A recent poll conducted asking girls between the ages of 15 and 17 who they thought was ‘the most beautiful’ scared the life out of me. There were five options: three of which Kardashians and the other two, Jenners. My confusion with this question mainly sat with use of the word ‘beautiful’. Yes, these women have what would be considered- for a lack of better words – perfect faces and bodies but what did these women do that made them beautiful to this magazine?
We constantly hear phrases like ‘beauty is more than just a pretty face’ being thrown around but let’s be honest, most of us – myself, too, at times – associate beauty with little other than physical appearances. Many of us blame the media for the caked and photo shopped images we’re shown, others blame the role models young people are choosing to idolise. No matter who you choose to blame it’s important to recognise the increasing pressure we put ourselves under to look like these images – a pressure that is powerful enough to drown out the other important things that contribute to our beauty; like the books we read, the causes we care about and most importantly, the things we do.
From a young age, I was fortunate enough to be surrounded by intelligent and caring women who constantly taught me my appearance was the last thing I should worry about. Some of these women were educated with bachelors, masters and doctorates. Some participated in volunteer work regularly. Some traveled frequently and experienced different cultures. I’d like to think I’m a well rounded person and attribute this to the women I idolised when I was younger. I thought all of these women were beautiful because of the things they did, not because of the way they looked.
It saddens me to think there’s so many amazing women out there but the most read online stories and the most idolised women out there are those who do little other than look good.
This post was so different to what I normally write about but I think it’s something that isn’t said enough and poses a question we don’t ask enough – how many people would you impress if the world were blind?
‘If your self esteem is based on the way you look, you will never be happy with yourself. If you have the perfect body, it’s going to age. At some point you have to take control and shift the focus and decide who you are. What you take from the world and what you contribute is a thousand times more important than how you look.’