We live in a culture that is beyond obsessed with beauty. This is why it’s so important to define your own version of beauty. Don’t let the world define that for you.Don’t buy into the hype or current trend telling us what women are supposed to look like. It’s BS. It’s manipulation. It’s a 1.3 trillion dollar industry, that profits from creating and feeding women’s insecurities. Don’t give anyone else that power over your life or well-being. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to look pretty, and like the best version of yourself.
But wanting or aspiring to look like the best version of someone else is unachievable and will, 100% of the time, leave you feeling depressed, defeated and always chasing after something that was designed for someone else. Have you ever stopped to think, that the person you dream of looking like, might not be all that bright, all that kind or even all that happy? She might have what you define as a ‘dream body’ and still not feel satisfied, because she’s too busy longing after her own version of what beauty is supposed to look like.
You might not look like her, but what do you know that she doesn’t? What can you do that she can’t? What good have you contributed that she hasn’t? And in which ways would you not trade lives with her, even if you could? Why is it important for the rest of us, that both of you are here, to provide us with the blessings of each of your unique qualities? Really sit with those thoughts for a while, and try to listen a little louder.
Don’t feed into your fantasy
The way you can do this, is by not investing your focus and energy on images of people, you simply can’t relate to. Instead, invest your money and your happiness on things that last. That aren’t purely superficial. Though it’s nice to own a shiny, sleek, scratchless car, it’s still more important to have a car that actually works, and can drive you to different places in life.
So don’t invest in broken down, useless pile of metal, no matter how shiny and pretty it might look. Because you’ll be stuck in the same place, until you’re able to repair the inner parts of the car. Realise that your body (like a car) is primarily for doing things, not just for looking at. it’s your tool for exploring the world.
Woman are still spending a fortune on beauty products full of toxins, that don’t even work and that are hurting our environment. And that is a tragic side effect of beauty sickness. I wish woman would focus more on feeling good, being happy and healthy as a first priority, and realise that outer “beauty” is often achieved as a result. No one shines brighter than an authentically happy woman. There ain’t no cream for that!
So just work with what you’ve got and try to let go of the need to compare yourself to others. Make your goal in life to be so much more than just attractive or sexy. If you’re too obsessed with the way you look to the world, then you won’t be able to contribute to making the world a better place. You’ll be too caught up hiding behind your mirror.
We are not separate
Please don’t think of yourself as separate from other women or the rest of the wold based on the way you look. Focus rather on how you feel on the inside, what kind of person you are and what you chose to spend your energy doing. Are you having a positive impact on the world and the people around you and do you make others feel good?
If you are, then they will always think of you as beautiful, no matter what your body looks like or what your age is. They will be grateful to know you and that is the greatest feeling you can ever experience. That is authentic. Compliments about beauty fade and they have nothing to do with the core of who you actually are.
Change your focus
Also focus on more than just beauty in other women. Look for what makes them unique and valuable to you. How they make a difference in your life and thank them for that. These are the type of healthy compliments, we would benefit greatly from getting used to giving each other on a more regular basis.
This is especially crucial when it comes to young girls. Hearing adult woman support each other and being grateful for the things that really matter and make an actual difference. Let’s not let girls grow up being so obsessed with their appearance and trying to fit a certain standard of what beauty looks like (according to the beauty and fashion industry), but rather on how beauty feels on the inside.
They need to be made aware of the powerful impact they can have, by being kind and helpful to others, and we only achieve that by learning to love ourselves first for who we truly are, no matter what we look like or what age we are. But love ourselves based on the good we do in the world and how we feel about the kind of people we are.
Little girls are so smart and they’ll model what they grow up seeing, so let’s start to work on being good examples for them. If you want to improve the person that you are, in order to evolve into someone you can really fall in love with, then I encourage you to know better, do better and feel better. Whatever that means for you. Acquiring new knowledge is always a part of the process. So be curious and never stop learning. That is your true superpower. Protect it and pass it on.
*This post was inspired by a wonderful TED talk by Renee Engeln, which you can watch right here.