what a strange world we live in where instead of being thought the beauty of aging gracefully, we scratch and claw at any hope of holding on to our youth a little bit longer. i should know. i used to think beauty was make up, contact lenses, perfect hair, dolling up. why? because of all the subtle and obvious messages being targeted at us girls.
i used to be fascinated by bloggers like xiaxue – not mainly because of the content of thier writing, but because it made so much sense to me at that point to want to be beautiful. and somehow, that was my idea of beauty. fixing yourself wherever you could to look “perfect”. but i never did feel perfect, even though looks wise, i wouldn’t say i’ve ever had anything to really complain about in the first place.
maybe some feel it’s personal choice (and it is) if someone chooses the fake, chemical, plastic route to beauty. but i think it becomes really dangerous when role models, women that young impressionable girls get drawn to and crave to be like – are teaching them that beauty is not what’s on the inside. it’s dangerous that girls who never had any issues with their appearances start to worry about essentially, nothing. once again, like me.
i used to feel beautiful growing up, because i don’t think there was ever a moment in which my parents and family didn’t make me feel just that. my childhood was not full of feeling flawed, or imperfect or like i needed fixing. the same can not be said about my late teenage – early adulthood years though. people like xiaxue and their extreme passion for fixing themselves, damaged me. and i allowed it to happen because that’s what every little girl wants to be – pretty. all of a sudden, my hair wasn’t silky enough, my eyes weren’t big enough, boobs not big, chin not sharp, nose not small, skin not smooth, body not thin enough. even the clothes and products i had were beginning to fail me. so i chased. i chased this image of beauty in my mind, spent money on useless crap and hurt myself in the process.
but i could never reach that finishing line. not unless i was willing to spend so much more. branded beauty products, visits to beauty saloons, treatment for hair, slimming pills, plastic surgery and the list goes on. truth is, i really did want those luxuries and results. but thank god for me no matter how badly i wanted that, i was never willing to sell my soul to some job i hated just to make enough money to spend on that. but i feel i’m one of the luckier ones because a LOT of girls end up getting much further than i did down that path. a lot of girls get sucked into the idea that beauty is something you can purchase off shelves or make an appointment for.
IT IS NOT.
beauty is truly something within. beauty is being warm, caring, loving, smart, loyal, talented, passionate – all that is positive and bright. it is having confidence in who you are and strength to face the world. beauty is something we all have for the world to see, even if you are born without hair or limbs. who cares what you look like on the outside when your insides matter so much more? i see beauty in all of my friends, and they come in many different shapes, colours and sizes.
this image of beauty we are being fed is only skin deep. but if we allow it to get to us, it can destroy our inner peace, drive us insane and send us down a path of self loathing and destruction. i worry because for the longest time, i didn’t want to think something was wrong with me, even though i was secretly wishing i could be something other than what i was. and i know for a fact, that is what so many of my girlfriends or acquaintances feel.
i cannot say i have fully removed the associations my mind makes with what beauty should be. but i have definitely come to embrace being natural a whole lot more. i no longer use products or make up for my skin. or desire to look different. i know the person i am on the inside. not perfect because there is no such thing as perfect, but beautiful nonetheless. and whatever ugly i have in terms of personality i am working on and making full use of the time i have with myself – instead of wasting it away, worrying about my physical appearance.
i’m glad i feel this way about myself now. especially because i am beginning to see how girls in their mid to late 20s are starting to worry about aging and getting wrinkles. some say it’s better to prevent the aging now before it really even starts, instead of having to fix it later on. how ridiculous is that? aging is natural. why use chemicals to fight nature? i’m 25 this year, and i’m not going to ruin myself that way. i will eat healthy, drink loads of water, live and active lifestyle and love each and every wrinkle or sun spot i collect as i get older.
as long as i’m loving myself, i am happy. and the happier i am, the more love i would have – to give to the world.