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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 January 17, 2019

8 Simple Mindfulness Exercises to Bring Peace and Happiness to Your Life

8 Simple Mindfulness Exercises to Bring Peace and Happiness to Your Life

In life, we all need to be conscientious of what we are doing. You don’t need to live a life of stress if you don’t want to. You can achieve peace and happiness in life by carefully building mindfulness exercises into your life’s routine.

Exercising mindfulness isn’t rocket science and as importantly, you can do it. It will, however, take a few tries to get into the groove of things but once you get it, it is like riding a bike, you will never lose it.

Trust me. It’s in your best interest to learn and put these mindfulness exercises into practice. In this article, I will share with you 8 mindfulness exercises that will help you to boost your energy, vitality and live a more peaceful and happier life.

Why Is It Hard to Live A Peaceful And Happy Life?

Our Habitat Has Become Too Technological

The world has accepted the idea that technology is often the cure for all evil. We have accepted, as a society, that everything technological will make us live a better life without fully investigating the many side effects that modernity brings.

There are a number of technological side effects that have a tremendous impact on your life that the media rarely tells you about.[1] Some of them include self-harm, economic inequality, having less sex, and even suicide. The global community is becoming less happy because of technology.

How can anybody live a peaceful and happy life when they are depressed? Technology advancements, ladies and gents, is a major reason for why we are living a poor life because it has infiltrated our lives too much.

According to my research, Americans spend an average of 8 hours a day looking at the computer screen — The average screen time spent on smartphones alone is about 20 hours per week. That’s a lot! No wonder why living a happy and peaceful life is so difficult these days.

Too Many People Don’t Want to Unplug

Americans check their phones an average of 80 times during vacation.[2] Some admit to checking their smartphones 300 times every single day. In countries like Brazil, India and China, the situation is no different.

The reality is that people are constantly plugged into technological devices and this behavior is literally making people all over the globe fight an inner war with themselves, which consequently makes them very sad. As we know, war is the enemy of peace which won’t make anybody happy.

Listen carefully:

We have a global anxiety epidemic because people don’t want to unplug from their smartphones and most people aren’t doing anything to fix it. It is a sad state of affairs but very real. This obsession with technology is turning us into perishable robots who live terrible lives.

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The era of anxiety is here to stay. There is little doubt about it. We can, however, fight back with the best remedy of all — We call it mindfulness!

Thank God there is an antidote to this whole technological madness. Without further ado, let’s go straight to the mindful exercises.

8 Mindfulness Exercises to Start Practicing

There are tons of mindfulness exercises available for you to engage with out there.[3] In the paragraphs below, I will include the best ones I’ve personally tried or have seen my close friends and family members try.

Are you ready for it? Let’s go!

1. Pray Daily

You should pray on a daily basis. Why is that you may ask — Well, because science has told us to do so.

When people pray, they feel peaceful, almost eliminating anxiety. Worries become secondary, and often gives people energy and hope to cope with the difficulties of life.

Prayer can make you more confident and focused. Prayer also helps you with self-control, helps to control pain, and can protect you against illnesses and disorders like cancer and high blood pressure. At least, this is what researchers from Harvard Medical School have said.[4]

Pray. You won’t regret it.[5]

2. Pay Attention to Your Inner Thoughts

A lot of people allow themselves to be influenced by their negative thoughts. Be different and resist believing in them. It is a bad habit that can lead to unhappiness.

By the way, if you do feel this way, chances are high that somebody other than you put these thoughts into your head.

Here is my secret to combat this cancer — look at things objectively. I bet that if you look at things as they are, you will realize that most if not all of your negative thoughts are only inside of your head.

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If you pay close attention, you will quickly realize that these voices aren’t worth your time. Believe me — Ignoring them and looking at things with objectivity is often the best course of action.

