All I want is for people to get it. I want people to stop watching TV or looking at pictures online and immediately thinking inferior of themselves or others. Commenting on the way people look is such a shallow thing to do, and how much effort you’ve put into your everyday look isn’t going to matter if you don’t put more effort into who you are. Worst of all, most of the people I notice who constantly remark on others forget that they have flaws, too.
Growing up, I wasn’t always the “pretty” one. I grew up with friends who even dared to remark that I was inferior, physically. So what happens to a young girl when she already has social anxiety? She secludes herself even more, she feeds on those insecurities, she becomes her own worst enemy. It wasn’t until I dared to even put on makeup my junior year of high school that I was starting to become one of the “pretty” crowd. But it shouldn’t have taken that. However people are so utterly shallow that they can’t be bothered to see beauty as subjectively as they do art–despite the fact that we all are pieces of art. We’re unique in our own ways and we’re flawed in our own ways and for someone to act as if they get a say in what is “normal beauty” or not makes me think even less of them as a person.
Perhaps if we uplifted each other and started to believe more of ourselves, we wouldn’t have such skewed ideas of beauty. But that’s all a pipe dream.
Do you know what I hear when someone comments on someone else’s outer appearance? I hear weakness, and I hear the words of someone who is vain enough to think that they are worth more than anyone else. Well, you aren’t. You’re just a person like anyone else. These degrading comments are just shallow attempts to make ourselves feel superior against one another–just another way we think we’re somehow important when we really aren’t.
Did you know that that same young girl I mentioned, that went through all of that mental torment growing up, realized something very significant before coming into college… And I wish I had learned it sooner. I wish I had known that the phrase “beauty is only skin deep” is more than just a cliche; it’s a message that should be taken into careful consideration. When you see someone and all you see is how they look, you’re ignoring their heart and their spirit. You’re ignoring their needs as a human being. We all want to feel special and important, but we should be regarded for our souls rather than how adequately we apply our mascara–or if we’re wearing any at all. If/when people do compliment me, I find myself politely thanking them, but inwardly shrugging it off. Because I know now that all that effort I put into the tail-end of high school just to feel like “someone” could have been used for something so much more.
Now, when I wake up in the morning and make the conscious effort to get dressed in my favorite outfit or even do my makeup, I’m doing it for myself and not for anyone else. That’s the key difference in my day-to-day life. That’s how I’ve fought off those demons that told me I would never be “pretty enough”–I told them I don’t care and started doing for myself and living for others. I took that energy and put it into something that will matter years down the road. I found happiness my own way. I can look in the mirror and feel good about myself not because of Facebook comments but because I stopped caring what other people thought of me and started doing what made me feel whole. I did what I had to do to be healthier, but I wasn’t forcing myself to fit a norm.
Trust me, I’m human. I have to stop myself from making comments, too–because it’s all been ingrained in us from society. It’s called a learning process for a reason. And I do appreciate the uplifting compliments, just like anyone else. Sometimes, it just makes your day when someone compliments you. But I’m not reaching for it. It’s not my end goal. And to people who dare to even think that their comments matter or should matter, all I have to say is fuck you. Because you can tear someone apart so easily just through those negative words, and worst of all you’ll probably never see it when it happens.