I have discussed this with a lot of different people and it is something I feel very strongly about, so when it came up again a few weeks ago while I was talking to a friend of mine, I felt the need to write about it. Originally it was just about writing down my thoughts, but now I decided to put it on my blog because it still strikes me how much the worry about looks can define someone’s life.
When I’m at the train station and hear people talk, it strikes me. When I’m in a restaurant, it strikes me. When I’m at university, it strikes me. When I watch TV, it strikes me. When I talk to people, it strikes me. When I think about myself, it strikes me. It’s everywhere: fashion, appearance, superficiality.
I am a proud defender of the looks shouldn’t matter “philosophy”. I don’t wear something because it’s fashionable, but because I like it and because I feel good in it. I don’t mind going grocery shopping in my stay-at-home clothes and without putting makeup on, and I’m interested in people’s personalities. It even goes to the point where I find myself judging others who dress according to the latest fashion because I classify them in the group of people who adapt to what others like instead of expressing themselves. Of course, this is just as wrong, since they might simply like that particular style, and of course they are of as free to wear what they want as I am; so I always remind myself right away that I should not have prejudices.
But what I do not find ok is the pressure society puts on people. The pressure to fit in, the pressure to adapt, the pressure to shine in order to be accepted. Unfortunately we’re not talking about a shining personality here, but about a shining physique. I think it’s alright to dress nicely, and care about your looks, if you like doing it. I do that as well, but only to a certain degree, or for certain occasions. It should not be necessary because you’ll get laughed at if you don’t. And it should not be your one and only concern.
I do not deny the importance of the physical aspect in human relationships. I agree that looks influence how you feel about a person, especially about strangers, because it’s all the information you have about them. But we should at least try to stay open and give people a chance to show us more about them. There’s always so much more to a person than the looks, so how can we decide whether we like someone if we only have that one small part? Again, it is probably an important part, but not the most important, and definitely not the only one.
What bugs me even more is that people fear to be judged for their looks by their friends. Their FRIENDS who, according to me, are supposed to know and like them for their personality. That is just so wrong… I know that we grow up surrounded by all these expectations and also the media constantly talking about beauty and dress codes, but why do we let a few people who have a known name and apparently some power decide what is considered to be beautiful and what is not? Isn’t beauty just another social construct? It is subjective, so there is no way to define one specific way of being beautiful. And why is beauty so often reduced to the outside? Because it is a social construct it is hard to break out of it, I’m aware of that, and I don’t claim to always succeed in it. But I try to be aware of it and surround myself with people who believe in me instead of believing in my clothes, hairstyle and make-up.
Have a wonderful day and just feel good about yourself!