It wasn't until the other day that I realized just how much my appearance effects my mood. The second I wouldn't see what I would like to in the mirror my mood would plummet. But why is that? My mother was never one to sit and obsess over herself. She naturally woke up each and everyday applied a dab of mascara here and a splotch of blush there and was running out the door flawless. Or at least that's how I always saw her. What I am trying to say is, I didn't have an insecure figure to look up to when I was little. Everyone was comfortable in their own skin. So where did this phenomenon come from?
I still remember crying in the bathroom in fifth grade to my best friend at the time. She was all I ever wanted to look like. Light brown hair, blue eyes with freckles running across her face and a smile that would make the sun jealous. I thought she was beautiful and so did the majority of the boys in our school. She was the epitome of what I wanted to look like.
Realizing now though, this was never something I grew up with.....but rather learned. I was taught that the male species (or at least in my head) defined what was gorgeous and Godly. Whomever they flocked to was what I needed to be. I never saw someone go up to a girl with big full lips and little knobby knees and ask her out. Nor did I see someone walk up to a person with pimples speckled across their skin and say they were the most beautiful person they ever laid their eyes upon. I, like most, was taught to idealize the perfect. The angelic. The effortless.
This is still a ideology today, however a new movement is stepping in as well. Real Beauty. More and more people (women in particular) are posting, sharing, tweeting the "good", "bad" and "ugly". The quotes simply showing that these labels are all in our heads. Everyone has a "beautiful" that is different from the next persons. And your ugly may be someone else's dream. We are not our outward appearance. Yes, the majority of first impressions are based off our physical reflection but that is nowhere near all of us. Have you ever met someone who is undoubtedly gorgeous on the outside? Like you look at them and wonder if you are made up of all the same atoms, bones and skin as they are...cause right now by the looks of it, it appears to be impossible. Well just for fun lets say this person likes to say "cool" every five seconds and is as fun at having a conversation with as it would be with a sloth. Oh also! They dislike basic human rights and agree with everything Hitler preached. Still attractive? Probably not. Despite two minutes ago thinking they were the best thing since sliced bread you now no longer look at them with glowing wishful eyes and instead want to move as far away from them as possible. Why? Because their inner beauty wasn't there and so it took away all their outer beauty. But you see....this doesn't happen when it is the opposite way around. You could have someone that is mediocre looking with a heart of gold, who was there for you when your dog passed away, helps your sibling with their math homework, has a laugh that is as infectious as a Carly Rae Jepsen song and who donates all their free time to local animal shelters just so they can help to find every fuzzy friend a home (did I mention heart of gold?). Who is more attractive? This glowing person with a heart and character or blase Aphrodite in the corner?
Hi, hello, good afternoon. I am writing this an hour or so after I wrote the above paragraphs. I took a break to stretch my legs and in so doing had a bit of an epiphany. It was never about appearance. Appearance was only the precursor, the thing that brought the next step. Attention. After all of these years it was never solely about looks it was what the looks came with. I was taught as a tiny tyke through some way or another that attention = love. Now how do you get attention? For most people the easiest route to attention is through their looks. Therefore, attraction = attention which in turn = love. So when we are craving the eyes of someone we fancy we are really just craving love. Something to think about next time we fall into a tailspin tizzy.
In saying all of this, you don't owe the world anything. We are all doing our best each and every day to get and give love in some way shape or form. But your magic ticket in this world isn't through your "pretty". The amount of attention you receive does not delineate the amount of love you are worthy of. Everyone deserves all the love in the world. It is what makes us happy. It is what makes us whole. It is what makes us who we are.
Take pride in how far you have come and have faith in how far you can go