Posts Tagged ‘beauty’

Health, Beauty, and Body Image

Wednesday, July 6th, 2022

When I was at dance a few weeks ago, I was looking at myself in the mirror and made a passing comment about how I wished my stomach was thinner. This immediately got a reaction from all of my friends around me. 

“No, you’re so pretty though!”

“At least you have nice arms.”

“Same, I look so ugly.”

 Everything they hated about their bodies were things that I hated about mine at one point; everything they said to tell me how pretty I was were things that I have said countless times to countless people. Despite our best efforts and our growing knowledge on the subject, we still attached body image, health, and beauty as one big package as if we couldn’t have one without the others. Even comments meant to build others up are, in one way or another, tied to this idea that we have to be skinny and fit to be beautiful.

I have always been a very healthy person and have enjoyed being active throughout my life. My lifestyle often reflected itself in my weight. I used to tie how healthy and beautiful I was to the number on the scale. This mentality was also held by the people around me, with my mother especially always encouraging us to be fit. This became a problem when COVID-19 hit and I had to quarantine in my home. I lost my healthy lifestyle and have struggled to gain it back since. This has resulted in a lot of weight gain and, with the weight, came the anxiety around how I looked. 

It’s hard to fight the thoughts telling you that you’re ugly and pathetic when everything around you seems to be agreeing with them. 

This became even more difficult when I came back to dance and realized that almost every other person was skinnier than me. I felt like I stuck out like a sore thumb and this did not help my feelings of inadequacy and ugliness. I was suddenly uncomfortably aware of the weight I had gained and, even if no one else noticed, it frequently sent me into spirals of negative self talk about my body. 

Ideal Beauty Standards for women over the past 100 years

The beauty standards of today are impossibly warped. We have been conditioned to believe that one specific body type is the best and everyone without it is ugly. This especially affects women, who feel pressured to conform to society’s beauty standards because that is sometimes the only thing that is valued. However, with the ever-changing standards, many women feel like nothing is good enough – they are constantly being asked to change themselves for everyone else. According to an article published by Bradley University, “the “perfect” woman was described as 5’5”, 128 pounds, with a 26-inch waist” which is nearly impossible to achieve. Beauty standards do not only affect women. Oftentimes, men are also facing unrealistic standards pushed by the fitness and fashion industry. All of this results in a mix up of what is healthy and what is beautiful and people seem to think that they go hand in hand. 

I soon came to realize that it wasn’t just my weight or my body type that was bothering me, but my ability to move. Oftentimes, when I said “I’m so fat,” what I actually meant was “I don’t feel like I can move the way I used to.” I found it harder to perform certain dance moves the way I used to. I found it more difficult to stretch or reach or even leap the way I was used to. During one of my first rehearsals after quarantine, I was doing a stretch and found it extremely difficult to do. Because I had more weight around my waist, I wasn’t able to bend the way I used to without it getting in the way. This revelation coupled with a surge of anxiety almost had me crying in the middle of practice. I felt like I was losing my ability to do what I wanted to do and, with it, any chance I had of being beautiful. 

I know I’m not the only one who thinks like this. The amount of times I’ve made a comment about feeling fat only to have the rebuttal be “but you’re beautiful” is too numerous to count. According to a blog post on Beauty Schools Directory, children as young as four can develop weight bias and see it as a negative thing to be heavier. It’s ingrained in our society and impacts how we think about both health and beauty. The fitness industry doubles down on this ingrained mindset by selling us the idea that health equals skinny and that’s what makes you attractive. It’s very easy to get caught up in the cycle of thinking that all of these things are tied together. 

It’s taken me a long time to separate my weight from my health and my health from my confidence in my looks. I’m still working on it every day. However, I’ve slowly begun to accept that health and beauty are two separate things. One does not dictate the other. You are not ugly just because you picked a burger over a salad, and you are not healthy just because you fit society’s idea of beauty. This realization has helped me reframe how I think about myself and my goals. Now, instead of thinking about how I wish my stomach was thinner, I can say that I wish I had more core strength to be able to do more dance moves. This gives me a clear goal to work towards while separating how I look and how I feel. I am slowly learning to make lifestyle changes for my own health and goals rather than what I think will make me beautiful. I already am beautiful.

Takeaway: Health and beauty are separate and one does not dictate the other.

No matter how you feel about yourself, you deserve to be pampered. Use this coupon to treat yourself to a fun spa day!

By: Callie Hedtke

Callie is going to be a senior at DePaul University studying Graphic Design. She loves dancing and can usually be found at her school’s gym rehearsing for her next dance show. If she’s not there, she can be found at her computer playing video games with her friends or out hiking with her family.

For over 20 years, the Campus Clipper has been offering awesome student discounts in NYC,  from the East Side to Greenwich Village. Along with inspiration, the company offers students a special coupon booklet and the Official Student Guide, which encourages them to discover new places in the city and save money on food, clothing, and services.  At the Campus Clipper, not only do we help our interns learn new skills, make money, and create wonderful e-books, we give them a platform to teach others. Check our website for more student savings and watch our YouTube video showing off some of New York City’s finest students during the Welcome Week of 2015.