This article can guide you to beat negative thoughts:

How to Stop Automatic Negative Thoughts When You’re Overwhelmed

3. Smile Often

Smiling will slow down your heart. It will also relax your body because when you smile, your body releases endorphins which in itself has a number of positive benefits for you as a person.

Smile often! You may want to smile early in the morning, during the day, and late in the evening. It is amazing what happens to you when you decide to smile instead of being grumpy.

Surrender your problems to a nice smile. You will notice two things. First, most people just don’t which makes them live a miserable life. Second, if you decide to smile often, you will eventually smile unconsciously which is the ideal.

The moment that you smile unconsciously, you then know that you are truly happy.

4. Organize Your Working Desk

A messy desk will make you less productive and can agitate and overstimulate you. You don’t want that.

When you clear your desk, you engage in deep inner-thinking and your systematic decision making ends up becoming therapeutic.

Most people realize that they are most creative when their creative space is clean and organized. The former often makes people more aware of what they are doing which lends to less stress and more productivity.

Organizing your desk will also make you more energetic and focused because order often decreases chaos which is a condition that often slows down daily progress.

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5. Celebrate Your Friend’s Victories

I love this mindful exercise. One of the best ways to live a happy and peaceful life is to celebrate the victories of others. When you do that, you automatically make your friends in a better mood which makes you in a better mood, as well.

Happiness is contagious! We might as well celebrate others as much as we can. If you find out that your peer has won an award, celebrate with him! If your friend is the recipient of a local charity award, celebrate with her!

What is also awesome is that when you celebrate with others, they often celebrate with you in return. This, ladies and gentleman, will make you feel fantastic. You can’t go wrong with this one, period.

6. Listen to Your Spouse/Partner

God put someone in your life for a reason. You might as well listen to him or her.

I listen to my wife everyday. In fact, I often ask the following question to her, “Amanda, what are your thoughts about…” or “What am I missing about…” It is shocking what I hear back from her. Without her having much context and perspective, by the art of observation in my own nonverbal behavior and the behavior of others, she accurately gives me incredible insights which helps me out with living my life to the fullest.

I’m a firm believer that spouses are supposed to engage in interpersonal communication every day. I most definitely do and will continue doing it. You should do the same.

7. Give Yourself a Break from Technology

You can’t be in total equilibrium if your computerized devices control your life. You must get away from technology on a daily basis.[6]

How do you do that? This is my formula:

First, take this smartphone control test. It is only ten questions but this test will place you somewhere in the human robot cycle continuum.

If your score is between 25-30, take a break from the computer (or smartphone, pad, laptop/desktop) every twenty minutes and stop being on a computerized device after 8:00pm.

If you score between 30-35, still take a break every 20 minutes but stop being on these devices at 5:00pm.

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If you score more than 35, you need to take action immediately.

Limit computer use as much as possible throughout the day. Give yourself as many breaks from the computer as possible. Are you ready for the challenge?

8. Go Exercise

Go exercise at least three times a week. I don’t care if you need to workout early in the morning, late in the evening, on the weekends or during work days. Working out is absolutely imperative for you to live happy and peaceful life.

The stresses of the modern world are too much for you to neglect this important mindfulness exercise. When you go to the gym, you burn calories, focus on activities one step at a time, your mind relaxes, anxiety decreases, you sweat and often think about topics unrelated to your work place among many other benefits.

You must exercise at least three hours each week for optimum results. Why? Just take a look at all the benefits of regular exercising:

12 Benefits of Regular Exercise You Should Know

The Bottom Line

It’s in your best interest to learn and put these mindfulness exercises into practice. Now that our habitat has become too technological and many people just don’t want to unplug, engaging in daily prayer, celebrate your friends’ victories, and listening to your spouse are among the best ways to be mindful about what you are doing and how you are living.

It is possible to live a happy and peaceful life. It only depends on you.

Go exercise! Take a break from technology and invest in you! Life is too short for distractions.

More Resources About Mindfulness

Featured photo credit: Lesly Juarez via unsplash.com

Reference

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