By Guest Writer, Elegy
I know too many beautiful people who are not confident in themselves in the most superficial sense: how they look. It’s not their fault, everyone has their moments of weakness- even the people we admire as beautiful have things they want to change, even if just for a fleeting second. Nobody’s satisfied! You reach your standard and you’ve become so warped that you can’t win for losing! So, I see this distress and it distresses me, I want to take them by the shoulders and firmly tell them, “You don’t have to look that way! It’s your body! Take control of it! Take it back!” My friends have told me that they admire my confidence- it wasn’t bestowed upon me, I fought for it! By now I’ve taken a more relaxed approached to beauty, and I hope this helps people when they’re feeling low.
I may not be the beauty ideal right now- in fact, I know I’m not. That doesn’t matter to me. But when it did, and when it does, I reframe my mind like this: I know that somewhere, at some point in time, the way I look is idealized, romanticized, and strived for. It may be 1,000 years from now, it may have been 1,000 years in the past, but my beauty was valued. That’s it, that’s enough for me. People may not recognize it now, but that doesn’t make me not beautiful. Your beauty spans across time and distance. Remember that.
Expand your cultural horizons, even in this century and you’ll find this to be true: that features people struggle with in the “West” are features people struggle for in the “East,” and vice versus. That all around the world you’ll find your neighbors with a variety of different beauty standards. You can throw your hands up and say you can’t win! Or you can take what is yours, claiming your beauty for yourself and recognizing that each and every part of you is something valued.
Yes, this philosophy still hinges on the opinions of the great mysterious “other” (getting validation outside of oneself), however I feel it’s a more proactive and body-positive stance. A step in the direction of owning your own beauty, on your terms. Not everyone can stand on their own right away, so I’m giving a tool to help.
The above image is the one that inspired me to finally write my stance and share it with a wider audience. It’s called “Wrong Century” by Czech artist Tomas Kucerovsky, which he originally created for an art magazine.