We all know it when we see it, but what exactly do we mean when we talk about natural beauty? Definitions rely on established, preconceived ideas of what something is, and the countless expressions and variety of natural beauty just don’t submit to narrow categorization. We can say what natural beauty isn’t, though: it isn’t self-conscious or affected. It doesn’t try. It isn’t infatuated with itself. Natural beauty doesn’t judge itself harshly, and because of that, it doesn’t judge you. It feels good to be around naturally beautiful people; we are drawn to them.
There is no flat tummy-long legs-straight teeth checklist for natural beauty. It’s a sensibility, not a look. It’s something we inhabit, with all our perceived flaws and hang-ups, a quality we bring to life. Natural beauty’s refusal to submit to homogenous prescriptions of what we should look like is exactly why Miöja celebrates it: there is nobody that can’t be naturally beautiful. Striving to be different, wishing to be other than what we are, forsakes the very thing which makes us truly beautiful: our inner radiance. And it shines through every shape, shade and size.
The words ‘body image’ provoke an emotional response in everyone, proving how central they are to the way we feel about ourselves. Whether your trim body turns heads in a swimsuit or you prefer to keep yours under cover of a good book in bed, body image matters. For many of us these two loaded words elicit feelings falling somewhere between resignation and despair; few are the ones who are really happy in their skin. The mass media has fed us a steady diet of unachievable standards and distorted reality since we were young; and we carry long histories of self-criticism and internal struggle. It shouldn’t be this way. ‘Beauty without artifice’ is the Miöja credo and we’re committed to changing the way beauty is articulated in society.
As Oprah says: “This is a call to arms. A call to be gentle, to be forgiving, to be generous with yourself. The next time you look into the mirror, try to let go of the story line that says you’re too fat or too sallow, too ashy or too old, your eyes are too small or your nose too big; just look into the mirror and see your face. When the criticism drops away, what you will see then is just you, without judgment, and that is the first step toward transforming your experience of the world.”
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