“Everybody is starting to look the same. It is bizarre how everyone has the same facial features now.”
— Mila Kunis

Not everyone is good-looking, just as not everyone is intelligent or rich. Yet being beautiful is something many of us aspire to be because humans are visual creatures. Appearance matters a lot, especially when you are female or pass as female. Thank God for filters, right? Wrong. Filters and photo-editing are addictive and once you begin overusing them, it’s hard to stop.

Oh, you’re using them because you can’t afford plastic surgery? Well, stop. Is that all you want to be? Someone who wastes their energy taking a litany of filtered selfies only to pick one that makes them seem pretty as per Eurocentric beauty standards? Apps and surgery only commodify insecurities. And often, the results are unsatisfactory even for celebrities with the best plastic surgeons.

Don’t fall for the lie that everyone can be beautiful. That it will take just a certain product or a certain procedure to help you *finally* achieve it.

Beauty is NOT in the eye of the beholder. Don’t chase something that is inaccessible to you, something that shouldn’t matter as much as it does. Yes, beauty is social capital. Yes, pretty privilege is real. Yes, it’s unfair that natural beauty is rare and the store-bought kind (plastic surgery) can only be acquired by a select few. But this doesn’t mean we must let them win. By them, I mean those who are minting money off our desperation to look good. Like it or not, beauty is used as a weapon against women on many levels. Naomi Wolf’s book The Beauty Myth explores this in detail and is something everyone should check out.

You are not beautiful — and no filter is going to change that 2

So what if you are not aesthetically pleasing? You are so much more than the way you look. Screw the Instagram face and do you. We need to stop basing our self-worth on our appearance, that’s what society is for.

The older I get, the more I realize how secondary beauty is. Yes, it’s nice to have, but it’s not as important as the media makes it out to be. I learned this life lesson in my twenties and life would have been a lot easier if I had learned it sooner. If not as a child, then at least as a teenager.

I hope this post helps someone realize how futile it is to fixate on beauty like it is the only thing that matters. Looking good should not be a compulsion — and it certainly shouldn’t define anyone. When we don’t go around calling everyone intelligent or rich, why is there an obligation to call everyone beautiful? It just doesn’t make sense.

Let’s stop complimenting each other on our beauty and focus on things that won’t fade with time, like kindness, humility, and integrity.

Please note that this is not an anti-makeup post. I love makeup because it is therapeutic. See here and here

Nor is this a post to hate on pretty or ugly people.  This is a ‘screw societal ideals and political correctness with regards to outer beauty’ post. Because we have far more important things to worry about than how we look. 

“To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.”
— Ralph Waldo Emerson

Picture Credit- Shiny Diamond from Pexels

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Mahevash Shaikh

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