I often struggle with why people do not realize their own beauty. Looks are not defining. Some people need constant reinforcement of their attractiveness to feel valued. To those people, I say, you will not find beauty in the latest bottle of hair color or celebrity endorsed makeup line. Beauty is encompassed by so many qualities that often have nothing to do with physical attributes. Although it is hardly an agreed upon concept based on so many varying opinions of what beauty actually is….there is a universal consensus that some people are more attractive than others. What determines this attractiveness remains a source of debate.
Beauty, although subjective, appears to be rooted in certain social beliefs that center on ideas of bmi, body types and historical notions of what has always been perceived as the ideal image. With this being said, the old adage exists that beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Media works very hard to deliver images of people that are perfect. Using elements such as photo shop and celebrities whose bodies have been reinvented by personal trainers and renowned chefs… people are constantly being fed superficial images that dictate what they should strive to look like. These distorted images of curvaceous figures, long legs, slender hips and Marilyn Monroe like waists embedded in magazines and online images reinforces standards that are hard to attain and rarely exist.
Women work very hard to follow all the trends in the hopes of embodying this standard. Following You Tube tutorials; women of all ages attempt to contour, bake and sculpt their faces into some semblance of Kardashian perfection. Women pay for memberships to fashion sites that are geared towards dressing them like celebrities in the hopes of appealing to their inner Barbie fixation. Women all over the world have surrendered to self- help books and fitness sites aimed to mold them into better people.
With such a heavy emphasis on outward appearance, we are teaching our children to fulfill this legacy of comparison that breeds insecurity. We are showing them how to cake on makeup to “make” them someone else. We are teaching them to reconstruct the parts of themselves they are not happy with by wearing weaves, faux lashes, etc… We are deconstructing parts of them only to make them whole again. We are endorsing elective cosmetic surgery and instructing each other to make improvements in ourselves to lift naturally aligned brows, reduce wrinkles that occur with age, narrow our natural noses, define our cheekbones and build breast and butts to “correct” perceived flaws. So much emphasis is being placed on repairing and remedying our outward layer that the intrinsic beauty that others use to judge whether or not we are indeed beautiful is undervalued.
As we starve ourselves supermodel thin, believe the global marketing propaganda and follow the fads…we develop disgust for the ingrained qualities that truly reflect on the surface. The admirable qualities of honesty, sincerity, humility, integrity and love are lost to the idea of removing blemishes, perfecting flaws and evolving into some media driven version of our best selves. Suddenly we are losing sight of self –love. Confidence is now found in a line of cosmetics or an overpriced brand of skinny jeans. Loving one’s self is touting your best “posed” selfie over Instagram and Facebook.
Genuine moments, expressions and differences aren’t being retained. We are rejecting our unique features for uniformity. We replace smiles with duck lips. Our glorious manes of hair resemble the tails of My Little Pony. There’s rainbow hair and granny hair and low lights and highlights, but little diversity. The latest slimming trend that we are flocking to in an effort to maintain current beauty standards is waist training. Can you imagine training your waist to be smaller by cinching it for countless hours? This, in my opinion, is such an extreme measure to undertake just to obtain a toned physique. Why not earn your body at the gym? Sweating out water weight will not give you the waist genetics has predetermined you will have.
Instead of following all of the trends that media continues to generate; why don’t we focus on the words of some of the most empowering songs of our generation. Mainstream artists are reminding us through powerful lyrics that we are complete; we are enough…we are beautiful and capable and emotionally equipped to deal with life as we know it. These songs instruct us to look inward to see our strength. They foster self-esteem by motivating women to have self- respect and self-worth and expressing all of our redemptive qualities. They aim to enlighten us to freely express ourselves. They educate us to stray from feelings of inadequacy and to develop views that we are powerful. They advise us to spread our joy and to maintain it through all of the criticism we are subjected to. They inspire us to promote self-validation and support other women through alliances like Taylor Swift girl squads. They are the models for endorsing what you love instead of hate.
If we want to be better versions of ourselves we have to love our best efforts. We have to commit to loving our features instead of bashing what makes us unique through negative self-talk and belittling. We must start thinking of ourselves as cameras reflecting our own images of self.
© 2015 FitfunNflashy