Society’s perception of beauty


All of us have something we would like to change about ourselves — maybe it is a few pounds we should lose or a bump on our nose we would like shaved down. It could be our skin color, or hair color, or eye color. I believe that no matter how confident you seem to be, you want to change something — anything — at least one thing, about yourself.

In research about self-esteem issues, (and by research, I mean Google) results produced only seemed to reflect studies about teenage girls and women.

And while I whole-heartedly believe women deserve to be studied and treated psychiatrically, I for one do not believe these evaluations should be the only results on Google.

Two, why are women so often associated with insecurity, especially more serious conditions that involve mental illness? It seems a little Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s “The Yellow Wallpaper,” to me. I think these days we over-diagnose, therefore over prescribe, when all we need is a heavy dose of reality.

Not everyone is going to look like an angelic blend of Megan Fox and Megan Good. Not everyone is going to be an Albert Einstein or a Stephen Hawking, Bill Gates or Steve Jobs.

I do not necessarily think the point is to not tamper with the former because you cannot change the latter, but to consider, if you could change the latter, would you? And how much would you pay?

While I think on the inside I am a pretty beautiful person, (well, at least my intentions are beautiful,) I will admit that I think I have a tire-tummy, thin pasta like angel hair, hands crossed between a grandmother’s and a lumberjack’s and a severe squinty eye whenever I smile.

I am not photogenic in the least, but I think it is good to be honest with yourself, or more, one’s perception of one’s flaws. I do, however, acknowledge my attribute — my white, wide smile, bright eyes, small feet and average height.

Yet, I alter things I tolerate to like them more; I dye my matte brown hair a shiny black that I love. I whiten my teeth, (including the crown over my front tooth that hides a nasty bonding meant to fix a significant chip,) and I tan to lose my ghostly Irish pale, even if tanning means reddening for me. These things make people happy and help increase their confidence.

But if something cosmetic ever bothered me enough to get plastic surgery, (which it does, though that is for only me to know what and why, which should convey the severity of which I am affected by it,) AND I could afford it, I would grandma/lumberjack hands-down make that move.

I think it is one thing to critique your own flaws and admire others’ outstanding qualities. The problem arises when tiny insecurities and unrealistic perceptions overcome one’s every being and consume the person within.

Do not let the proverbial “them” kid you when they say, “beauty isn’t everything.” Physical attractiveness does count for a lot. A U.S. News and World Report article states, “a number of studies examining the relationship between beauty and money show that more attractive people not only earn higher incomes, they also work more productively and profitably for their companies, obtain more loan approvals, and negotiate loans with better terms than their less-attractive counterparts.” But there is a saying that goes, beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

And if that is true, and the concept of inner beauty is true, which you know it is if you have ever been slightly sentimental, absolute beauty will come from a combination of places; looks, personality, ethics, and mostly, love and affirmation of all qualities, good and bad.

We might not all have equal beauty, and those of us who do, might be differently beautiful. How we each classify attractiveness is individual, and how we obtain that beauty is personal.

I would only like an individual to consider two things; one, focus on what you can change to better yourself to become a better person without becoming a different person. Attributes like patience, honesty and kindness all seriously contribute to beauty.

Education helps one’s intellect, another sexy attribute. These things are beauty, too.

Secondly, do not judge others for physically altering what they do not like about themselves, as long as they retain some of their original self. A woman who gets breast implants to increase her self-esteem is not a slut; she is a person taking action to accomplish what she believes makes her a better person. When a guy goes to the gym to bulk up, he is not a meathead; he is trying to look the way he feels best.

We are a product of our society, and if society provides the means to allow us to obtain our personal standards, no one should be judged for taking advantage of the opportunity.


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