial hair, make up and beauty seems ironic.

If gender does not matter, why does the power of attraction seem to be so critical?

Some people think it has to do with vanity, but the truth is much simpler than that. It has to do with basic mating principles. Humans are trying to attract a mate, regardless of gender. It is natural and this cannot be denied or changed based on social norms.

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However, there are other factors that have a impact and create this paradox.

According to the University of Western Australia men are feeling pressure from other men. They are attempting to look more aggressive to compete with a wider pool of mates. In the same context, other women pressure women to be more beautiful. This happens in the gay and transgender communities as well. Proof of this lies in the fact that sales of male grooming products have risen a staggering one billion dollars since 2012.

The tables have turned. Men who wear makeup appear more feminine suggesting that some males would rather play a submissive role. Women who sport suits are often depicted as ‘ugly” corporate powerful women. This is not always true, so is it gender or gender bias that dictates beauty and fashion?

The competition to be beautiful is alive and well. In fact, things have become so competitive it can lead people to take extreme measures. According to a CBS report, some body altering behaviours could even suggest a mental illness.

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If gender is no longer an issue, will people stop trying to be unique? It is unlikely since mating rituals will remain intact.

People are taking huge risks to make themselves appear unique. Gender neutrality has not changed this, people have just found a new way to make a social statement.

Dominance also plays a major role in beauty choices. Of course, this phenomenon is not a modern one. British men have been sporting facial hair during battles to appear more powerful since the middle ages. Women have grown and chopped their hair off as a sign of defiance and independence.

Regardless, if we want to believe it or not, we define gender by how it looks based on popular trends. Vanity? Identity? Defiance? Conformance? Perhaps, this is the real paradox.

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Hippies, hipsters, punk rockers, crooners and various other trendsetters have dared to challenged the norms. As much as things change, things have remained the same. We are still judging others and choosing mates based on looks.

Beauty and fashion will always play a gender role. If you choose to wear more feminine or masculine styles, you will still appear male or female based on those choices. People will define your identity based on them. Perhaps if you truly want to define a unique gender you will have to wear non-specific fashions, alien fashions or none at all – now that would be interesting! The naked truth? Truly then, we would have come full circle as humans. No gender, no clothing and no judgement based on looks. That’s probably not going to happen anytime soon. Non-specific gender robots might have an edge here.

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Madeline Foster

Free Lance Writer

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Last Updated on September 10, 2019

7 Morning Rituals to Empower Your Day And Change Your Life

7 Morning Rituals to Empower Your Day And Change Your Life

Most of your reality is not a given. It is shaped by your expectations, beliefs and thoughts you have formed about it. A big chunk of these beliefs and expectations are encoded into habits you integrate in your daily life.

Yes, some of these habits are formed unconsciously and can be counter-productive or limiting but conversely, you can consciously form positive habits that will transform and empower your life significantly.

This is a powerful point of departure that more and more people are becoming aware of. The most common trait of highly successful people is the recognition of the power they have in co-creating their reality through changing the way they think, believe or expect their reality to be.

One of the most effective ways of changing our belief patterns is through practising and maintaining daily rituals. Ancient traditions had clearly understood the power of rituals in reinforcing habits and changing the way we see and create our reality a long, long time ago.

Once again, if you look into the life history of any highly successful individual, you will find some form of ritual in their daily routine. Some of these rituals may seem banal or eccentric but don’t be deceived by appearances. Rituals are one of the most effective self-empowering tools freely available at the practitioner’s disposal – that is, you!

Below are some the easiest yet life-changing morning rituals you can do every day. Of course, you can have your own afternoon or bed-time rituals but morning rituals are extremely effective in empowering your day since they help you charge yourself before it all starts.

1. Gratitude

Feeling gratitude and appreciation for those little signs and moments of joy happening in your life is probably one of the most overlooked or underestimated rituals. It is a perfect morning ritual to start your day on a very positive key.

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The real power of gratitude is that it makes you pick out and focus on what is working in your life – what is in tune with your being as a whole. It is selectively positive. It reinforces happiness and positivity by shedding light on those awesome things, small or big, that grace your everyday living.

Quite often, we just pick out the pain points, the problems, the bottle necks, whatever it is that is not working in our life and causing friction, anxiety and unhappiness. This is like constantly rewriting the script of your life with a negative or tragic overtone. Your subconscious mind follows faithfully that script you write whether it is a negative or positive one.

So feeling gratitude is undoubtedly an immensely empowering ritual. Start your day by being thankful for those positive things that happened the previous day or throughout the week. It could be something really petty and small. It doesn’t matter. You might be grateful for an unexpected visit from an old friend, a beautiful encounter with a kind stranger, a new opportunity or whatever it is that shines your way. Do it every morning and see what happens during the day.

