I am not immune to the way society projects itself through the media and tries to dictate the way that we act and regard ourselves. I’ve witnessed both ends of the spectrum of body image and more specifically, makeup.
I’ve seen ads that push products onto you, claiming to help hide your flaws and accentuate your delectable features. Meanwhile, I’ve observed social campaigns criticizing exactly what the ads previously mentioned advocated, arguing that individuals ought to love their bodies and faces just the way that they are, and that perfection is unattainable and a mere social construct.
As a high school student growing up in the twenty-first century, it’s beyond interesting to sit by and watch as people react and overreact to the ripples in the water; new theories are introduced and articles are published about the way that we view our bodies.
Today, I discuss makeup, and the way my perception of it has changed over the years. Continue reading
In our society, insecurity and dissatisfaction with our own body comes from the media, along with which comes the overwhelming emphasis on physical attraction as the driving criteria of self-worth. Now, I’ve written about this before. But as you will have read and noticed by the theme of this blog, I am daily having new revelations about my approach to different societal ideals, and in the past few days I’ve come to a stronger conclusion:
I am proud of myself for being relatively satisfied with my body; although it is not picture perfect, I’ve got no regrets or worries about what I look like, because I have no control over a great portion of my appearance.
Appreciation for your body comes from (in my opinion) two approaches, both of which must be utilized to cover all bases. This isn’t a flowery lie; this is merely the humble truth.
First, you have to prove to yourself that the concept of fat is not only arbitrary, but also completely inappropriate in the context of today’s society. It does not and should not exist; it is entirely illusory.
Once you realize this and understand that there is something called a ‘personality’ that truly makes you who you are, you can go about improving yourself with a healthy mindset. Of course, all of this talk of self-acceptance certainly does not preclude the idea of progress; it only alters the reasoning behind the desire to change.
The concept of fat is currently placed in control by your peers, not yourself. No matter what your appearance, there will always be people that you will encounter that will expression their dissatisfaction with your outer appearance.
There will certainly also be representatives of the other side, namely, your friends and family. These social revolutionaries in your own world will say words; these words will be an attempt to convince you that you are fine the way that you are. But this doesn’t matter.
If you don’t truly believe inside what they say to you, the words won’t make a difference; they will go in one ear and out the other. Realizing that random bozos will always find something wrong with your appearance eliminates the arbitrary nature of body image.
In this new mindset, the concept of beautiful does not exist, because diversity is good. There’s no secret formula with variables for hair color, weight, height or ethnicity, because everyone is attracted both romantically and platonically to all sorts of people.
The idea of self-worth is placed primarily on physical appearance. Now, I’ve written about this; my post essentially can be summed up by explaining that personality and attractiveness do not always go together. Since first impressions are visual, we should take the time to appropriately dig deeper into a person, breaking through their materialist outer shell into the soft membrane that is their personality. Do this before you form a premature conclusion about someone else.
See, in today’s world, mainly immature people place such a strong emphasis on looks. The tragedy of this obsession comes in decades, when the fleeting nature of looks is uncovered, and you are lying naked on the ground with only your personality to cover your arse. As Lana del Rey asks, “Will you still love me when I’m no longer young and beautiful?”
My mind always comes back to the example of the tragic fire; a true friend or lover will still love you after a major fire singes half of your face off. The struggle between prioritizing looks over personality is demonstrated primarily in the adolescents and young adults of today’s world.
When all is said and done, change and progress are still important, but only when approached with the correct motivation. This reasoning would lie in the desire to better oneself for oneself, not someone else or to fit in with society.
Sometimes, it is nearly impossible to accept yourself as you are, or even to agree with what others tell you. When push comes to shove, the most logical and acceptable option would be to simply change yourself for the better.
Your approach to body image should rest on a strong foundation of disbelief in the concept of fat as something that can be universally and concretely determined; everyone’s opinion is entirely arbitrary, and whose opinion really matters is your own.
Self-acceptance and the general rejection of physical attraction as the only factor that makes you worthy of friendship and love is the first step in the self-love process.
This twisted tango with body image is merely a phase; in the end, the people who accept you for who you are and who you want to be are the ones that actually mattered. Once you have accepted yourself, you are free to go about changing yourself.
We are all on this road, but some of us are just facing the wrong direction.
