By now, you’ve probably seen that video showing how a model is dramatically transformed to meet beauty standards using makeup, extensions, and lots and lots of photoshop. Although this is nothing new (the Dove campaign has been illustrating this for years), it always seems shocking…shocking that anyone would edit an image to that degree, shocking that our standards of beauty are that unrealistic. However, the most disturbing part of this is how much these overly edited images affect so many people’s self-esteem.
As fleeting as beauty is, we give it way too much power in determining our self-worth. No matter how attractive a person is, his/her looks will gradually fade away from the “ideal” of youthful beauty, and there will always be someone more attractive. That’s why it is so imperative that we understand our true strengths that make each of us unique.
Even “pretty” girls do not get their confidence from being “pretty.” More likely than not, their confidence is only a side effect of their looks. In our shallow society, attractive people are more likely to be listened to and to receive more opportunities than their less attractive prototypes. This allows them to more easily believe they have something to contribute, but the truth is we all have something to contribute. If society is reluctant to listen, at least you must listen.
Gandhi says, “Be the change you wish to see in the world,” but I believe you must first be the change you want to see in yourself. If you want society to notice you for what’s on the inside, then you must take the time to notice those things first. We spend so much time looking in the mirror evaluating how we look on the outside. Now, it’s time to start evaluating ourselves on the inside until at least we each know why we deserve to be confident.