Today is one of those days where I just don't wanna do much of anything. We all have them, and it's totally normal! Some Monday's I don't feel like writing at all, but I push through. Whenever you don't feel like doing something, you should probably get it together and do it anyway. These past few months I've been a little less of my luxurious self. My birthday is coming up soon, so perhaps I'll get myself back together by then. I haven't done my nails or toes in forever, a spa day and massage are calling my name, and I haven't gotten my hair done in eons. Eons I say! I have even been thinking of possibly getting my hair cut. It's funny though, every time I talk about cutting my hair super short, there is always someone who has something to say. "Why would you cut all your nice hair off? I like it better long..." Well, why don't YOU grow some long hair then? I do know that based off of typical societal standards, long hair is "better" than short hair. This leads me to my topic of discussion for today actually (great segway right?), why do we always feel the need to be validated by society?
These days with all of the social media influence on basically every aspect of life, I see a lot more attempts at diversity. From magazine covers to make up ads, the stereotypical wafer thin Anglo-Saxon standard is being widened every day. I think it's great. As melting-potesque as the United States is, why not have everyone and everything being represented? The thing is though, with more diversity breaking through the cookie cutter mold that once was, there are STILL people who don't agree that there is PROPER representation...in society of course. I do understand that society has a great deal of psychological impact, but why do we constantly look to society's standards as being the end all be all? Just because our particular look isn't validated as being acceptable in standard societal terms, do we then think it's not acceptable at all?
What I have come to find out more and more is that a lot of appearances go in and out of "style" if you will. It's also based on certain era and location demographics. A few weeks ago, I went to go see Beauty and the Beast (the real life one with Emma Watson (whom I still wasn't convinced should've been playing Belle, but meh)), and I was glad to see some diversity in the cast, however one thing I noticed, was the people at the ball wearing this crazy pale white makeup. They all wanted to be super white, pale and porcelain for whatever reason (probably because fair skin was seen as being of higher society/non-working class). It was "In". Nowadays, it's all about the bronzer and constant tanning. It seems as though, people want to be darker. Who knows what the trends will be 50 years from now! The same sort of goes for weight if you think about it. Now waaaay back in the day, full figured women were definitely seen as healthier and more desirable than a skinny little lady. Somewhere along the lines, during the supermodel era, thin became suddenly "In". Apparently, supermodels were the most beautiful women in the world (according to society), so them being thin had a huge effect on how everyone else viewed themselves. Mayhem ensues! Alas, the cycle is beginning to come back around. Thin is no longer what people aspire to be anymore. It's all about the hourglass shape thanks to this generations societal influencers.
Where does this leave all of the people who are constantly trying to keep up with all of these ever-changing trends? I just feel as though if you are looking for society to always accurately represent whatever your look is, be it thin and pasty, curvy and melenated, or anything in between, you will probably be disappointed. Take me for example! I grew up as a skinny little pale (in comparison) kid around nobody who looked like me. My sort of mini-society did not necessarily validate my certain look. I'm sure it's relatable to being darker skinned in a larger society of mostly fair skin. Also, my hair was always a curly mess that nobody knew how to deal with. Perm time! Everybody was doing it. Fast forward to 2017, guess what's in now? Curly hair! Awesome! But how am I supposed to un-damage my hair?? If I do end up cutting my hair off, I can't worry about how long hair will be back in style. I just have to do what I want to do, ya know? I'm the one who's gonna be looking at it in the mirror every day.
It's actually a great thing to see representations of yourself accomplishing goals, achieving greatness, becoming beauty queens, becoming billionaires, becoming presidents! I will say this though, just because I see one sort of look gracing the covers of every magazine, that won't make me feel less beautiful. If I never see another light skinned girl on a 'most beautiful people' list ever again, it shouldn't matter. I'll know it for myself. Instead of putting all of our trust in what society deems beautiful, we should all be saying screw society. If more of us said THAT and maybe stopped buying the magazines and feeding into the "who looked better" drama, then maybe we all WILL be accepted. Because at that point, nobody will care who's the best, most beautiful, or most intelligent. We'll just BE. Am I talking crazy or is this making any sense at all? I contemplated deleting this entire post and starting over, but I'll leave it as it is. But let me know your thoughts!
P.s. Another way society tries to validate? Grading and test scores! I've always hated the grading system. It just seems to put everyone against everyone and further separate people based on numbers. Getting an "A" doesn't make you genius. Getting an "F" doesn't make you an idiot. Don't let a grade determine your intelligence!
P.p.s. I really do wonder if there was no mainstream influence at all, what would we REALLY like? How would we REALLY wanna look if no one told us what was cute and what wasn't?
P.p.p.s. I do understand that a strong sense of self must be a thing we all strive for more so than anything. If no one tells us we are beautiful, how will we ever know right? It's hard to rely on ourselves for everything we need. That's why we need to be kind to one another. Kindness will go a long way in restoring our individual self-love and acceptance.