I know there are so many people out there – young and old – that don’t believe it when its said that beauty comes from within. They think its a lie that’s told to make people feel better, but its not.
We live in a culture, where we are bombarded with pictures of women and men that are meant to be the ideal of beauty, but even the people who pose for those pictures would find it impossible to live up to that ideal. The photos are manipulated through lighting and photo editing software to make an attractive individual look almost celestial, and then this image is presented to you with a subliminal message that society expects you to be this unobtainable goal. When you feel discouraged for having failed to meet this expectation, they offer you products and services to help you achieve it.
It’s true that the there are definitely typical standards of beauty that society tries to inflict on all of us, but those standards are shallow and fleeting, and measuring your self-worth by it will only end in disappointment. Also, if everybody looked exactly like that model you saw on the billboard, then how could you stand out from the rest?
That’s all the current standard of beauty is; an advertisement for a product.
I’ve used Photo editing software to hide blemishes in a picture, and I’m not saying to quit buying beauty products. I LOVE BEAUTY PRODUCTS! They help you accentuate and maintain the beauty that’s there, they can help soothe and maintain your skin, they will entice the senses and mind, and they can bring out your creativity and individuality as well – but its important to understand that even though they can be a great tool, they aren’t going to be what makes you truly radiant, and they are not going to raise your value as a human being.
My grandmother is 88 years old. She is probably about 300 lbs with a large bottom to her frame – in fact, she’s been plus-size for as long as I can remember. She has wrinkles, discoloration, sagging jowls, skin and fat. Her skin is so thin that just hugging her can cause ugly, huge, purple bruises.
When she smiles she lights up a room, and her eyes sparkle playfully. She appreciates people and the experiences of life with almost a childlike enthusiasm. She draws in everyone with her warmth and love, and very rarely has she ever spoken unkindly about someone. She is hardly the “ideal beauty”, but I’ve never met another person on this planet that I would consider more beautiful than her – and I don’t think anyone who knows her would disagree.
Unfortunately, this fake version of beauty that we’re brainwashed into believing is not going to change anytime soon. Our world runs on commerce, and promoting products usually involves selling a lifestyle that implies; wealth, power, beauty and happiness. The first two lifestyles may be accurate, but that last two are something you have to find for yourself.
Below are two pictures. In the first I have no make up, but I’m hugging my two beautiful nieces, who I love very much; the second is a photo-edited picture, and I have my makeup and hair done (I’m also about 50lbs thinner). Which one stands out to you more? Which one makes me look happier?:
So what do you do if you think you are ugly? Well, first thing to do is to figure out why:
Besides your looks, do you like who you are? Do you think you are funny, smart or caring?
If you don’t, then your problem doesn’t have to do with your looks at all, it has to do with how you feel about yourself as a whole. Maybe you haven’t been true to who you are? Maybe you have regrets about things you’ve done in the past or something you’re currently doing? Maybe you feel you haven’t taken the risks are tried hard enough? And maybe it’s somebody else’s, such as a loved one’s, insecurities that have been taken out on you.
- You need to spend some time reflecting, but I strongly suggest not to do it on your own – we tend to be our own worst enemy – but instead speak to a counselor or friend.
If you like yourself, and you are only insecure about your looks, then:
- Try and find at least one thing you do like about your physical appearance.
- Next, take the time to look your best on a regular basis: brush your hair and teeth, clean your face, dress in clothes you feel most presentable in, and put on makeup if that makes you feel more secure.
- Then take some time to experiment with your personal style a bit. Get creative and try and reflect who you are and what you like with your fashion.
- Compliment other people on things that you like about their appearance. It makes them feel good and it will get you more comfortable with compliments. You’ll also see that a lot of people tend to shy away from compliments, even if you are genuine, and it will help you notice the same habits in yourself.
- And finally, if all else fails, FAKE IT! Fake your confidence in your looks. Walk into a room with your head held high, look people in the eyes and smile when someone talks to you. Laugh out loud and enjoy the company of the people your around. Even if you think they are being ingenuous, accept compliments; don’t dismiss them or argue with the person who gave them. If someone says that you have beautiful eyes, smile and thank them. Initially, it may not work – You may feel like you failed, It may even wipe you out mentally – but eventually fake confidence can grow into real confidence.