Growing up, I really disliked my body-shape, my freckles and sometimes even my hair colour, and now, all of those things are what I love about myself. I grew to love all these things about myself from working on body image and negative thoughts and just becoming more confident over time, but also, many of these things became more popular in society, and what a waste it was waiting until I saw more of the way I look in the media to like myself? Don’t make the same mistake I did!
Hating or dislike the way we look is so wrong and unhelpful, and yet it’s so so common.
If you’ve ever wished you looked different or felt upset about a certain feature you’re one of many. A recent survey by Dove showed that 9 in every 10 girls suffer from low body esteem.
Why are the numbers so high? Why do so many people dislike the way they look?
While we know that factors such as comparisons, social media, fatphobia, harmful advertising and marketing all play a role, it’s important to combat the feelings that these things bring out in us.
The best way to do this it to remember: Ugly doesn’t exist.
Not in a physical way anyway. People can have ugly attitudes and ugly opinions, but the way you look is simply not ugly.
By definition, ugly means unpleasant or displeasing, and what about the way anyone looks could be either of those things?
People can have preferences for what they find attractive or pretty but that does not mean that anything outside of that is bad or wrong.
The definition of beauty changes all the time
Beauty trends are a great example of why ugly is a myth. At least every decade, the idea or definition of ‘beautiful’ or ‘attractive’ completely changes. Now as trends move more quickly, this definition is becoming blurred, which is really no harm. In the 1920s, super slim and straight was the preferred body type, by the 50s, it was all about the curvy and voluptuous look. In 90s, super slim was ‘in’ and thin eyebrows, overlined dark lips and powdery eyeshadow was the ideal. Now, curvier bodies, thick brows and natural makeup (or totally creavite artistic looks) have taken over as the favoured appearance. This doesn’t mean anyone who looks more like the 1920s, 50s or 90s trend isn’t absolutely amazing looking it’s just we see more of one type on Instagram which might trick us into thinking that’s the goal look.
It’s not just body types
We’re not just talking about body types either, some people grew up totally hating their freckles or beauty marks and would cover them in concealer and foundation to ensure they couldn’t be seen, now people are adding them onto their face with makeup. Imagine hating something that other people are paying money to do? What a waste! You might have heard your mam or big sister telling you that she plucked all her eyebrows off so that they were tiny, skinny lines, and then Cara Delevingne and others like her came along and bushy strong brows was all the rage. Now, those who plucked away all their lovely bushy brows have to fill them in to fit in with current standards. It’s not just over the years that these things change either, it can all depend on which part of the world you live in too. In some cultures, one look is favoured over the other, so your estimate of what’s beautiful could even be down to where you live!
Celebs have huge influence
It’s not a secret that the celeb and influencer word have a huge sway in what’s popular and what’s not, and a big part of the current beauty standard is the Kardashian/Jenner family, from their lip products to their hips and bum shape, many people are aiming to look like the sisters because of their huge popularity over the last decade, but imagine if a different family had gotten that reality tv slot, people who look totally different to Kim and Kylie, many of us would be comparing ourselves to that look instead. If we keep this in mind, we can help to remember that beauty standards are fleeting and ever-changing, but the way you look is YOUR look and you can own it, and embrace it, because it’s beautiful too.
Don’t wait for your look to become popular
Think about the way you look right now, even if you don’t LOVE it all of the time, we bet if the biggest celeb or influencer on the planet looked that way you’d start to see it for what it is: beautiful! Imagine in 10 or 20 years, if the way you look right now because the most sought after look in the world, you’d feel pretty silly for wasting time hating it right? So don’t wait for the way you look to become popular to love yourself and your own beauty.