(Un)Realistic Beauty Standards

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Why do we judge ourselves based on someone else’s standard?  We are all different.  We come from different parents of different races and different backgrounds.  So why would we think we are supposed to look like someone on a magazine cover or in a movie?

I won’t even get into the unrealistic beauty standards that the media (and society) sets for us.  I believe that most of us know how magazines or movie posters are airbrushed.  We know that editing of TV programs and movies makes actors and actresses appear beautiful.  We know how plastic surgery abounds, especially in media.

What I’m talking about is why we would think a weight loss program that worked for our friend will work for us?  If our friend lost weight, why do we think we have to do the same?  Why can’t we look at ourselves, our imperfections and all, then tell ourselves we are special?  We do come from different backgrounds, we do have different life experiences.  We work to do our best in all areas of our lives and that is all we need to do.

I think back to times I tried to be something that I wasn’t and never could be.  For example, I am of Scottish descent.  I’m fair skinned with red hair and freckles.  When I was younger, I was teased for all of those things.  I couldn’t wear shorts without someone telling me how white my legs were.  I tried lemon juice to lighten my freckles, self tanner to darken my skin, hair color to be more blonde, and even perms to get my fine red hair to be curly.  I was trying to be someone I wasn’t and never could be.  I wanted to be dark skinned and dark haired like my friends.

I laugh about it now, but I still find myself self-conscious at times about my white legs.  Fortunately, I can see my worth in other things that aren’t physical.  However, we still struggle to be thinner, younger, more muscular, whatever we see as someone else’s standards for attractiveness.  Let’s make a change in 2014 and believe in ourselves!

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