How many times have we heard this quote “It’s what’s inside that counts”? Probably too many times but it’s still not that easy to believe it. I mean, we turn on the TV, and there she is, a beautiful actress smiling in all her beauty, so we take our smartphones and scroll through Instagram, and right there, this is the moment we realize that we can’t avoid it. We can’t just close our eyes and pretend like we didn’t see the flawless beauty crushing us through the screen. Social media can make us feel ugly.
You might not admit it openly but, deep inside, you wished for a second that your hair was longer, your muscles bigger and your belly flatter. You look at yourself in the mirror and you find something you would like to change, maybe it’s something small but still, it’s something.
Appearance doesn’t matter…
Now, I should probably tell you that it doesn’t matter how we look, really, it doesn’t matter. You could probably feel better about yourself for a second, you might smile at your reflection in the mirror for an instant, perhaps you will leave the house, standing tall, feeling beautiful. Try sometimes, try to walk around pretending you don’t care at all. People can stare at you if you go to the mall in your pajamas, but you follow your own path, you make the rules. I appreciate people that have that kind of confidence, or at least I would, if I ever meet one. Because the problem is that we are human beings and we care. We care. A lot. Sometimes even too much. And, there is nothing we can do about it, it’s our nature.
I could tell you a hundred times that how you look doesn’t matter. I could try to convince you that being smart, loyal, healthy and loved are characteristics that are far way more important. Maybe you would believe me and, in that case, good for you! If you truly believe that appearance is not important than please, stop reading and go out for a walk because I wouldn’t want to be the reason your beliefs change. Really, go and do something else!
…or does it?
Oh, you decided to stay and you are sure you want to know the truth? Because, let me tell you, it’s not pretty:
Appearance matters, it matters more than anything. This is sad but true. We live in a materialistic world and, if you don’t like it, well, maybe one day you will change it, but that day might not be today, so you kind of have to live in it for now.
Appearance counts. You start talking to a girl at a party because you think she’s cute, not because you think she is clever, and you shouldn’t feel bad about it. Go and talk to her. Trust me, she will have a look at you and in point five seconds decide if you are worth her attention. We all do it! I doubt her decision is based on something more than the fact that she finds you, at least a bit, attractive. Sometimes you might even get a job based on the fact that your boss finds you better looking than other candidates, and you might never know it.
Appearance is powerful and in today’s world, we often find ourselves compared to some perfect models whose standard of beauty we will never be able to reach. We will never be as beautiful as them. So, why even bother? Once we settle for the idea that we will never be perfectly pretty, that should be it, we should be able to move on without concerns about the way we look. But we don’t settle, we fight, we pretend to change so that we can achieve our goal to finally be beautiful. A lot of people go through multiple plastic surgeries because they want to look a certain way and, while this to some might seem crazy, I personally think it’s totally normal.
Either you feel like eating a cheeseburger or you don’t.
We too often see beauty as a statement, a fact, something that is objective. We want to look beautiful. What we don’t realize is that beauty is a feeling, either you feel it or you don’t. It’s personal, it’s all about you. It’s just like hunger, either you feel like eating a cheeseburger or you don’t. It’s that easy and I don’t know if there is something that we can actually do about it. It’s a feeling like a million others. You can’t make yourself eat a whole cheeseburger if you don’t feel like it. You can’t make yourself look beautiful if you don’t feel like it. We are surrounded by people that pretend to be hungry all the time, they believe that showing the world how much they truly want to eat will suddenly change something inside them, they will suddenly feel hungry. But pretending is not enough, the mask they are putting on will fall off one day and, when that happens, it’s not pretty. Sometimes we look at ourselves in the mirrors and put on the prettiest smile, we desperately want to be liked, we need to fit in and we have this crazy idea that being beautiful will totally do it for us. It doesn’t. The sooner we realize that, the better. Pretending to feel beautiful will not make you feel beautiful.
Sure, we see a lot of body-positive images online, we think that if they don’t care, why should we? But let’s be honest, we actually feel a little more beautiful when we see that there is someone out there looking worse than we do. It might seem harsh but we don’t have to feel embarrassed about it. Sometimes we just need something to remind us that, after all, we are not that bad, I mean, we could always be worse than what we already have.
The point is that we are all different. The world is wide and what makes us unique is what counts. Be certain that there is something not perfect in you, you are not beautiful. I’ll say it again so you won’t miss it: You are not beautiful and neither am I. But you can feel it. You can feel unique and, trust me, unique is beautiful. Someone, one day, will want to look at you for days because you are the most unique person they have ever seen. You are the most beautiful. Someone will think that your flat butt and fat thighs are the most beautiful thing. Someone will feel like eating a dozen cheeseburgers with you. Don’t let perfection define you because, let’s admit it, perfection is kind of overrated now. Trying to be perfect will just waste all of your energies and you will get nothing but disappointment out of it.
So, open the door and walk proud, showing the world who you are. Be yourself. Be you because there is no one like you and that makes you so beautiful.
Cover: Valeria Boltneva