Ever since I can recall there was always something to complain about regarding my vanity; eyes too small, lips too big, just ‘big’, big feet, big hands, too tan, too light among a host of many, many other things.
I’m afraid as I’ve gotten older, and passed through the awkward and self-loathing seas of puberty, it hasn’t gotten much better. As an adult there are various, easy outlets to ‘correct’ whatever flaws we think we have. Boobs too small? Get a boob job. Nose too big? Get a nose job. Thighs too big? Liposuction.
This post comes at a time when I’ve observed people on various social media outlets flaunting whatever changes they’ve
paid for made to their body, most of them were boob jobs. I’m not judging, well, maybe a little, but why is it that the media has misconstrued our vision of what beauty is? Why is it that there is only one look to being beautiful?
There’s this constant need for women to always look perfected. From their makeup, grooming, clothes and their hair. On many magazines available today many of them offer articles on how to lose weight, how to get bikini body ready or which celebrity has the best body. What if some of us don’t want to have a bikini body or we don’t want to be an Australian size 8? Is it so hard for the media to just accept that the vast majority of the female population don’t look like female celebrities? I don’t think I’ll ever fit into a size 8 and I’m fine with that.
However, I wish I had this attitude when I was a teenager. I was constantly harsh on myself for how I looked because a lot of people, mainly extended family, would discretely tell my mum that all her kids were too big and that we all needed to lose weight. We weren’t even fat. We were taller than them and by default had a bit more meat on our bones as a result. Sure the only exercise I did was walking to, from and around school but that was more than enough, the school was huge and the walks to and from were fifteen minutes each way.
Young girls and teenagers are very impressionable. They will follow what their idols or favourite celebrities do so they can achieve that same disillusioned view of ‘beauty’ which is wrong. It starts with the home; if the mum isn’t happy with herself then her daughter will follow because that’s the first contact of influence she will receive. So to my future daughter/s, when I have you sometime in the distant future, I promise to teach you to love who you are and that you’re perfect for who you are. I’ll start now to love myself so that you’ll love you.
Having small eyes was and perhaps will always be something I’m weary of. Without my glasses they’re quite small, they’re not so small you can’t see them, but, there is a noticeable difference when I don’t wear my frames. I never used to be conscious about them. It was when I was in year 9; I was in my photography class and I took off my glasses to clean the dirty, finger print laden lenses when this girl who I thought was my friend exclaimed rather loudly, “you’re eyes are so small!” Sure it was probably harmless but when you’re fourteen that’s not what you want to hear. I was never even aware of how small they were until she made it newsworthy. I was upset and borderline angry at her because of how much it affected me throughout my late teenage and adult life.
To be completely honest, there were many late nights I had coming up with retorts to her statement like ‘you’re too short’ or ‘your nose is huge’ but what’s the point? I am guilty of being just as bad as women who sit around judging others. Who am I to judge what beauty is when I’m barely comfortable in my own skin?
Women need to stop judging and start empowering and encouraging each other. It’s so hard though with the habits we’ve grown up with and upheld during our adult lives. Change is always hard but ultimately it’s up to the individual.
I constantly wish I had bigger eyes, a less flat nose, a flatter stomach and less man-like hands. It’s so easy for women to focus on what they hate about themselves that it overshadows that we love about ourselves. So here’s what I love about myself: i’m taller than the average Australian woman, I have nice lips (finally accepted it!), I like my skin colour and I’d like to think that I’m a nice human being. On top of that I am surrounded with family and friends that love me for who I am, not what they want me to be.
I know it’s very superficial to love physical aspects of myself but when you judge yourself day after day about the same things, isn’t being confident in how you look the first step in changing your mindset about beauty? This will hopefully teach me to be comfortable with myself and therefore not care what other people say which extends to not judging people because of my insecurities.
I’m going to be a better human being and a better woman. I’m not going to try because then I’ve already given up; trying means a chance of failing. I don’t want to fail. I will be less judgmental and not harsh on myself.
So to all the women: let’s be friends, let’s tell each other we’re beautiful and let’s not be those gossiping ladies that are insecure about themselves.
If we believe we’re beautiful then everyone else will start believing it too.