It’s Friday night and I’m getting ready to go out for drinks with my friends-fully done up with a brand new outfit, fresh make up and blown out hair. Naturally, I’m feeling good so I have to take a selfie. But, after scrolling through the 20 different pictures I took and deciding I hate them all, I stopped and thought to myself-what the f*ck am I actually doing?
Millennials are obsessed with perfection, more importantly-looking perfect. Scroll through your Instagram feed and look at any picture of a girl or guy, and look through the comments.
“I love your hair!!”
“You’re so hot”
Look at who we idolize in the Hollywood world of fame-the Kim Kardashians, the Justin Beibers – the anyone who has a little bit of money but anyone who looks beautiful
As a society, it’s almost an epidemic. We’re obsessed with looks. So much, that we go as far as trying to change our looks just to be considered “beautiful” by society.
In 2014 alone, there were 15.4 million plastic surgeries performed in America. The Top 5?
When the very first thing you acknowledge about a person is the way they look, you reduce them to the way they look. We’ve become a society so fixated on the way that we look, that we often forget that looks are not everything. We spend more time trying to perfect our looks than trying to succeed and perfect any other aspect of our lives. When we only compliment people on their looks, we shadow any other aspect of their lives that is successful and/or important.
Female professionals say that when they’re complimented on their looks, they feel undervalued. We marginalize their success, their intellect, and their persona as a whole.
All cosmetic surgery to change our appearance.
When it comes to friendships, more people are being isolated if they don’t “look the part,” to fit into a crowd.
When it comes to dating, more people are diving into relationships with people who look the part, but don’t exactly fit the part.
Don’t believe me? What is Tinder in the first place? A looks-based dating app.
Like the way I look? Swipe right.
Think I look like a troll? Swipe left.
Not only do we marginalize some of the best qualities individuals inhabit, but we create a cloud of mental illness. People with low self-esteem often times develop body and beauty dysmorphia. This means that people are beginning to develop a disorder, a belief that there is something wrong with the way they look if they aren’t always complimented on their beauty and body image. They develop a complex. They develop an illness.
According to a research study conducted by Dove, only 4% of women around the world would consider themselves beautiful. Yet, 72% of women feel pressure to be beautiful. There are dozens of things that are admirable and attractive in a person that isn’t based off of looks.
In order to break the cycle and make a change, we have to promote a different norm in society. Stop complimenting people based solely on their outward appearances and start complimenting people based on things with substance and depth. Instead, compliment people on their intellect, their success, their drive, their passions, their sense of humor, their ability to love.
Humans are complex and intricate beings, we are put together with DNA traits that make us all individual and unique. Some of us have talents. Some of us work hard to succeed. Not only will you be able to promote a positive change and give a chance for society to shift away from surface and focus on substance, but you will show others that you’re paying attention to their lives and care about their existence.