It’s all around us: the obsession with appearance. Celebrities are constantly being praised or humiliated for their appearance by the media. New moms lament over excess baby weight via social media. Models are ridiculed for being too thin yet are continually being hired by top designers to represent a specific image for the brand. Plus-sized advocates loudly protest popular stores that do not cater to that particular clientele. Magazine covers feature airbrushed cover girls looking flawless. Makeup artists demonstrate on online videos how to fake higher cheekbones, cover blemishes, even out imperfections, and contour, blend, and highlight your way to a face that is simultaneously unrealistically gorgeous and impractical for daily life. Those who are caught altering their pictures with Photoshop are criticized. Those who subtly Photoshop their pictures are admired and envied.
And we all pretend that this is normal. We are all victims and perpetrators. We all buy the tabloids or click the link or repost the pictures or feel self-conscious and worthless in comparison to the forgeries presented by the media.
This must stop. For my own sanity, I cannot continue to compare myself unfavourably to images that are not real because they have been “touched up” before being printed. I don’t want to fall into the trap of putting down others to raise myself up. I do not want to be the cause of another person’s pain.
People have so much more to offer than just how they look. It is really the quality of their hearts and intentions of their minds that matter.