On Vanity & Beauty

I’m a vain person. I take a lot of time working out what outfit to wear and I like to look good. This doesn’t mean that once in a while I’ll slum it and just not bother, but mostly I like to wear things that I think make me look good and pleasing to other people. Or, at least, I hope they do. I’ve noticed that I’ve ramped up my vanity more lately, upping my exercise regimen and generally dressing up more. I attribute that to a bad relationship, which stripped away every single part of my confidence in myself and made me feel completely and utterly useless, pointless, and unworthy of any love, especially that I was so desperately clinging to. I think in the aftermath of the storm it’s okay to indulge for a time, even if it’s getting to time I stopped thinking about the past and moved on with my life.

Via funnyjunk.comThat was kind of the case anyway.

Still, in trying to put myself out there again, I’ve been beautifying myself a bit more than usual. If you’re ever tempted to wonder who the fop wearing the tie, waistcoat, pocket watch and pocket square walking down the street is, chances are you’re looking at yours truly. Unless you’re looking at my friend Ed, but you’ll know if it is Ed because he will a) not be wearing a pocket watch and b) he will actually be attractive anyway because he is apparently blessed by the gods of Olympus.

I digress. Now there’s nothing wrong with wanting to look attractive and all of us, to some degree or other, do make some effort, at least some of the time, to appear attractive to ourselves and others and this is absolutely fine and normal. This can go too far, of course. I know people with punishing fitness regimes and I wonder if they’re doing these things because they’re enjoying them or if they’re just scared of the little voice inside that tells them they’re still ugly. I hope it’s the former. People hold off on eating altogether sometimes just to appease that little voice. It worries me. I worry about them and about me. Too much attention to that little voice can be disastrous.

The advice that tends to come your way when you’re confessing to these hard things – these feelings of inadequacy and unattractiveness – is that it’s what’s on the inside that counts. It’s a noble sentiment and far be it from me to take that away from anyone. It is what’s on the inside that really counts and it’s what’s on the inside that makes relationships and makes them strong and so on. Everyone at some point has had a date or met someone in a bar or whatever your preferred meeting place for people you desire is and they’ve realised they have absolutely nothing in common, nothing to talk about, and they’re finding the person quite boring now.

Via A Fujoshi’s WorldSilencio! Damn…not actually a wizard. Sigh.

The thing that nobody tells you is that it does matter what you look like. Our society and our interactions are predicated on making judgements about people based on what they look like, what clothes they’re wearing, what haircut they have and what colour those things are. And if you don’t believe me, just google racial prejudice or jokes abut gingers and you’ll see what I mean. For the record, ginger people are hot. Give me a flame haired girl any day.

Via rebloggyWhich parties exactly?

Looking good is something that we all want to do and a lot of that is because we are attracted to other people. We know what things turn us on and off in a person before we talk to them. What we look like does matter and anyone who says different and honestly means it is either touchingly naive or just plain simple. What doesn’t matter is whether you look like how society idealises people. People are going to judge you on how you look and whether you are fat and things like that. The problem isn’t that we judge each other or have attraction to one another (or not) based on looks, the problem is the narrow definition we place on beauty. That’s what needs to change, not that we look at each other and get attracted. I think we all know this. Who doesn’t want a stranger to come up to them in the street and tell them they’re hot – providing this is in some fairytale world where that person wouldn’t be very very creepy or be looking at your breasts the whole time (assuming you are an owner of breasts) or any other level of wrong. Being found attractive is a wonderful feeling.

There’s nothing wrong with going a little vain in order to feel more attractive. And there’s the rub. It’s not so much what society thinks you should look like that’s important. It’s what you feel you should look like. Feel you’ve been overdoing the beer and ice cream lately and want to get down the gym to lose a bit of that gut? Fine, sounds good. Getting a new haircut or some new clothes so you like what you see in the mirror? Nice one. The trick is, and don’t ask me how it works because I’m still working on it my own self, to look in the mirror and not hate what you see. By all means recognise what you might want to change, if that motivates you. But the ultimate aim shouldn’t be to ruin your body and your physical and mental health to get there. I think it’s much better to work a bit on the physical and a lot more on the mental side to make yourself believe you are already beautiful. Hey, there’s nothing wrong with polishing up a beautiful table, but it isn’t the shine that makes it beautiful. It’s the table itself.

Beauty isn’t the only thing that makes us worthwhile people. Intelligence, wit, humour, culture, knowledge, education, kindness, charity and selflessness are some other things that make us worthwhile human beings. There has to be something more than the looks. Beauty isn’t skin deep. That’s like saying the ocean is beautiful because of waves. Take a look under the surface once in a while and people will surprise you. But you knew that already, didn’t you? It is what’s on the inside that matters, but there’s nothing wrong with thinking your outside is damn good too.

So you, yes you, dear reader – you are beautiful. I don’t care whether you think it right now. I don’t care if you’ve not showered in weeks and have become a social recluse. I don’t care if you still have last night’s make up on or chilli sauce smeared down your shirt. You are beautiful. Start believing it. Don’t be afraid to believe it. That doesn’t mean you can’t dress up or go to the gym or anything else – there’s nothing wrong with wanting to look a bit better or to be healthier all round. But right now I want you to join me in embracing the inner awesome, embracing the outer awesome and recognising our all round bad ass nature. We rock. You rock. You are beautiful. To quote the amazing Dr Seuss – “Why fit in when you were born to stand out?”.

And on that note, I’m going for a run. Bad ass mode engage!

Via geekygirlexperience

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