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I’m a hot mess constantly (literally, you always sweat here), the most make-up I wear is some BB cream and occasionally some mascara, and I recycle through the same outfits weekly.
I don’t own a straighter or curling rod, I wear very plain clothes, and my hair is usually in a messy bun or just messy from wearing my helmet. I don’t worry about plucking my eyebrows as often as I need to or painting my nails (I don’t own nail polish), and I don’t stress about the bags under my eyes when I don’t get enough sleep.
I’m stared at more than I’ve ever been in my entire life, and yet I feel the prettiest, I feel the most confident, and I feel the most free that I’ve ever been.
I no longer feel the need to suck in my gut, and don’t care that my legs may jiggle a little bit. And it’s the best feeling.
I do not feel like this because that’s how the culture is here in Thailand, lot’s of people care about their looks. Not that much is different in that aspect from western culture. Girls still wear full make-up (and I think they’re crazy because mine would just melt off my face from the heat), girls wear short shorts and guys suit up. I even have kids in my classes that show up with white powder on their faces so their skin looks lighter. People actually wear sweaters and pants in the 35 degree plus humidity weather so they don’t get as tanned. People still care about looks here as much as we do in western culture. Even plastic surgery is big here.
But suddenly all my care about my looks is gone. That doesn’t mean I purposely try to leave my apartment looking like a hot mess, that just happens in the heat (thick hair + helmet + heat = not cute), but I’m not stressed about looking good all the time.
This is probably because of my career change, where I went from working retail where I had to uphold an image for a company, to a teacher where I’m allowed to dress casual (kids don’t care how I look right?).
This carefree attitude that I’ve developed has allowed me to have more confidence. I never feel like people are judging me, they’re just looking at me because I’m different, I’m a foreigner.
I feel good, I feel prettier because I stopped caring about what other’s think. In western culture I felt like there was always a pressure to look your best, be skinner, be better. Here I’m one of the bigger girls because most Thai girls (and guys) are small, both short and skinny. And while I’m an average size in North America, I’m not here. But I don’t care.
I feel good because I’m carefree. I don’t eat junk all the time, my portions are smaller, and because of that I feel better. I don’t work out everyday (in fact I rarely get any exercise), but I feel better because I’m not always full like I was back home. I eat better, so I feel better.
Moving to Thailand was what allowed me to finally feel like I was no longer being judged. This may be different for other people, but here I feel like people are more carefree, they lead simpler lives, and are happier. I see this everyday, and its reflected back on me, making me feel better, more confident, and prettier.
I wear mix matched jewellery because I like it, not for style. I show up to bars in my Birkenstocks. I don’t very often wear dresses or skirts because that makes riding my shooter a little difficult, and if my hair gets greasy it no longer bothers me.
Sex appeal is not a thing in my wardrobe anymore and yet I still feel sexy…a girl riding a scooter can be sexy can’t it? *hair whip as I take my helmet off* From what I read online before I came I was worried about wearing lower cut tops or shorter shorts and no one even seems to care how I dress here.
Thailand has made me feel the best I’ve felt in a long time and for that I have to thank its beautiful people.
But for those where Thailand is their home may not feel the same way. Many still feel the same need to be pretty or fit to a certain image, and I can only hope for them that one day they discover a place or a culture where they feel as pretty as Thailand has made me feel.
Check out more on Snapchat for all of my hot mess adventures @taylorstracks