For as long as I can remember, I have wanted to be beautiful.
But beauty is just an illusion.
External beauty is something that has been dictated to us by society. It is not something that is truly real. The standards by which we judge somebody as “beautiful” is all made up.
[ctt template=”3″ link=”966hz” via=”no” ]External beauty is something that has been dictated to us by society. It is not something that is truly real. The standards by which we judge somebody as “beautiful” is all made up.[/ctt]
Beauty is a social construct, and it typically goes like this:
- Have a perfectly symmetrical face
- Be thin – but not too thin!
- Have big boobs and an ample backside
- Have perfectly smooth skin and long, luscious hair
- Never age past 25 years old
- And typically, blonde hair, blue-eyed white women are seen as the most desirable
Self-Hatred is a Multi-Billion Dollar Industry
Growing up, I always felt this sense of self-hatred, because I didn’t look like the girls in the magazines and on TV. I felt fat (I have never been overweight). I felt homely (that is far from the case). I felt like a failure.
I am conventionally attractive, but I didn’t see myself that way, because the beauty standards that we’re being taught from a very young age are unattainable.
Starting from a very young age, little girls grow up with a sense of self-loathing and internalize the belief that they need other people’s validation to feel whole.
BEAUTY AT ALL COSTS
Here’s another thing we learn we learn as little girls: Beauty (as it is traditionally defined by society) is the #1 goal.
Women are applauded for being beautiful. It’s very rare that you will see a woman get cultural praise for the size of her brain.
Young girls are taught to be seen and not heard and that beauty is the ultimate achievement that they can strive for.
So we poison ourselves with toxic chemicals, make up our faces, starve our bodies, dumb down our minds, poke and prod ourselves with needles…for what? So you can think we’re “beautiful.”
And if you are transgender, disabled, fat, over the age of 35, or non-European, then you’re just. not. good. enough. in their eyes.
Well, I’m here to say: that’s fucking bullshit.
I’m here to say that we don’t need to listen to them. We don’t need to let them tell us what is beautiful and what isn’t beautiful.
We can define our own beauty standards
When I was preteen, I started wearing makeup and straightening my so-called “nappy hair” so I could look more beautiful.
All I really wanted in my life was to be beautiful. Because I knew that beauty was my ticket to get love and acceptance from other people, and I just so desperately wanted that.
So I caked my face in makeup not knowing what was in it – not knowing that I was putting poisons onto my skin and, therefore, into my body. I was literally putting toxins into my body so that I could fit into a patriarchal social construct that was doing nothing but harming me. It was double poison, in a sense.
That’s what women are doing every single day without being consciously aware of it. And I’m here to call it out for what it is.
We deserve better.
We don’t need to poison ourselves anymore to fit into this idea that causes us to hate ourselves, because it’s unrealistic anyway.
I want us to embrace real beauty, the beauty that comes from living in the fullest expression of yourself, the effervescence that comes from a person when he, she, or they are truly free to be who they are, to say what they think, and to be themselves without fear. The beauty that comes from “imperfection.”
I think that when we all look the same, when we all have these sanitized bodies, and “perfect proportions,” that’s boring.
Beauty is in imperfection.
Beauty is in our differences.
Beauty is in that extra roll on the stomach.
Beauty is in your unruly eyebrows.
Beauty is in the laugh lines that you have earned over many years of joy.
You have a right to feel beautiful 24/7/365.
When you stop looking through the lens of what everyone else feels is beautiful, your life will change.
There is no more radical expression of self-care than to look in the mirror as you are and say, “I am beautiful, I don’t need your poison, and I love who I am.”
What is beauty to you? Let us know in the comments.
This is all wonderful and amazing encouragement . But how do you respond when the world disagrees with you? I know I’m not seen as attractive by any eyes other than my own. 🙁
Hi Dorothy, that’s the toughest part. And there is no silver bullet. The more I worked on nurturing myself, the less I cared about what other people thought about me. When we feel unappreciated by society, it’s even more important for us to appreciate ourselves. Another part of this is that there is so much awareness being raised about this issue right now – and I am hoping that will help change what society views as “beautiful.” The Body Positivity movement, the natural hair movement, and people like Harnaam Kaur (a lady with a beard) are making strides.
P.S. I am sure there are people out there that think you are beautiful! Sending so much love to you!