In a world obsessed with beauty, what exactly defines it? Well, to some people, it’s a particular eye color or a particular face shape. For a lot of teenage girls, it’s a particular body shape. The real, hard truth comes down this: beauty is completely 100% subjective. People might have a little cellulite in some places or be a little flat in others. Often times, this is seen as ‘imperfect’ or even ugly, but in reality this is completely normal. In a society where the ‘ideal’ body is nowhere close to normal, what are teenagers to do, we all need treatment for bumps.
Take a look at your body. Really look at it. It is a beautiful thing. Your body can hold you up. It can allow you to walk and run. It can think, challenge the ideas of the universe, or create new ones. It can love and create new life. It can swim and skate and live. Your body allows you to do the things you love to do. Your body allows you to live. How can that be ugly?
What society perceives as beautiful is an illusion. Those women plastered all over the fashion magazines aren’t real. Even Victoria Secret model, Doutzen Kroes, acknowledges this to the Huffington Post. “Sometimes it’s a struggle to keep up with my own photos, where the lighting is perfect, the makeup is done and the images have been retouched. That’s not what I see when I look in the mirror!”
Models are essentially hangers. They have to show off clothes in the best way possible, use the best La Clinica Skin Care in order for people to buy them. Often times, these “hangers” are underweight and underdeveloped. Still, teenagers want to be exactly like them and this creates a huge source of insecurity.
“I feel I’m such a big part of that insecurity that some girls might have because of my job, that girls think they have to be that picture. And even boys, they think that that picture exists and it’s so frustrating because I don’t look like that picture — I wake up not looking like that picture,” says Kroes.
Our insecurity is based on an illusion. Even models don’t look like the models in the photographs. Recently, H&M, the well-known clothing store, “has admitted the swimsuit models features in its latest online catalogue are not real” (Daily Mail). The only thing actually real is the model’s head!
So what are we to do?
Appreciate your body for what it can do for you. The incredible, difficult things our bodies do for us are regular occurrence but that doesn’t make it any less incredible. If you still see your body in a negative light, take care of it. Eating properly not only improves your health, but it improves your perception of yourself. I generally eat pretty well but if I go for a week eating sugary or greasy foods, I feel awful and I’m way more inclined to dislike my body. The same goes for exercising. No one really likes running (except for a few wonderfully crazy people out there) but it can really improve your mood. If running isn’t for you, there are plenty of exercises you can do. Even spending half an hour dancing around your room helps! The endorphins will make you feel so much better about your body and yourself in general.
Your body is a magnificent machine. It does so many incredible things for you. Next time you see an airbrushed, computerized model on the cover of a magazine, remember that. Remember the illusion and focus on how amazing your body is. Give yourself the love you deserve and if you’re feeling down, just remember “Beauty is self-confidence applied directly to the face” (Anonymous).