Mariah Barnes, Staff Writer
Being beautiful is important, isn’t it? Being handsome is equally so. Waking up in the morning feeling like high quality eye candy is a desire that everyone suffers with. It’s an ongoing battle. Not only are these yearnings torturing to one’s imagination, but we, as a society, have also begun to torture our bodies in order to attain these impossible goals. Eating disorders develop, excessive exercise habits—which can be deemed unhealthy, believe it or not—can come about, piercings, tattoos, uncomfortable footwear, hours of prepping, eyebrow grooming, braces, shaving—whcih literally involves us running blades over our skin—and constrictive clothing are all due to the pretense of being in the inner or outer confines of what is deemed societally acceptable. And we all indulge in what is presented before us by way of the media and our communities—this writer included. So, with all these guidelines for being considered “it” for whichever social standard we associate ourselves to, when are we finally, fully qualified? When are we completely what we’ve set out to be?
We never will be.
That’s the misleading component about this entire, arbitrary quest. It’s never over. It’s like playing the same level in a game over and over and never winning. That’s why one’s appearance, or body image, should never be looked at as eventually “being conquered.” Losing or gaining five pounds, gaining a bigger muscle mass, having longer or shorter hair, owning this or that article of clothing, wearing more makeup or using more products, and/or permanently modifying your body will not finally complete the mission of being your variation of perfect. It will always be an ongoing battle.
Having that said, embracing your individuality and your ability to aesthetically change yourself is not wrong. The intent behind these changes is what can be harmful. Before striving for change, make sure you pose yourself a very important question: Am I striving for this change to forever overcome my insecurities about my appearance, or not?
Confidence in body image first comes with realization. The dawning revelation that no small tweak is going to “fix” you is by far the most difficult challenge, but is definitely the most important. From there, it’s the unknown world of positive self-perception and the courage to love yourself, in which I wish you fine Marauders the strength to wrestle with such an endeavour. Keep fighting, friends; it will get better.