When someone mentions body image what is the first thought that pops into your mind? Is this expression connected to negative or positive feelings? Often it's both. Most people will agree that the relationship with yourself is the most important one and that self-love is the key to happiness. However, gaining self-confidence might also be one of the most difficult challenges we face in life. We are easily influenced by those around us and with the different beauty standards that are promoted through (social) media self-doubt becomes almost inevitable. I am sure that most of us experience issues with their body image in different periods of life, no one manages to be 100% content with how they look everyday. I have recently seen a lot of celebrities addressing this subject, trying to inspire and encourage their audience and often share their own struggles showing us they are vulnerable. This topic also seems to be widely discussed on YouTube and you can see people sitting in front of their camera telling us that 'we are all beautiful'. I will go ahead and say it: no, we aren't.
No, I am not writing this post to destroy your self-confidence, in fact I am trying to do the opposite by taking a different approach to the subject of beauty. So why aren't we all beautiful? The answer is simple: Because beauty does technically not exist.
At least not on a universal level. First of all, beauty is a highly subjective matter. Each of us defines it differently, has different liking and considers different traits beautiful. So even if it feels like society sets a standard it isn't true - in the end we are all setting different standards and have different opinions on what is beautiful - and let me tell you, that is amazing. That is exactly why we have such a vibrant fashion industry and such amazing art on this planet. But beauty is not only a matter of individual taste, it is also a matter of perspective. Whether we find a person beautiful is hugely influenced by our emotions and therefore how a person acts - it isn't just a saying that beauty comes from the inside. If we like a person, we are more likely to search
for beauty. Just imagine strolling through a village on a bad or a good day. On a bad day you would notice the empty shops, the ugly buildings and the dirty streets. On a good day we would look up and notice beautiful old facades and maybe we would't find the streets that ugly. So in a way, we can choose to see beauty.
So if these celebrities would see their audience, they would never find them all pretty, because it is impossible that a random group of let's say 20 million people would appeal to them. Each person has his or her own unique taste and sometimes people are considered pretty by many and we still can't see it. Well, a lot of people like coffee but that doesn't mean that coffee is the best drink on this earth. So just like some people like tea and some people prefer coffee people prefer different looks. I once saw an experiment floating around the internet where a picture of a woman was given to many different countries and people in these countries should photoshop her so that she looked 'beautiful'. As you can imagine there were all kinds of results. But let's take the subject a step further. Beauty isn't only defined differently by everyone, it is really just a thought in everyone's head. So yes, we aren't beautiful. Or ugly. We just are. If you look at yourself you can't see
'ugly' or 'pretty', you cannot prove it. Your legs are there and so is your hair and your nose but beauty or ugliness aren't. They are simply concepts made up by society and also made up by yourself. And honestly, these concepts are just based on momentarily thoughts and do not have any kind of scientific bases. Who says it's beautiful to be tall? Why should the length of your body be a criteria for beauty? I personally don't see any connection between these two. This is just an example, you could apply this for many different body features.
So maybe that is where the problem lies. We confuse doubtful thoughts with reality and by doing that we create an illusion and therefore harm our self-confidence. Just like with anything in life we should approach our thoughts carefully and search for scientific proof. In this case, you won't find any, no matter how long you search. If we consider ourselves ugly, that doesn't mean we actually are. Because like I said, there really is no such thing as ugly and pretty. It is just a thought or maybe it is what those around us have taught us. But even that doesn't mean anything - each society has different beauty standards and then each person has individual standards as well. So what we are talking about are just beliefs.
So maybe we should stop basing our self-confidence on mere thoughts and just see ourselves for who we really are instead of critically judging our appearance and putting ourselves in categories like 'pretty' or 'ugly' that don't exist in reality. Maybe we should just accept that some people will find us beautiful and others won't, just like we have our own taste as well. And just maybe, we should stop wondering whether we are beautiful and leave that concept behind for good.
- This is a very heartfelt post as I know body issues only too well. I have actually rewritten this post 3 times before publishing it and I'm not sure if I got my point across or not. I really wanted to write this post as realising that I'm basing my happiness on a mere thought helped me more than any reassurance that I was beautiful. P.S. This post is hugely influenced by Noah Elkrief, I can highly recommend checking out his channel.-
What are your thoughts on this?x
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