Many people benefit from simple living and minimalism. It saves you money, de-clutters your house, and can help you get back in touch with what really matters. However, if there’s one group of people in particular that I think could benefit most from simple living, it’s women.
Why? Because, in the Western world, women are marketed an idea. In order to be attractive, the idea goes, you need skin, hair and beauty products. You need the right wardrobe, the right body, and a whole arsenal of products to keep your gross woman stuff at bay. This last one is hilariously illustrated by Mitchell & Webb:
This kind of message fosters anxiety for women. It gives the impression that female bodies are simply not acceptable as they are – that they need re-touching. Not only is this damaging to our confidence (which, by the way, you also need more of), but it also ensures that appearance-related industries get a nice big profit.
There’s nothing wrong with wanting to look nice or look after your body. There’s nothing wrong with wearing cruelty-free makeup or pretty shoes. But if the ever-present pressure to fix yourself is causing you to spend more money on skincare that doesn’t work and exercise equipment you’ll never use, that’s not good. All you’re doing is wasting money, taking up more space in your home, and fuelling the idea that you’re not good enough.
In short, it’s complicating your life, and you don’t need that.
Simple living offers an alternative. You may think simple living is about renouncing your worldly possessions and living off the land, and for some people it is. But in essence simple living is really about making life richer, not poorer. Rather than make mindless purchases, you choose the ones that will have the most positive impact on your life. Rather than fill your house with stuff, you make the most of the space you have. And most importantly, rather than take on the commercial idea that more is more, you become happier with what you have. You don’t sacrifice anything, because what you eliminate feels like a gain.
“Simple living is really about making life richer, not poorer.” tweet this
For women, taking a simpler view of beauty means freedom from the harmful mindset that you can buy it, and so that you can buy happiness. You can’t. No amount of face cream or even plastic surgery will keep you looking 25. It also means you can choose a personal care routine that actually works. No fads, no gimmicks, just straightforward and effective.
Simple living isn’t the only way women can feel better about themselves and their purchases, but in an age where people travel, move house and have busy schedules, it just makes sense.