I used to be someone who didn’t give a damn about looking pretty. Not because I didn’t want to be pretty but because I believed there’s no point in trying. At the same time, I didn’t really care about what people around me thought of my appearance (remembering remarks like: ‘oh don’t worry honey, you will get fairer as you grow up’ make my eyes roll to the back of my head) but rather, I wanted to be pretty because I could see that my good looking peers received more attention and better treatment.
Thankfully, I wasn’t really bothered about my looks and eventually stopped obsessing over it. I wasn’t passionate about things like appearance, even though every once in awhile it would naturally pop up in my head. I started focusing on things that really mattered to me and I kind of thank my past self for that.
I strongly believe that self confidence and esteem should never be linked to our appearances. But sometimes, when I see my reflection, a part of me will go listen up shorty, you will never have a structured face or even toned skin. You will never be pretty so do the mirror a favour and don’t bloody look at it (exaggeration for dramatic effect) and all sorts of unhealthy stuff because I am way too familiar with what’s considered beautiful and what’s ugly. You know, because that’s what we are taught since the day we are born. Sure it will put me off sometimes but other times it will only empower me.
These thoughts will never completely leave us. But that’s okay because we have the ability to make us like ourselves. I am a mind in a body, not a body that happens to have a mind. The voice that tell me I am not good enough, is not mine. My inner voice never taught me to dislike my appearance. Here’s a question: whenever you recognise something about yourself that you dislike, what do you associate it with?
I can’t speak for everybody, but often times we aren’t conscious about ourselves until something happens or someone points something out for us. For example, sharp features are generally considered beautiful. If you look at models they tend to have defined features. So, when someone doesn’t like their face because it’s ‘too round’, it’s probably because beauty is being associated with sharp features, so the opposite is being associated with ‘ugliness’.
As you can see, I am not the greatest at getting my point across. What I mean is the same old society i.e. the people around us, media blah blah has poisoned our minds. I will stop rambling right about now. My point is, we mistake other people’s opinions as our own.
As humans, particularly females, it’s really hard not to feel conscious about our flaws after a certain age. There’s this immense pressure created by ourselves, our minds, our peers, our culture, our society (again) to look unrealistically gorgeous every breathing moment of our lives. Except when we are at home. No wonder home is where the heart is. Home: the place where you can look ugly and feel bloody proud of it.
True, being attractive has its advantages but I would rather be deserving of something because of my ability to achieve it, not because of my appearance (disadvantage of being attractive!). When young people are overwhelmed by immense insecurities about their appearance, they don’t see what they are missing out on. The time we spend being sad over our looks could be time we spend doing something we love, which will also boost our confidence as a bonus.
I enjoy writing and talking about things like appearance and insecurities because, well, firstly they intrigue me. Secondly, even for two seconds if not every day, we all have felt these emotions. Also, because sometimes random thoughts hit me and one of these are (not so random anymore) the insignificance of pursuing physical beauty.
In the long run, looks doesn’t really matter. Before yelling at me ‘you are an idiot for believing that!’ keep reading ahead. Even if we want to become an actress or model, there are lots of other factors that ultimately decide our success and looks are simply a small part of it. Is there such a thing as privileges for being attractive? Sure, but when we look back, we are not gonna reside on that one dress we got for free for being pretty. Maybe we won’t get a job because our competitor was too attractive or maybe they won’t get the job for being too attractive. But in the end life will go on and we can get a better job.
Regardless, these things are out of our control. We can increase our chances of getting a job but we can’t decide if we get it or not. The thing is, we are prettier than we think. Having a nice face won’t bring us happiness. We are greedy and the more we get the more we want.
We can ask ourselves who we are and discover our passions. We can go on adventures, pursue our dreams and be happy without pouting about our appearance. Our little flaws make us unique. Dammit, embrace those genes. Besides, beauty standards are man made concepts. They are pointless.
If your biggest concern is not being pretty enough, I hope you realise that you and I are privileged to have that as our biggest concern. I completely understand that our problems are important and big to us but maybe if we looked at the world around us we could appreciate what we have. It’s selfish but it helps to be grateful. The least we can do is help ourselves.
Why do we wish to be pretty when we could be anything else in the world?