I know too many people who don’t like how they look. I know too many people that no matter how many times you tell them that they look amazing, they refuse to accept it, and will always come up with a reason why they aren’t what you say they are.
After much deliberation, I have decided that it isn’t stubbornness or humbleness in the root of this issue, but I believe that is actually how our society shapes us to think. In most cases at least.
I have never been one to stare at my reflection all day either; we all have our body qualms. But what I find hard to believe is that people can no longer accept a simple compliment without contradicting you on it.
I think this is because there is no such thing as a ‘safe middleground’ when talking about how you feel about your appearance.
If I went around boasting about how great I look and how great I feel about how I look; I would be seen as vain. Even if I did this kind of behaviour but in lesser extremes, by even saying “Oh I love this outfit on me”; it will almost be automatically assumed that I am vain and that I am only concerned with how people look.
I am lucky to know a lot of girls who actually never really comment on their appearance one way or the other. You would think that this would be the safest option, but I really don’t think that you can win on this one.
If you don’t often comment on how you look, someone is most likely to do it for you. If you never comment on how you look, people will most likely take their own perception one way or the other.
I think the most scary part of all of this, is that is now seen as totally normal to be constantly bashing how you look. As a reflex, people tend to fight off compliments. Eventually it just becomes rooted in people’s self conscious to never accept that they actually do look killer in that new dress.
This of course develops into body confidence issues; sometimes in the extreme.
I know that people say that the media has done this to us. Constantly blasting us with images of this elite group of beautiful people. But if it started in the media, it is now festering in our brains. Not only do we not understand that beauty comes in a million different shapes and sizes; we are now denying the fact that we could ever fit into any category of beautiful.
It is like the world has placed a little guy inside our head to tell us off for ever thinking that we could possibly worthy of any compliment.
I would personally like to permanently damage this guy’s vocal chords so that he could never utter a word of this nonsense ever again.
I am going to be bluntly honest with you. Somedays I look in the mirror, and I hate everything. I will probably fidget for about ten minutes before giving up on my appearance and swearing off mirrors for the rest of the day.
Then there are the other type of days, which I can happily say are becoming more frequent. These are the days when I look in the mirror and I am proud of how I look. I like how I put my outfit together or I am delighted because I finally perfected my eyeliner.
I can look in the mirror and smile because I am content with how I look.
I do not think that there is anything wrong with this. I do not see myself as vain or superficial or anything in between. I am just happy with being me.
I really hope that everyone can have these days. The days where you don’t pick at the fact that your tummy isn't as flat as you want it. Or that you don’t in fact have Taylor Swift’s legs, and you are totally accepting of that.
The day where you admit that you might in fact be worthy of a compliment, and that you might fit into the category of beautiful.
Disclaimer: I know that beauty isn’t everything. I know that it actually one of the smallest fractions of what is actually important in life. But unfortunately a lot of people think about it all the time, and even though it is sad, it is a part of life. And if it can be turned from something bad into something good, I don’t have any problem with that.
Happy Sunday x