Societal Standards in the Age of Social Media
You’re ugly if your face looks different than everyone on the big screen.
You’re ugly if you weigh more than what society deems attractive right now.
You’re fat if you weigh more than me.
You look old if you look over 20.
You are too skinny if you are skinnier than me.
You’re beautiful if your face is perfectly symmetrical.
You’re beautiful if you have no signs of age or emotion.
You’re handsome if you look rugged but also like you’ve showered and are clean.
Your physical appearance is more important than your long term physical and mental health, at least that is what society has prescribed for the past several decades.
Tanning beds, body augmentation, starvation, gorging, ignoring health problems for the outer “satisfaction”, hair teasing, perming, crimping, all of the decorating we do to “improve” our outer appearance to fit within the constricts of current societal standards are absolutely no substitute for the inner work required to feel good on the inside.
Beauty Is Buried Beneath Momentary Captivation
We live in a vastly skewed world of beauty and its juxtaposition. Standards of beauty in modern society in the US are based on how much money a person has to spend on fillers, augmentation, clothing, hair products and skin care. So little attention is paid to natural beauty, and the inside, that a person can look like a plastic doll and get more attention that someone who is making a difference in the lives of starving children, the environment, or other worthy causes.
Why is this? Is it confidence? What makes that person confident? Is it true that self confidence is based on societal standards, or is the woman who spends hundreds of thousands of dollars less confident than the woman who wears no makeup and lives her life without need for societal recognition? The momentary captivation that occurs in an age of split second attention has changed how beauty is categorized. Long gone is the ideal of purity and goodness, replaced by lust, greedy, and displays of monetary success. Dozens of “beautiful” women surround men who appear rich in everything but morals. Those who are doing the work of salvation, those who are trying to preserve our land, animals, and environmental health are overlooked because of the blaring, in-ignorable plastic dolls that are parading around us. This fact proves that it is time to take a hard look as what makes us feel and do better.
Is it true that looking good equates to feeling good equates to doing good? Do we “have to” look good according to society to feel good in order to be our best selves? Or are the things we do to look good, such as eating healthy food and exercising, making us feel better chemically and energetically, thus creating a byproduct of improved physical appearance.
Physical Beauty: More Than Surface Level?
Could it be that the things we do to improve our outer appearance allow us to feel better physically, and emotionally, creating a kind of circular effect that improves our overall confidence. Furthermore, if we look at it psychologically, confidence is wholly internal in nature, which subscribes that the truer we are to ourselves while nurturing the physical health of our current body, the more we will feel alive, capable, and thus, attractive. If we project a positive self-image, people will be more likely to see us as a positive, capable person. So, if we take the best care of our mental and physical health as we know how, we in turn will perform better and be better able to help others.
Self-Acceptance & Internal Growth
Letting go of what is on the outside to make improvements on the inside is the only way we can truly figure out what is beautiful to US. Outer modifications, those that are not born of eating healthy and taking better care of ourselves, will always fall short, will always leave us wanting more or something different. The key is to do the inner work, the things that will be long lasting and will improve our PRIMARY RELATIONSHIP:that with ourselves. The tight grip we have on pleasing those outside of ourselves, is an indication of what we are lacking internally, or where we need cultivation, within ourselves.
If we do not have a conscious and even spiritual experience or concept of self, then no matter what we construct outside of ourselves, we will always feel empty, or UGLY. It is our job, as individual humans, to treat ourselves with care, with compassion, with gentleness, and to loosen the grip on societal approval. Whatever we can do to feel-energetically, spiritually, mentally and emotionally – better, will undoubtedly improve our “appearance” creating a beautiful picture to present to the world. Does it have to look like duck lips, hourglass figures, or sculpted abs? No. Does it need to feel authentic? Yes.