The Fashion Complex You’re a Part of

Monday, August 11th, 2014

This blog series is a serialized look at fashion as a function and inspiration in our everyday lives. It explores the urban young-adult aesthetic in modern American culture, specifically in New York City. If you are reading this series, you’re somewhat familiar with urban fashion trends or perhaps you fit the aforementioned demographic. The urban young-adult aesthetic likely saturates every form of media from music to films and other visual arts that you consume. You find that a touch of it lingers in the background track of your favorite dance song when you hear heavy platform shoes on hardwood floors or the clink of metal on some over accessorized clubgoer. You notice that the film adaptation of your favorite young-adult series uses the popular color scheme from the runway that year. It is no coincidence that fashion concepts marketed to young-adults are such popular motifs in other art forms. The young adult is powerful in any form of art. The confluence of their unique and modern generational experience fused with newfound independent thinking, without fail, makes every generation of young adults the most important shapers of culture.

The term aesthetic generally conflates a vast concept of beauty and the perception of it through the senses. In fashion, it has a more direct association to the word style, the concept of self-identifying through clothes. Often it’s used to describe a brand or fashion house’s distinct personality.  That is what I mean when I talk of the urban young-adult aesthetic. I’m talking about the distinct ‘isms’ of this generation that are engaged in formulating this seamless urban attitude that is both commercially successful and culturally relevant.

Once we learn to recognize this phenomenon as part of our cultural affect, we can start to understand it—why the urban young adult is a universal landmark of aspiration on the runway and subsequently in our local fashion department stores. Firstly, being young is always en vogue. The fashion industry’s obsession with youth is another story altogether but it is important here to note since it’s all, believe me, very cyclical. What the urban young adult means to fashion however is newness and modernity. Fashion that adapts to us has the key to being successful.  Modernity, a tried and true American ‘ism’, allows for adaptability to changing times and markets. This series outlines five inherent concepts of the urban young-adult aesthetic that exemplify how it works and works so well.


Margael St Juste, Hunter College ’15

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Revealing Beautiful Skin at European Wax Center

Thursday, July 24th, 2014

I had my first wax experience with European Wax Center last week, and the whole process was a breeze.

Two days before my appointment, they called with a reminder and asked if I would still be able to attend, assuring me that if I had to reschedule, there would be no fee. Great service; I always appreciate the extra effort it takes to remind me of an appointment, just in case something has come up or I forgot to put it in my calendar.

The center is incredibly clean, the waiting area open and well decorated. The staff at the front desk was friendly and informative and didn’t pressure me into buying any products or packages. I was a few minutes early to my appointment so she let me know that my specialist would be out in a few moments and where the bathroom was if in case I needed it. The lobby is stocked with comfortable seating and a slew of magazines, but I didn’t even need to spend any time reading them because my specialist, Alix, was out right on time to begin my reservation.

Alix walked me through the different products she was using as she applied them to my skin. Though I’ve waxed before, she made me feel incredibly comfortable with the process. At European Wax Center, your skin is prepped with a serum that keeps the wax from sticking to your skin, which lessens the pain significantly. The wax used is actually made in house and the technicians allow it to dry entirely before pulling it off, which again, keeps it from sticking too much to skin and only adhering to your hair. And they never double-dip–huge plus! Alix gave me a few different breathing techniques that made the pain almost non-existent. It was, hands down, the least painful waxing I’ve ever experienced. When not walking me through the process, Alix was incredibly friendly and kept up a steady stream of conversation to keep me distracted from the (albeit minimal) pain. She did suggest one of their products to keep the hair regrowth at a minimum, but wasn’t pushy about the fact that I needed to buy it, just that exfoliation in general would do wonders for my skin.

Post-appointment payment was a breeze. We automatically scheduled a follow-up. There was again, refreshingly no pressure to buy a package deal of the body wash Alix suggested I purchase (though I did and I love it). There’s a handy chart at the desk for suggested tip amount broken down for each beauty procedure, and the option to leave tip in cash or by card.

As a student, your first wax at European Wax Center is on the house, and then after that, you can take advantage of the student wax pass, where you buy two treatments and get the third one free! No better deal is to be had in Manhattan.


