With the rise of social sharing and reality TV, a huge emphasis on the physical appearance of both men and women alike has grown tremendously. As a result of this, our perception of beauty has changed drastically. It’s not enough anymore to be simple, caring and unique – today, people want to look at idols who are vastly made up of plastic surgery and products that make them more appealing to the world around them.
We are constantly bombarded by the ideal pursuit of beauty that we often forget that a pretty face doesn’t always equate to a gorgeous personality. Admittedly, it makes me happy when I see comments on my photos that read: pretty, gorgeous, wow! etc… but lately I have been trying to wrap my head around the fact that one day this face will not be the entire reflection of my beauty within.
So how does one go about regaining confidence that stretches further than their looks alone? I made a list of all the things I’d rather be than pretty and it turns out that there are so many more attributes that make up who I am. The list was long so I condensed it to just a few that I’d start to work on immediately.
All the things I would rather be than ‘pretty’
- Smart – let’s face it, our brains are often overlooked and gosh darn it they should be the single most attractive feature about ourselves. Instead of smiling and brushing off topics I am passionate about, I will make sure to voice my opinions supported by strong well thought out arguments – someone’s sure to fall in love with that.
- Funny – When you are not viewed by society as the conventional ‘pretty’ often times it is because you have a great sense of humour. I am determined to change that, my humorous side is by far one of my best features.
- Determined – Without determination, I don’t think I would have made it as far as I did. I want the world to see this as a very strong trait – one that exceeds beauty.
- Ambitious – Wouldn’t it be nice for the world to judge one another based on ambition? That way we’d have so much in common that we could make changes for the better, I am far too ambitious to see that go to waste.
- Thoughtful – My mind is constantly running, in fact it is always thinking of ways to make people smile. This gets overlooked at times because I do it so often. Thoughtful is one of the best words you could use to describe me – ‘pretty’ doesn’t compare to compassion.
- Friendly – This one is a given, I feel like the friendlier a person is the more attractive they become. Viewing me as friendly makes me feel that you value my presence.
- Polite – My parents put a great deal into making me the person I am today, they strive for politeness over all things. It’s nice to know I am alluding to that.
- Sincere – The biggest gift someone could give me is sincerity, if I can reciprocate that then I know I am a beautiful person on the inside.
- Outgoing – In todays world of scary and horrific acts of violence it’s not always easy to be outgoing – my socially confident self has to sometimes be reminded that the more I give of that the more the world around me will reflect it.
- Independent – Family is everything to me, everything I do is for/with them. When someone sees me as independent, I take this as a compliment because it is something I am working on daily.
- Mature – Getting old sucks, but getting old and acting your age is a huge asset in my opinion. It’s hard to be mature about certain situations, that’s why the word mature to describe me would make me beam with accomplishment.
- Creative – This one has always been one of the biggest forms of flattery for me. I don’t know if it’s an artists struggle within that makes me feel all giddy when someone describes me with the word ‘creative’ but it’s by far the best compliment ever.
This list goes on…
It’s about time we start looking on the inside for beauty and jack those beauty standards through the roof. Aiming higher and raising the bar for the generations who proceed us to do the same. We are all more than a pretty face, why not take the time to revel in it? I am not saying we should all walk out of the house wearing our pyjamas and forgetting to wash our face in the morning, but we shouldn’t have to compare ourselves to unattainable standards that are set for us either. Those beautiful faces we all see flashed constantly in our eyes are in fact beautiful but there must be more substance to them then what is lead on.
I feel as I get older, I am starting to realise that my physical beauty is also fading but there are so many more reasons to nurture my inner self by taking each of my other traits and finding reasons to love them. Every day I plan on looking at my list, taking a single trait and forcing myself to reflect it onto the world around me. At night when I lay in my bed, I will remind myself to revel in the fact that I did it and that someone out there saw something other than my beautiful face.
So, I’ll take those compliments under my own personal photos with hopes that the people who are sending them are seeing a tiny bit more of who I am and simply stating one of my many many beautiful pieces to the ageing puzzle that is me.