The truth is, there's no such thing as the perfect role model.
No one person can be perfect for every element of your aspirations however, a combination of people you admire can come together for you to take inspiration and help you become the person you want to be.
Once I stopped using people who looked nothing like me as my beauty inspirations and saw different people's approaches and attitudes to life, I realised I could take elements of people to be inspired by without beating myself up over things I couldn't change about my body.
I'm not saying my role models are perfect or my self confidence is where I want it to be but it's certainly better than where I was last year, and I will take that as a victory.
Also, my role models won't be right for everyone because we're all different and a good role model should be someone physically similar to you and who's opinions you share and attitudes you can relate to.
These are my role models who can (hopefully) inspire you and help you to choose your own.
Physical/Body role models:
Okay, okay, I know. Not the most obvious role model but a very good example of how elements of people can be taken as inspiration.
I am not shaped exactly like her but I am similar in some aspects- she's not stick thin but, in fact, very shapely and, instead of being frowned upon or called 'obese', her shape is celebrated and considered beautiful. She is also very confident in her body and is not afraid to show off her shape rather than hiding it.
I think this is a very positive message for someone who suffers from low body confidence such as myself. Her own appreciation and happiness in her body makes me think maybe I can feel the same in mine rather than shying away because I don't look like all my friends.
I definitely wouldn't take all my fashion inspiration from her - there are some signature outifts I won't be repeating in myself - but I can look at her style, how does she fit her shape. Consequently I've started wearing highwaisted jeans with slightly cropped tops to accentuate my waist.
This makes me feel more confident and happier in my skin however, if I'd looked for style inspiration from, say, Lily Collins I would have felt terrible about myself because we are totally different shapes and I wouldn't have looked as good in her style. That's why it's so important to look for someone physically similar to you.
My second body role model is Marilyn Monroe.
The fifties were generally an era when curves were celebrated and exaggerating shape was the point of the clothes. It is my favourite decade and I love the fashions, hair, makeup, music- everything! I was definitely born in the wrong year!
Marilyn was considered beautiful and a style icon. She was an actress but also a highly respected model without being skinny.
My beauty role models
Jenifer Lawrence, Tanya Burr and Lucy hale.
These beautiful women are my makeup/beauty role models because they have very similar
features to myself. All of them have hooded eyes and still manage to pull off the most gorgeous eyeshadow looks I never thought would be possible with eyes the shape of mine.
I've seen them do natural looks, golden hues and smokey eyes - this reasures me that, just because I don't have pronounced eyelids, doesn't mean I can't use eyeshadow and glitters just like everyone else.
Tanya Burr also has pronounced lips much like mine so I love seeing what colours and textures she uses to decide what would look good on me and what would be too much as I find they can be difficult to 'work with'.
Seeing women with similar facial features to me looking beautiful makes me feel more confident and assured in my own skin as I know how beautiful my features can look and helps me to accept them rather than trying to change or reshape them to look like someone else's.
This is what role models should be, helping you feel confident in yourself rather than just being frustrated because you can't look like someone completely different to you. They should help you realise how beautiful you look.
Onto 'actions and beliefs' role models.
I just like to think of these as people who have acted in their lives the way I want to, people who you can think 'what would....do in this situation'.
And there are many. So many people deserve admiration for their actions and inspire me in my everyday life but I've narrowed it down to two.
The first is Emma Watson
I admit, this isn't very original, but there's a reason she's admired by so many people. Her attitudes towards equality and helping others leave nothing to be desired. She is a truly remarkable person and always thinking of everyone else and this is definitely something I want to do.
She is unbelievably talented and works hard at her craft to ensure she is always the best she can be- something else I like to think of when I'm trying to improve my own skills.
Her attitude towards education is inspiring enough on its own. She always valued it and worked her hardest to make the most of it as she realises it's a privalidge not everyone has.
I tried to remember this throughout my exams (although, I must admit, I haven't got my appreciation down to a fine art yet!)
And throughout all this she is always modest and kind. This is the most important thing of all, goodness attracts goodness and she is a prime example of how you can achieve anything with the
right mindset and actions.
My final role model is Audrey Hepburn
Back to my favourite decade!
I love Audrey for the simple reason that she is impeccably graceful and elegant.
She lived her life beautifully: smiling, laughing and uttering wonderful words of wisdom.
I wish to live with such dignity and grace as she did and daily think 'what would Audrey do?'
With this ensemble of amazing people I am lucky enough to take inspiration from, I try to live my life beautifully, positively and gracefully.
Although I love looking up to others, my life is my own and made up of my own decisions and actions. It is important to remember that you are not your favourite celebrities, you are you, and that is wonderful. Be inspired and influenced but don't try to become someone else, use your role models to help you see how awesome you are and slowly, you will grow to be more confident as yourself rather than trying to change who you are.
Love, Ruthie Xx