By: Wanda Loreto Andrea Stuardo, Guest Blogger
As human beings of the 21st century, we are constantly bombarded by pictures and information. All this data that we receive daily “helps us” to create an ideal of perfection and its perception. Sadly, we are all under this perfection spell. As women we are constantly aware of other women, that's true, and we keep comparing ourselves to one another instead of flattering each other. We are constantly willing to change our hair, our clothes, we buy make up and we go to the gym, just to reach this ideal of exterior perfection and beauty.
A few days ago I finished a book called Love and Other Foreign Words by Ethan McCahan, and one of my favorite quotes was: “Good becomes perfect, but perfect is an illusion. And illusions are like all spells—temporary and soon broken. And when that happens, feelings change.” So, even if the book wasn't talking about self-confidence, I think it fits amazingly well to this message. People in general look for perfection permanently and, if for some reason, someone reaches perfection, it will all fade away at some point. That person will want more, because soon enough he/she will find something they don't like about themselves, and the feelings towards them will change. Their self-respect and love will change. Do we really want to be through all of that?
And what is perfection anyways? The concept is so subjective. Happiness, beauty, perfection, success-- they are all standards that society gives us. But we don't have to feel sorry for not looking like that thin model with glowing skin and a toned body. We must be happy with ourselves. But I'm not saying wearing make-up, dying your hair, and exercising are bad things. No. It all depends on the reason. If you are doing that because you want to reach a specific standard, because you want to be perfect, because those photographs in the magazines are making you feel self-conscious. STOP. You are hurting yourself. You are trying to hide who you are behind creams, behind clothes, behind an ideal of a person you are not. But, if you are doing that because you feel comfortable, because you feel you are definitely rocking that lipstick, because you love exercise for yourself (and that's the important thing FOR YOURSELF), because you are happy with yourself, then go ahead. Enjoy it.
I love watching fashion shows, I love reading magazines like Teen Vogue, and yes, I watch the VS Fashion Show every year. And when looking at the perfect toned models, realizing that I'm not like them, and probably never will be, (now) I think “that's okay because we are all different. There's no way to find a person that fits the definition of perfection for everyone around the world. There are social experiments in which a person asks photographers from different countries to photoshop her picture to make her the most perfect they can, and if you look at the pictures after that, you'll realize they are all different people.
We shouldn't be worrying about looking perfect. We are smart enough to realize we are looking for something that doesn't exist. What should we be looking for? Not a perfect body, not perfect make-up. We should be looking for confidence and self-respect and that love for ourselves that somehow we lost. There's nothing more beautiful than a person that is happy with herself.
Let's Chat! How do you rock self-confidence and self-love? Tell us here!
Wanda is a high school Chilean girl that just started a little blog about teenager experiences called Running Life. Theater and writing have helped her the last few years to discover her own voice and not being afraid to share it. Reading, musical theater and TV shows are her guilty pleasure. Her biggest goal in life is to become the best version of herself she can be. More at Running Life http://running-life-ws.tumblr.com/