When I’m walking down the street and I see someone, I don’t wonder about his personality. The sad reality is that I’ll only take the time to observe what he looks like.
Don’t get me wrong, you can infer much from one’s appearance, but too often we disregard the person underneath their distracting features, hair, makeup, and clothing alike. Walking past someone on a sidewalk is certainly excusable. But faced with a person, do we assume too much from their visual impression?
We should take the time to get to know someone before we automatically make judgments. When the verdict is in and whether is it positive or negative, you can go to sleep a little less guiltily.
People are worth more than their facial features and their bone structure. Authors and singers don’t and shouldn’t have to rely on physical attraction to promote talents that have nothing to do with such a thing.
Of course, what they look like still holds some importance, but the sheer success and following they acquire from a skill such as writing or singing comes from hard work and talent, not what they look like.
When many see this happen on a daily basis, the idea becomes engraved in their conscience, so that they believe that their potential reaches only as far as their makeup lasts. This belief could be detrimental to someone’s self esteem! No matter how many times other people support you and tell you that you are worth it, that you are talented or smart, you won’t feel that way unless you believe it yourself.
Whenever people put an emphasis on physical appearance as the determining factor in worth and value, the problem is exacerbated. Worse, we gradually become dependent upon outside opinions to assure us of our importance, when self-love is the greatest experience.
Of course, one’s opinion of another’s visual appearance is always arbitrary, but there are definitely recurring trends in society today that have convinced many that fat is ugly, that a thigh gap is desirable, that tan skin is sexy, that there’s a certain equilibrium between big and small feet, and so much more.
But who are we to judge, when our appearances is something that we have little control over? Sure, you can dye your hair and plaster on makeup, but self-love. Self-love. Who told you that your hair color was boring and drab? Who convinced you that you shouldn’t want to embrace your freckles? The images in magazines and advertisements are constantly changing, but we should not be taught to follow trends.
Unfortunately, what everyone tells us is never taken seriously. Parents, teachers, and encouraging friends always claim that the good people will care only about inner beauty, when in reality, if someone has determined that another individual is “ugly,” they won’t even bother taking the time to dig deeper and find that perhaps the other person has a personality so bright and charismatic that their mother would go crazy.
On the other hand, this happens in the reverse as well. When someone is seen as handsome or beautiful, they are desirable. Their entire persona comes off as handsome and beautiful too. In this sense, there is less misunderstanding because people will tend to draw closer to these people. In fact, there are many individuals that society considers good looking, that have absolutely atrocious personalities, all masked under their pretty faces. (Which is not to exclude the possibility of someone being both arbitrarily beautiful on the inside and out!)
If you became close enough to a person like this to find out their true nature, then bless your soul, because I find that so many people just ignore the blatant character flaws and continue spending time with someone, entirely for their physical appearance.
It is the constant obsession with looks, the ongoing battle with insecurity that everyone faces. What are we to do about such a negative phenomenon in our world?
Everyone struggles. I have my ups and downs with body image and combats with inaccurate first impressions, so it is evident to me that there must be a middle ground.
Don’t completely disregard body image. Stay fit, but only for healthy reasons. Exercise and eat well for yourself, not for other people, because this sort of motivation never lasts. It’s also based on the necessity for other people’s approval, when everyone knows that in the real world, there will always be people who see something wrong with you, whether on the inside or the out.
Body image is important, but not for the reasons we’ve been believing recently. It’s important to have a confidence, but not to dress or look like every other person on the streets.
Beauty and physical appearance are also fading qualities. Lots of high schoolers (including myself at times) find it hard to remember that dimples disappear, that skin grows leathery and old, and that youthful skin is not forever.
Of course, I”m not suggesting that we should get to know every person we walk past on the street, but in a closer situation, perhaps it is worth getting to know someone before you base your opinion solely off their looks.
Prioritizing physical features is both pointless and destructive. Sure, they matter, but only to a certain extent. I’m sure I’ve missed out on great friendship opportunities simply because of my naive, judgmental assumptions.
– inspired by my Tumblr reblogs
– neverstationary post about body image from October 2012
It’s a funny thing, when you see a person that – with a little effort and know how – could easily become much more noticeable … in a good way.
You know what I’m talking about, right? All the time, I see people at my school that neglect their bodies and their looks. It feels strange to imagine what I might look like if I totally didn’t care about looks. Continue reading