Healthy Living to a Happy You

Saturday, June 7th, 2014

Sometimes in the hustle and bustle of city life, it can be easy to forget to make the time to take care of your body. But as is well documented in the science world and as I recently discovered through personal experience, regular exercise as well as a healthy diet can drastically improve your quality of life. It was fall semester of my sophomore year and as usual I found that the determination and drive that had powered the first few weeks of my university life was slowly dwindling as the days floated by. I would head directly back to my dorm room after classes and I would spend the majority of my time indoors, simultaneously watching Netflix, doing homework, and eating a plethora of junk food. The increasingly cold weather certainly wasn’t helping my willpower to go outside and get physically active, so I ended up spending a lot of time alone in my room. My roommate was essentially MIA and at times the loneliness was overpowering. I blamed everything from the city life to the weather, before finally realizing that my situation was no one’s fault but my own. After many weeks of feeling miserable and gaining several pounds, I realized that something needed to change. The first thing I did was throw away all the junk food, the chips, chocolate, and the gummy bears. I made a trip to Whole Foods and bought almost every kind of vegetable and fruit they had on the shelves, which I then forced myself to eat for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. It was not easy and I found myself craving the sugary foods that I had become so used to before, but after the first couple weeks I realized that the new things I was eating felt better for my body and after that I hardly craved processed sugars at all, in fact the very thought of putting those things into my body revolted me. I signed up for three months of unlimited yoga classes and bought a pair of running shoes so I could jog along the river. After just one week of my new improved lifestyle I noticed some significant changes. Not only concerning the health of my body, but also the state of my mind. I was happier and more outgoing. I found myself more willing to participate in class discussions and to independently pursue my interests. Daily exercise and a clean diet helped me regain my confidence and be the person that I had intended to be when I first came into college as a freshman.

Kristen Toms, New York University ’16

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New You– Summer ‘Do

Saturday, July 27th, 2013

Ready for an updated look? There’s no better time than now! Listen, New York gets hot in the summer. The kind of hot where it feels like we’re forever alternating between sticky heat waves and solid weeks of rain; not the best recipe for a good hair day, I know. My hair is thick and curly, which in summer months best translates to massive and frizzy. I’m used to wearing my hair up in a bun almost all the time over the summer, and it’s less because of the heat than because my hair just gets unmanageable.  I was determined to fight back this year, and so I looked into upscale hair salons hoping that there would be some difference between the fancier places and my usual local ones. What I wound up trying was Salon Ziba, downtown by NYU. I want to talk a little about my experience there. (Spoiler Alert: great haircut, great people, great price, happy Laura.)

I walked in and immediately felt that this salon was out of my normal price range: chic and modern where my old place was more drab and uninspired. But I spoke a little bit with the owner, Alonso, and he explained to me that the salon’s goal is to deliver high-end, profession haircuts and styling for an affordable price. Alonso told me that his inspiration came partially from his own haircuts 25 years ago before Ziba opened. He said that he was very happy with how they looked and the great care that he received, but also that he was annoyed at having to pay up to $75 for a trim. When he started Salon Ziba at its first location in midtown, he kept this in mind and aimed to keep the prices low without sacrificing quality. As a low-income college student, I was particularly excited to hear this news.

The employees treated me like a princess. They offered me tea or coffee as they walked me to the back to get my hair washed. When it came time to pick a cut, my stylist asked me what I wanted and had his own advice about what I should do. (I’m on a mission to grow my hair out long, so what I really wanted was a look that would not only frame my face nicely at its current length, but also look just as good in a year.) What he recommended was that I angle it more at the front since my face is almond shaped, and that I try a center part for a more fierce look than my old side part. After I let him do his thing, he asked me if a wanted a blow-out. This is a first for me! My stylist was really nice and he showed me just what he was doing so I could try it at home.

Five days later on a humid day, curls are still intact.

I walked out of the salon that day feeling beautiful and renewed. They all gave me a lot of attention and good advice to help my hair grow faster. And the best part? The whole thing, wash cut and style, cost me $48. That only about $10 more than I pay for just a haircut at the place I used to go to. Guess I have a new regular hair salon!


Laura DeFrancisci, Manhattan College. Check out my Blog!

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Hey there good lookin’

Thursday, August 5th, 2010

Ever since I was a little girl my dad insisted that my life “wasn’t a fashion show”. Needless to say, as a severely out of touch single parent, he wasn’t understanding of his eccentric daughter’s overwhelming need to be on top of every fashion and beauty trend to hit the greater Seattle area. But as I grew up and moved to New York City, I realized that my dad was wrong: my life is a fashion show, and I’m not ashamed to admit that I’m just as obsessed with putting on a show now as I was then. Walking down the streets of New York is akin to strutting down a catwalk, but more importantly, New York’s focus on fashion and beauty is outlet for endless self expression. I love any excuse to express my creative inclinations through fashion, but I also know it’s difficult to do when you feel self conscious. Laser Cosmetica’s buy one get one free package deal will give you that extra kick of confidence you need to slip into your sexiest red dress. With laser hair removal, you can show off your soft, smooth legs and never have to worry about another nick or cut in the shower, or try the photo facial to refresh your skin for a boost of radiance. Laser Cosmestica also offers laser acne therapy to treat the skin’s most pesky ailment, making getting ready in the morning fun instead of stressful.

Sometimes the pressure to look good can be overwhelming, but it’s also one of the most exciting aspects of the city. Laser Cosmetica’s student discount takes your beauty concerns and makes them a thing of the past, so you can focus your future on being the stylish, confident, beautiful person, that like me, you always knew you could be.

-Elisabeth, Eugene Lang College ’12

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