Beauty and the Beast of Ideals

I was reading an article online, which addressed the issue of teenagers and what, as teens, we all may have done differently if only we’d have known what we know now. It discussed self-love, overcoming breakups and not conforming to what we’re told we’re supposed to look or act like. A great idea and a very helpful read for many I’m sure. Only there’s one thing that played on my mind. The same issues- lacking self-love, dealing with break ups terribly and aspiring to certain ideals- all still exist in the adult world. If we can dish out the advice to others, be that children, teenagers or peers, why can we not abide by it ourselves?

I could witter on forever about all of these issues, however I think that the word count would be more suited to a book rather than a blog post, therefore I’ve decided to discuss one thing that I feel exceptionally strong about. It’s something that we encounter from a very young age and something that I’m not sure we ever stop being affected by, and that is ‘ideals within society’.

Now, answer this honestly. When was the last time that you looked in the mirror and didn’t notice anything that you didn’t like? The last time you looked at yourself and thought ‘I’m happy just the way I am’? Sadly, for most of us, the answer is probably never. We are quick to see what we dislike, hence adopting a feeling of inadequacy along with the need to make amendments.

The truth is that we are constantly being made to feel this way. Inadequate, that is. It is everywhere. It lines that streets that we walk down in the form of advertising, floods the magazines that we read, infests our phones through social media and is almost impossible to escape. We are constantly being made to feel inferior. No longer are we happy with what we have, instead we lust after what we don’t. Desperately searching for ways to disguise or distinguish our so-called ‘flaws’, which by the way don’t actually exist. Who is anybody to define a flaw? Nobody, that’s who.

What we don’t consider is that most of what we aspire to isn’t actually real. Meaning that it would take a hell of a lot of effort to obtain. Those perfectly digitally enhanced bodies, all forms of surgery (who knew that butt implants were actually a real and surprisingly ordinary thing?), makeup, lighting tricks and the list goes on. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not slating surgery. Nor am I saying that it’s bad to wear make-up. What I do think is, that it’s worrying that a lot of people don’t feel confident without.

We wouldn’t want to have our child, little brother, sister, niece or nephew come into the world being taught that they need to change in order to feel better about themselves, to feel accepted and confident. So, again, why do we allow it to happen to ourselves…

I’m not saying that I haven’t been trapped in it too. I have, which I think is why I found it so important to write this piece. The constant comparison to girls on my social media, at castings, in the street. But one day I realised that it had to stop. I am not those girls, I am me and I will aspire to be me and only me. I will look like what I want to look like and be confident within myself. 

Let’s face it, if anybody doesn’t like or accept that, should I really be valuing their opinion anyway?

What would happen if we all decided to let everything go? If we decided to not care that we don’t look like the edited model in the picture or the girl on Instagram who took 235 selfies just to get the perfect angle. For the girl on Instagram to post the first selfie she takes. For the advertising companies to post unedited versions of the shoots. To love how we look as ourselves, laid bare. Real beauty. Natural beauty. The beauty of being you. Of being unique- an individual. The beauty of loving yourself for who you are without having to abide by boundaries set by society.

When you learn to stop concentrating on what everyone else is doing or looking like and instead focus on yourself, you may just find that you begin to radiate the most attractive form of beauty, happiness. I hope that you can find this true happiness, exactly as you are.

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