Jennifer Pitt

Forget Beauty Standards. Who Decides What is Beautiful?

Here’s the thing about beauty “standards”: they’re bullshit.

For me, beauty is in the attitude, the personality; the way you treat the waitress at dinner.

For you, beauty may be in the way the sun shines through the hair of your loved one at dusk.

For someone else, it may be an hourglass figure. For yet another, a full-figured person.

Beauty is not about one thing, to one person. There is no standard.

Beauty is in the way you speak about your life, and in the way you choose your words carefully, taking the feelings of the people around you into account.

It’s in the way you speak about your family, even if you haven’t spoken to them in years, in the way you talk to your pets, and in the way you look after yourself, first.

It’s in the way you treat the people who work in jobs that are in service to you, the customer.

Beauty is everywhere. Not in your face/ass/boobs/thighs. It’s in YOU, and all around you.

Beauty should never be about looks, because we all perceive things differently. What’s beautiful to you is not necessarily beautiful to me, and what’s beautiful to me is not necessarily beautiful to the next person.

We all view the world through our own sphere of reference; our sphere of reference is shaped by the experiences we have had in our lives, good and bad.

Who are these “beauty standards” for, the ones set by models and movie stars in fashion magazines and on websites? For themselves? For everyone? Certainly not for me. I think it’s fantastic that these people are able to parlay their genetic lottery win into a viable income and career, but I feel confident in saying that underneath all of that is the same insecurities we all have. Regardless of how beautiful you think they are (or how beautiful they think they are, for that matter), they have the same issues and insecurities we all have. It’s human nature to compare ourselves to others to see if we match up; when we’re young, it’s how we learn social norms and behaviours.

If you don’t like how you look or feel, change it. If you are doing it for yourself, and because you want to see a change in the mirror or at your next physical, then fabulous.

If you are doing it because you need to fit in or look like someone else or rise to the impossible standards of beauty set out in fashion magazines, on the runway, or on television, then I am here to ask you to just stop.

Do you control your thoughts, or do they control you?

Your validation of you comes from nobody but YOU. No man, no woman, no friend, no fashion model or any amount of cheesecake in one sitting is going to make you feel better or worthwhile.

But your brain can. Because it’s *your* brain. I know, right? P!nk said it in the simplest of terms: “Take the voices in your head and make them like you instead.”

The negative thoughts in our brains that tell us we are ugly, fat, a waste of time, unworthy of love are not the little voices of truth; they simply are not. They are simply negative thoughts.

We think these are the voices that come from nowhere to bring us back to reality, but guess what: they’re NOT.

The reality of you, the beauty of you, the true incredibility of you is the truth. That voice? It’s an asshole demon voice that was planted in your head, by you, in response to a fight-or-flight situation you experienced in your childhood, or by some relative commenting on your thighs at age five, or some peer who decided it was a-okay to call you stupid when you were ten.

Tell me this: how many babies are born knowing they are terrible humans unworthy of love? None. Zero babies are born believing they are ugly/fat/stupid/unworthy/unlovable.

Negative thoughts come from negative experiences. Positive thoughts emerge from positive experiences.

If a child is neglected from birth, there is going to be a lot of negative experience/imprinting. If a child is loved and nurtured from birth, there will be a lot of positive experience/imprinting.

beauty, seeds

A thought is a seed, sprouting from an experience, and blooming with care and nurturing.

Whether that thought is negative or positive, the results are the same: if it is nurtured, it will bloom. Both will become beliefs, with enough care and nurturing; both will govern your life and your behaviour, and will shape how you view your experiences.

They will colour how you view the world, and will teach others how to treat you, and what sort of treatment you will tolerate.

But just because a thought can do all of these things, it doesn’t mean it can’t be replaced with something else.

Oppositional Thinking

If your negative thought has been nurtured and cared for your whole life, you can pull that bloom and replace it with another. No, it isn’t that easy; of course I am simplifying it. But am I, really?

It is a simple thing to do. And with time and experience, it becomes second nature (Hey, just like those negative thoughts you’ve been nurturing! Whaaaat?!?!?)

When you have a negative thought, immediately think the opposite. Pretty soon, your brain will eliminate the negative thought altogether.

Make a chart. On one side, write your negative thoughts about yourself: I’m ugly, I’m stupid, I’m unworthy, no one loves me.

On the other side, write the exact opposite of the negative thought: everyone loves me, I am smart, I am worthy, I am intelligent, I am beautiful.

Make a second chart: How do I know this is true? List all the reasons why you know the positive thought are true. In the second column, list all of the reasons why you know the negative thoughts are true.

What do you see? You see the fallacy in the negative thoughts that you have about yourself. Are you really and truly unlovable? Do you *really* believe you are stupid? No. You adopt what you perceive to be reflected back at you. Have you made stupid comments or done stupid things? Of course: you’re HUMAN. Have you done unlovable things? Sure!! Guess what–still human.

Make your brain be kind to you. If you wouldn’t say it to someone else, why are you saying it to you?

Give yourself a break. The same break that you give to everyone else around you.

You are the most important you that there is. Be kind, to YOU.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I am off to take my own advice. <3

beauty, balance

2 thoughts on “Forget Beauty Standards. Who Decides What is Beautiful?

  1. “The reality of you, the beauty of you, the true incredibility of you is the truth.” Only one of so many great thoughts and ideas in one post! It contained so many great ideas, I could have read an entire book to find such truth. More please!

    1. Wow, high praise!! Thanks so much Joan. Being kind to ourselves is as important as breathing. <3

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