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Beauty products, surgery and the male perception of feminine beauty: Eevee’s newest writer, Irene Solombrino explains why being beautiful really means loving yourself…

I should start by saying that I’m VERY self-conscious about the way I look. Like most women, when I look in the mirror, I’m not that satisfied. I don’t see myself, I see the way I want to be.
If I could ask God for a miracle (aside from world peace), I’d beg him to give me endless legs.
The truth is, I’m probably better at complaining than actually doing something about my hang-ups. I am totally unable to put make up on without looking like a panda; I do not spend enough time trying to tame my hair; I should put more effort in my beauty routine; I should watch more make-up tutorials on YouTube.
Unfortunately, when, for some reason, I do start to feel more confident and highly motivated, I spend a fortune on face creams, anti cellulite lotions, shampoos, hair masks and  I’m STILL unsatisfied with the result.

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So it was with such  liberation that I read about a German TV star who stated: “I don’t spend too much on beauty products. If they worked so well, why would some Hollywood actresses have so much invasive plastic surgery?”
I stopped. I repeated those words in my head and I realised how much of my life I’ve wasted focusing on the things I dislike about myself. Pretty soon, I started to feel much better, and I began to see things from a different outlook. What is beauty? Are we born with it, or is something that we can get? And if we can ‘get it’, is it possible to maintain in a world of free radicals, alcohol, burgers and chocolate?
Recently I heard a story about Henry VIII star, Jonathan Rhys Meyer. Meyer apparently bumped into a girl in a club who told him that she wished she looked like Angelina Jolie. Rather than give her false compliments, Jonathan replied: ‘If you want to look like her, just go to the gym and work your a**e out’.  Sure, his words might have been pretty blunt, but might they also have a ring of truth? Being proactive WILL pay off. The real question is whether or not we have the motivation to persevere with work out and beauty regimes.

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In reality, most of us don’t have enough money to afford surgery. But seriously ladies, is it really what we need to take men’s breath away? I don’t know if Jessica Biel or Jane Fonda have had surgery, but I do know one thing: they both take care of their bodies. Jessica works out at least five days a week. She runs, she plays basketball. Jane, meanwhile,  is sort of an aerobics’ guru –  she pretty much CREATED the concept of home work-outs.
The truth is, even if you had the money for liposuction and a face lift,  it’s  money wasted if you don’t also eat healthily, if you don’t  exercise, if you don’t take care of yourself. We can all limit our indulgences to weekends (Saturday night Chinese takeaway anyone?) We all can go to the gym (and before anyone moans about money, a nice, brisk walk costs nothing).
And even if you did have the cash to splash on expensive procedures like botox or skin peels, why would you? Who wants to look that plastic?
But it’s not just about the physical. For me, clothes are another sore point. I’m literally scruffy ALL OF THE TIME. I just tend to excuse myself by saying that I cannot afford Valentino dresses. you know, one of those dresses Jessica Alba or Diane Kruger wear on the red carpet. But then, when they aren’t on the red carpet, they’re often spotted wearing designs from high street stores like Zara or H&M. All of which begs the question – what’s my excuse? After all, fashions are seasonable, elegance is eternal. It has nothing to do with the fancy,  expensive dresses you may have on.

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Clothes: men don’t really look at them – well,  maybe just because they want to take them off. As for the physical, although men appreciate nice bums and breasts, the curve they really love is your smile. Forget unattainable or plastic looking celebrity women, for most men, normal, stressed women crazy morning hair, wrinkles and eye circles, are actually the most beautiful.
Beauty is simple: it is the way you come across, the confidence you have, the spark in your eyes. Make-up and clothes should reflect who you are and not the seasonal trend. It’s about your inner-self, not what’s in the mirror.