You're Beautiful - Just As You Are
The problem with perceived "perfection" - and the pains one goes through to attain it - is that it is a false ideal; a puffy cloud of false hopes, distorted truths and impossible goals that fades further into the distance the closer one thinks they are getting to it.
"Perfection" of the type that most are seeking in the present, fleshly guise is an anomaly. Certainly, it can exist, but not in the world of plastic. Perfection doesn't mean bottle-tinted hair, colored contacts, big boobs and pinched stomachs. It isn't about long eyelashes, well-done nails, or full, pouty lips.
A recent study, published in the journal Epidemiology, found that women who receive breast implants have a higher-than-average risk of suicide. They were found to also be twice as likely to take their lives as women who'd had other cosmetic procedures.
Why is this? Why are women who desire - and then acquire - bigger breasts still unhappy enough to kill themselves?
The fact remains that people who feel bigger boobs, fuller lips, and slimmer hips are going to magically make them happy - and feel better about themselves - are mistaken.
There's nothing wrong with a healthy desire to change your appearance or to look nice. The problem is with those that aren't happy with themselves inside. If you don't like the "inside-you", no amount of nips, tucks and enhancements to the "outside-you" is going to change that. Bigger boobs aren't going to make you love yourself, or the life you're living, if you don't already have a solid and established self-love before deciding on such drastic measures.
The trick is to learn to love yourself inside - then work on fixing what you are unhappy with on the outside. What you will be surprised to find is that when you love your inside - the real you - you learn to love and accept some of those outside parts you previously despised.
There is no "perfect" - there's just happy with yourself and working with what you've been given; then your real, true beauty will shine through.
Negative Impact of Bad Body Image
The devastating affects of this barrage of artificial beauty are becoming more evident than ever. Young children are becoming victims of eating disorders and self-injurious behavior at an alarming rate. People, male and female, young and old, are going under the knife and needle to improve their looks.
According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, in 2003 alone, 1,781,191 people underwent cosmetic surgical procedures such as tummy tucks, cheek implants, lip augmentation, liposuction, breast implants, and rhinoplasty. Another 7,401,495 had cosmetic procedures such as Botox, chemical peels, cellulite treatment, microdermabrasion, and soft tissue fillers.
In 2004, the number of surgical procedures dropped a bit (1,740,236), while quicker and less invasive procedures became more commonplace (9,210,627 people had non-surgical cosmetic procedures - up 5% from 2004 and and an amazing 40% since 2002).
The rise in using needles and knives to fix perceived imperfections is not the only indication that the image of "the perfect body" is having an extensive negative impact on our society.
The Statistics on Eating Disorders site says:
According to US estimates from The National Institute of Mental Health, between 5 per cent and 10 per cent of girls and women (i.e. 5-10 million people) and 1 million boys and men suffer from eating disorders, including anorexia, bulimia, binge eating disorder, or other associated dietary condition.
Not only does poor self-image and unrealistic expectations of beauty cause young people to fall into the horrors of eating disorders, a noted rise in young people self-injuring shows a growing trend of self-loathing and low self-esteem.
PRP Online notes in Understanding Self-Injurious Behavior that:
...It is estimated that one to two million people in the United States intentionally and repeatedly bruise, cut, burn, mark, scratch and mutilate different parts of their own bodies.1 This estimate represents only the adolescents and adults who actually seek help for the behavior....1 Favazza, A and Conterio, K (1988) The plight of chronic self-mutilators. Community Mental Health Journal, 24:22-30
...In recent years, however, there appears to be a dramatic increase in the number of younger and older adolescents who engage in self-injurious behavior...2 Pipher, M (1994) Reviving Ophelia: Saving the Selves of Adolescent Girls. New York: Ballatine Books
This article is about self-love and loving yourself regardless of how you look. Whether you be skinny, fat, hairy, one-legged, male or female - it's all about loving who you are; not how you - or others - perceive you.
You'd be surprised the beauty that shines right on through to the outside when you truly love your inside.
There's nothing wrong with wanting to be fuller, thinner, or even slightly different. There's nothing wrong with a healthy lifestyle and healthy dieting. Wanting to change yourself is okay. Wanting to change yourself to the detriment of your well-being is not. You should want to change because it's a healthy, positive thing to do for your body; not because you feel that you "look ugly".
It's hard, no doubt, to love yourself every day. I try to practice what I preach, but it isn't always easy.
Self-Love is the Key
More people than we'd like to think about will never be able to love or appreciate their naturally beautiful perfections and unique imperfections. More and more people are undergoing surgery and medical procedures to be something they are not - to attain this false, plastic perception of perfection. More and more young people are making themselves sick or are outright physically injuring themselves because they do not like who they are or how they look.
This is a huge problem, and it's only getting worse.
The focus needs to be taken away from false images, negative attitudes and ridiculously impossible goals in appearance. People need to be reminded how to love themselves, their special and natural bodies and all of the beauty that is inside of them!