Gratitude-Quotes

    2. Writing Down Your Most Important Tasks

    This is a very practical ritual. Start your day by identifying and writing down from one to three of the most important tasks you need to complete during that day. These tasks are ones which support important long term goals that are aligned to your purpose, passion or general direction in life.

    For example, if writing a book or building an online community are important long term goals which are aligned to your personal growth, then an important task for the day might be finishing off a particular page or two of the book or coming up with fresh content ideas for the online community.

    What is important with this ritual is that you identify these tasks and complete them as early in the day as possible. Of course, you will have other tasks apart from the ones you will write down but, these are tasks which can be tackled later or batched up and carried out in one go.

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    Writing down your most important tasks in the morning helps you focus your day and life according to what is essential. It helps you prioritize and manage your time better. As a result, you simplify your life by applying your focus and energy on what really counts for your overall life progress.

    3. Affirm Your Goals in Writing or Drawing

    This is similar to the previous idea but different in its application and purpose. Writing down your most important tasks of the day is a way to have a concrete structure of action to follow. Affirming your goals, on the other hand, is a very powerful way of crystallizing your vision and goals in life into your everyday mental space.

    Writing down or doodling your goals on a piece of paper helps you externalize those goals by giving them form. In return, they are reflected back in your subconscious mind and thus, reinforcing them and integrating them more wholly.

    An example of this would be writing down “I am achieving greater success in my career” or “I am becoming healthier and stronger through my exercise.” Notice the present tense being used as a way to tell yourself you are in the process already. Remember the life script we subconsciously follow? You are basically modifying the script to be applied now in the present.

    Drawing or doodling can be equally, or even more, effective  (if you are more of a visual person) as it summarizes a graphical representation of your goals. For example, if your goal is to build a new house or live in another country, you can draw the house or draw things that symbolise the country you want to live in.

    write down goals

      4. Practice Qi Gong Exercises

      According to Chinese philosophy, Qi (pronounced ‘Chee’) means the life force or energy inherent in all things;[1] and Qi Gong is the practice to cultivate and circulate that energy in your body. This may sound esoteric or complicated but actually, Qi Gong is really a set of simple exercises aimed at increasing your health and vitality.

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      There are numerous forms and practices available for free through the online media. As a morning ritual, I recommend following these simple exercises by Qi Gong master Lee Holden:

      5. Drink Hot Water with Lemon

      Simply add a slice of lemon in a glass of hot water and drink one every morning. This is a very simple ritual I follow faithfully every morning.

      Apart from being a good source of vitamin C and a great way of flushing out toxins in the morning, it balances and maintains the PH levels in the body, reduces pain and inflammation in joints and knees and helps nourishing brain and nerve cells. Here are some more benefits of drinking hot water with lemon.

      6. Rise Earlier

      The practical advantages of waking up early are obvious.

      For example, you gain more time for doing exercise such as walking, cycling or Qi Gong as suggested above. You gain more time to be with yourself to reflect, meditate or, more importantly, carry out the other morning rituals.

      So rising early can be seen as a foundation for all the other morning rituals. Many, like myself, find that they are more productive in the early hours of the day.

      Also, various studies have shown that there are many other benefits from waking up an hour or two earlier in the morning. Sleeping early and waking up early helps the body attune with the earth’s circadian rhythms thus, promoting more restorative sleep. Other curious results from such studies show, for instance, that early risers tend to be more optimistic and can anticipate and solve problems more efficiently than the norm.[2]

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      7. Listen to Uplifting Music

      Uplifting music can have a direct impact on our mood, especially in the morning. It charges us emotionally and tunes us into a more positive outlook of the day ahead.

      Most people wake up to music or listen to music as they commute to work. Very often, however, they tune in to a radio or randomly pick a playlist from their device. Being more selective and conscious of the music you listen to in the morning can have a great impact on your day and life in general.

      It’s funny how we try to choose music according to our mood. For example if you are feeling down or disappointed by something, you are more prone to listen to music that reflects that mood – for instance blues, sad songs or downtempo music. This has the effect of reinforcing that mood. What you need to do is the exact opposite and retune your mood by listening to music that beats to a different tune than that mood.

      Try to listen to more uplifting music in the morning even if, or especially if, your mood does not dictate so.

      More About Energetic Habits & Rituals

      Featured photo credit: Carli Jeen via unsplash.com

      Reference

      [1] Live Science: What Is Qi Gong
      [2] Harvard Business Review: Defend Your Research: The Early Bird Really Does Get the Worm

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