Thursday, May 17, 2012

Finding Your Best Look by Getting Real

Metaphorical show of hands: how many of us look in the mirror every other day and think "I'm too fat" or "I can't believe how awful I look today!" Yes, you do it, I do it, and almost everyone else you know does it. It's normal, right? It's too normal, really, and we all know what it does to our self-esteem. While whittling your self-image away slowly is bad enough (because even if you're saying those things in passing, that's what you're doing), you're also wasting precious time with the mirror. No, we can't stand in front of it all day, and most of us don't. We all want to look good and none of us have unlimited time to do it... so why don't we use our mirror time constructively instead of insulting ourselves half-heartedly?

I think the truth is that all of us are willing to deprecate ourselves for general, transient things like weight, hair, makeup, or skin. Very few of us are willing to give ourselves the constructive criticism necessary to take our appearance to the next level. This is because it's very hard to realistically assess our imperfections without having anyone around to defend them: for example, I'd often lament about the size of my nose, but only loud enough for my significant other to hear and refute it. I wasn't willing to look in the mirror and accept that it was better to accept my nose was large than to constantly hope my image of it was not what the rest of the world sees. Yes, it takes a lot of self-esteem and love to actually accept and embrace your flaws--it took me over two decades!--but when you do, you have a blueprint to drastically improve your look.

Here's my critical study of myself: my nose is wide and long. The length is fine, the width (often enhanced by allergies) is not fitting for the rest of my face. I know that, without makeup and with sunglasses, my cheeks lead me to be mistaken for an awkward teenage girl. What does this mean? I need to play up my brown eyes to draw attention away from the middle of my face. I may even have to break the eyes-or-lips rule to achieve that goal. And I certainly needed to learn makeup contouring.

While it sounds harsh, it's important to understand that beauty is, obviously, relative. The so-called "imperfections" of today were desired years ago, and today's standard of beauty will inevitably be replaced as society changes. We should be proud of how we look, but willing to conform our appearance to our times-- but only transiently. Beauty is transient, after all.

No comments:

Post a Comment