Can natural be the new black please?

I doubt many people would say they peaked during secondary school, but I most definitely did. Back in the day I guess you could say I was ‘cute’.

A neat little size 8, toned because I used to horse ride every day, usually brown thanks to my olive skin and three sunny holidays a year, I had straight long brown hair that never seemed to get frizzy and I used to smile a lot.

Back then few people had heard of GHDs, fake tan or false eyelashes. And nobody had heard of hair extensions. Yes, me and all my girlfriends were only 16, but we associated, what are now essentials on a night out in Sheffield, with the rich and famous. Back in school I was never the prettiest and I never had the best figure, but people said I was lucky because I had nice long hair and a permanent sun tan.

Overall I was confident about the way I looked, yes I sometimes cried myself to sleep about my boobs (or lack of) my own mother used to call me “no-nips”. But overall I was pretty happy with the way I looked, I wouldn’t think twice about scoffing down a club sandwich, in fact, back then I thought sandwiches were pretty healthy. Now I have heart palpitations about the amount of carbs and saturated fat in a ‘healthy option’ tuna baguette. Anyway, the point I am trying to make is as a teen I was pretty comfortable with the way I looked.

Now however things are very, very different. At the age of 16 I thought I would sail into my twenties and look pretty much the same, but now I am a very little fish sinking in a sea of fake tan, eyelash extensions, false hair and even fake boobs. Which makes my naturally long hair and sun-kissed skin look pretty inadequate.

I promise I’m not saying I hate all this fake stuff and believe me I’m a user of false eyelashes from time to time, and fake tan has become more of a feature in my life since Easter holidays are now spent in cloudy Britain instead of on a beach in Spain.

What bugs me is I am no longer a size 8, I am far from it (but that would take another blog post to complain about), I am a poor twenty-something gal trying to make my way in the world so fashionable clothes are just as inaccessible as a size 8 pair of jeans. So what pecks my head a little bit is the things I actually like about myself are completely outweighed by a booming beauty industry which can give you everything for under £20. I have long brown hair, but on a night out in Essex its swamped by a bouffant of glorious hair extensions which can turn your average mop into a Hollwood-esque beehive. And long eyelashes can give anyone a flirty flutter these days.

Continue reading