Unrealistic Beauty Expectations, A Different Take.

“Unless you break free from the shackles of beauty as dictated by the media and society, true beauty will be elusive.” -Khang Kijarro Nguyen

I love this quote. It inspired me to write an article about the elusiveness of beauty. Except, I couldn’t. I found myself defending what others credit to the destruction of their self-image.

Our initial relationship with beauty begins at home depending on the messages we receive about our value as human beings. 

Arguing that we shouldn’t have beautiful images of others on magazines or airbrushed illusions and photoshop at our fingertips, because it makes us feel unworthy or unable to measure up, sounds like more of an inside job to me. 

Blaming the media, celeberties, or the beautiful girl down the street because she’s a size you may never be, helps justify competition, envy and hatred. We talk about those who feel insecure because of their appearance but rarely mention those who get mistreated and judged simply because they’re viewed as ”beautiful.” 

My take is that ”beauty” is a feeling. It’s something YOU have to work on feeling for yourself. Why must others downplay their beauty in order to make you feel comfortable? I’m not tall, thin, and flawless, but I appreciate all beauty, in every size, and every form. I can also acknowledge the work it sometimes takes to achieve what may be perceived as beautiful. I actually appreciate and commend those who do things for themselves that make them feel beautiful. Sometimes, that ”beauty” takes a lot of effort. Sometimes, it makes a person feel better about themselves and that’s exactly what they need during that particular season. Other times, their “beauty” will never be enough and they’ll keep chasing an unachievable feeling of satisfaction. When really, it’s an inside job. You can’t look at someone in line, on a magazine, or scrolling through social media and make any kind of comparison to your own beauty and happiness.

The idea that I would question my own value as I stand in line in the grocery store and browse magazines, astounds me. Hearing others complain that social media makes them question their own beauty, baffles me. News feeds covered in filtered faces, and perfectly stacked pancakes with squeeky clean counters and perfect lighting should be your number one indicator that your beauty should never be compared to anything else you THINK you’re seeing. 

Did you know research shows it’s typical that the more miserable you are, the happier your social media posts appear to be? So, there goes that. You have no way of making a reasonable comparison.

The idea that I would write an article and blame others for my lack of self-confidence, or an idea of unattainable beauty standards, seems backward to me. 

We should all take steps to help future generations grow up in a culture that promotes self-confidence and not false ideals. But blaming others because you feel bad about yourself seems counterproductive in your personal journey to self-acceptance.  

Instead of teaching our children to take pride in their own beauty, we’re giving them an excuse to despise others. If someone wants to feel beautiful, why not do something to make yourself FEEL beautiful? The more we do so, the less time we’ll have to sit back and judge others for something we think makes us less valuable. Your happiness is in your hands. It’s your own responsibility to feel beautiful and value yourself.