Image Credit: @lilmiquela
A young girl on Quora asked this question and I instantly had to write a reply. More and more young people think they need to change their appearance.
Somehow, we’ve fallen for the idea that our physical appearance determines our beauty.
This post is a response to anyone who thinks they need to look different.
Why this topic is so personal to me.
I care about this topic so much because I was someone who was trying desperately to change my appearance.
I went from 60KG to over 100KG in 12 months through going to the gym and eating massive amounts of food.
I had a personal trainer and someone telling me what to eat. I was ashamed of the fact I was considered skinny and had no muscle.
I thought people would appreciate me more if I put on some weight. I ate: whole chickens for lunch, lots of pasta and rice, tuna and big, fat juicy steaks.
I did get bigger and put on some muscle, but I didn’t feel better about myself. In fact, the six meals a day I was eating made me very sick. As a result, I became chronically tired.
About three years later, I had a mole lasered off my skin because people in primary school used to tease me about it.
I didn’t participate in school swimming carnivals for my entire school career, even though I was a good swimmer, because I was embarrassed by a stupid mole.
My next considered flaw was acne. As a kid, I got acne like all teenagers. Instead of dealing with it, I took some very harsh drugs that caused irreversible damage to my body.
I still to this day have very dry skin as result of the treatment and wish I never took those pills.
Then, I had an issue with my teeth. My parents spent money they didn’t have when I was younger to straighten my teeth.
I did it because all the other kids were getting braces and I thought you needed straight teeth to attract the opposite sex.
Every adjustment I made to my appearance didn’t make me feel better. It didn’t make me feel better about myself.
All of these changes to my appearance only made me even more self-conscious. There were times, I didn’t want to leave the house because of how I looked.
Now as an adult, I’ve been able to attract a beautiful partner into my life by being myself and focusing on the inside rather than the outside.
You’re beautiful already.
Don’t let any website tell you that you need to change yourself — you don’t. Businesses wants you to change your appearance, so they can make money off of you.
Think about this, many businesses would disappear if we all stopped wanting to change our appearance.
Beauty has jack shit to do with your physical appearance. Beauty looks like this:
- The way you treat people
- How kind you are to others
- The way you give to those in need
- How you find positivity in the darkest of days
- What you do as a side hustle that serves the greater good
The most beautiful person I’ve ever met was my grandma. She was always focusing on other people and never had a bad word to say about anyone.
“You could try very hard to get my grandma to complain, but she didn’t know how to do it”
Even in the toughest of pain, all she could do was smile and ask me how I was doing. Every minute she had spare was either spent with her family or spent knitting clothes for children in third world countries.
She always had something nice to say and found small ways to be kind. You may be thinking she was Mother Teresa, but I can honestly say she was not.
She was a pretty average person who married a potato farmer and looked after the farm.
All she wanted was to wake up every day with a smile and enjoy the simple pleasures in life. She’s no longer alive, but the ideas she passed on to me are still present in my beliefs and values.
What she taught me is what true beauty looks like.
What’s the opposite of beauty?
- Trying to impress people you don’t know
- Building an online following to have people admire your physical appearance
- Spending hours looking into a lifeless mirror with the star of the show — yourself
- Showing too much skin
- Being obsessed with your looks and benchmarking them with someone else’s
There is no perfect body. Physical beauty doesn’t exist because we’re all individual. If we all looked the same and had the same perfect body, then life would be really boring.
Beauty is not found in the gym.
Beauty is not found in the health food store.
Beauty is not found in the food you eat.
Beauty is something you cultivate through the person you become over your lifetime.
People are so focused on their own appearance that they don’t notice yours.
The same goes for problems. We’re all so obsessed with our own battles that we’re oblivious to most of what is going on with others.
The obsession with appearance stems from thinking people are noticing you. They are not paying attention.
What people are noticing is how you make them feel.
We all remember how someone treats us and when they make us feel good. We want more of that kindness.
We don’t need more fake boobs or fake pecs.
We don’t need more makeup or fake tans.
We don’t need another diet.
We need to feel good about who we already are — otherwise we’ll always be chasing some imaginary rainbow that doesn’t exist.
Don’t change anything about your appearance.
If you forget everything else I’ve said, then that’s okay. Just don’t change your appearance.
Instead, become a better version of yourself. To me, that defines true beauty.