Why do we feel a need to change ourselves into something else? White women in America go to a tanning bed to get darker. Women in Thailand and India have bleaching creams to get lighter. Brunettes bleach their hair to be blonde. People with gray hair dye it to be darker. We are forever trying to change ourselves so we look different, but the odd part is that there doesn’t seem to be a middle ground. There isn’t some “perfect” we are aiming at. It is simply that we are trying to not be ourselves.
We’ve been taught that we aren’t beautiful the way we are. This applies to men as well as women, but it seems like the pressure is harder on women. Whatever you are, it isn’t good enough. This is how the cosmetic industry stays in business.
We are taught that you can’t be happy unless you look like someone you are not. The only problem is then when you get there you still aren’t happy. It is a lie upon a lie upon a lie. It is too much to have to keep up with.
How about this? You are beautiful exactly the way you are. You deserve respect exactly the way you are.
Lopsided smile, crooked grin, one eye wobbling over out of kilter, splotchy skin, sagging boobs, frizzy hair – celebrate it all. Your differences makes you special.
If we prop ourselves up and fill in our crevices and straighten our hair and bleach our skin we are all making ourselves into Barbie dolls. We are all making ourselves into some artificial version of reality.
Do we do this to make ourselves feel better, or to make other people feel better?
I’ve long been very self conscious about my eyes. They don’t line up right. One goes one way and one goes another way. It looks really weird in pictures. Sometimes if I smile just right with my eyes, or turn sideways a bit you can’t tell. As for me, I don’t notice anything differently from my perspective. I’ve always seen the world like this, so this is my normal. But I’m very conscious about how weird this looks to other people. For years I wore my glasses all the time when I was out in public. This tends to cut down on the problem.
The deal is though that I don’t like wearing glasses, especially when I read. So when I eat lunch out at a restaurant and the waiter comes up to ask me if I need anything, before I look up from my book, I’d pop my glasses back on to reply.
I don’t do that anymore. Why am I trying to change myself to make someone else happy?
Sure, there are plenty of times where we do this and it is a good idea. Being clothed in public is a good idea. Bathing so you don’t stink. Not yelling when you talk to people (except in the event of an emergency). These are all sacrifices we need to make in order to live around other people.
But I think that certain things can go. Shaving legs and pits? I’m still working on that one. There is only so far out there I can go and feel comfortable with it.
But not wearing makeup and not dyeing my hair – easy.
I think real beauty comes from within.