Exactly one year ago, I began deconstructing the beauty myth. It was prompted by a question from my seven-year-old daughter, as she watched my elaborate ritual. “Mum, why do women put on make-up and men don’t?” she asked.
“Darling, society has unrealistic expectations about the way women look,” I replied. “It’s not fair. But I’m going to do everything I can, in my own small way, to change that. Always remember: you’re beautiful just the way you are.”
This led to me wiping off my make-up, spraying water on my hair, and kicking off my heels on stage at TEDxSouthBankWomen. It felt liberating, empowering and real. The speech went viral, attracting more than 800,000 hits.
I’ve been weaning myself off extreme grooming ever since.