What is it with body image these days?
We’re caught in a war between the so-called “standard of beauty” and the protestors hailing their slogan “you’re beautiful just the way you are,” and, if you ask me, that pretty much sums up the landscape when it comes to attractiveness. Either you’re thin and you hate yourself, or you’re not thin and you don’t hate yourself but you feel like you’re supposed to.
A little unfair don’t you think?
Either way, you’re doing something wrong. If you love yourself, everyone else hates you, and if you hate yourself, well, everyone else still hates you but for different reasons.
The battle of course has come to the point now where you really can’t do anything but be yourself (COFF COFF CORRECT COFF COFF) except that you’re still losing. When the answer’s staring you right in your face, you should be able to accept it, should you not?
Maybe the blind are on to something.
How do they fall in love with anyone? How do they find anyone attractive? If they can’t see the standard, how do they compare prospective lovers to the standard? Don’t they ever wonder?
This should illuminate the problem with having a standard of beauty, a standard of weight, a standard of attractiveness, any standard of any physical trait, really. Because the truth is, we seem to have missed the point when it comes to finding someone attractive and instead settled for far less than the full reality of interpersonal, loving, sexual relationships.
We have, after all, five senses. (five major senses if you will, at least)
Sight. Smell/Taste. Hearing. Touch.
And yet we rely on only sight to determine whether someone is beautiful or not. LAME.
You know those stories your grandparents used to tell you, about how they fell in love with each other just because they sat nearby-ish at a restaurant and heard the other person for an hour before they looked around to find the source of such amorous music?
Okay, I made that up, but surely you can imagine what I’m talking about.
Remember the last time in high school you developed a crush on someone unexpectedly because your fingers touched for a brief moment when s/he passed you a pencil?
Remember the last time you couldn’t get over someone’s smell as they walked past? (in a good way, I mean.)
Maybe you do, maybe you don’t.
Let’s take it a step further. When was the last time you were starting to develop a friendship with someone, maybe you were kind of buddies, maybe just casual acquaintances, whatever, but you never really had any feelings for them or even thought that you having feelings for them would ever be a possibility, and then you just… had a conversation with them? And suddenly, wow, how did you not see this before?
Now we determine whether or not someone is attractive by quickly glancing at their butt and then carrying on with our day, probably doing something lame like playing COD for hours on end, or watching YouTube videos (guilty), or, I don’t know, working yourself to a premature heart-attack.
Social media has been wonderful. It’s great. I love it. I’m not knocking it at all.
But we’ve started to rely exclusively on our sense of sight to determine whether someone is attractive and, just physiologically, that’s… become a handicap.
What’s the better standard? Something almost nobody fits into, or something most people fit into?
What if we treated the standard for mental health the same way we treat the standard for physical beauty? About 1 in 4 Americans suffer from a mental health issue. Should we treat them as the ones who fit the “standard” and ostracize everyone else? That sounds good, no? Let’s make 75% of the population feel unwanted, stupid, and pathetic, for not measuring up to the standard of mental health.
So why do we make the majority of people feel bad about themselves for not measuring up to the impossible ideals portrayed in the media and perpetuated by the public (it’s not exclusively the media’s fault)?
Math, people. Math.
Maybe the blind have it right. They can’t see this so-called standard, so they rely on their other senses to fall in love. We have 1 of them. They have 4. Seems like the scales have tipped.
Doesn’t that make a lot more sense?