There are so many different ways a person can learn to loath or hate the way they look. To feel as though they are somehow inferior to others due to their outward appearance and made to believe that they need to change themselves in order to be a better person. I have often asked people why they feel as though they need to change themselves on the outside to improve who they are. The answer is something that I have begun to expect,
“Wouldn’t you want to be the best person you can be? Shouldn’t we constantly strive to be better?”
The answer probably doesn’t surprise anyone, but the implications that our outward appearance shows how in some form how good of a person we are makes me think that we have our own personal ideals skewed. As a child we are often told to be kind and caring, to be polite and think of the golden rule. Do unto others, as you would have them do unto you.
To treat others with dignity and respect.
As we grow it changes, we are taught that we should be independent, which in many ways means to only care about ourselves and the goals at which we think are important no matter who suffers for our carelessness. When we do this we are really taking part of the socialization of a generic set of ideals that we are told to live by. We leave the kindness and caring part of who we were taught to be as children for the harshness of a world where physical perfection can become debilitating when you do not meet those standards.
We learn to in fewer words hate who we are, instead of seeing our strengths and positive qualities we look at our weaknesses, seeing only the gaps at which we must hurl ourselves across to ascend into perfection land. Along the way we take down others by pointing out their own imperfections to make ourselves feel less different. We do not see their good qualities that make them decent human beings but see who we think they should be.
My main thoughts lies within how we can personally combat this unproductive and hurtful process. Our own personal self-hatred manifests into fear of others when they have qualities that we ourselves are scared of becoming. Can we just acknowledge this and move on? Or should we instead learn to focus on our own strengths and personal qualities that make us a good person on the inside, not the way we look on the outside. At the same time doing this for others we meet, looking into how they hold traits that we believe make them a good person and realizing that perfection is unobtainable.
So I’ll ask this, what would happen if we spent the time to conscientiously do this? In many ways I have spent the last few years trying to turn off the part of myself that wants to look at another person or myself and judge based on their weaknesses, physical or not. What I have found is the ability to truly appreciate the good people that surround me and leave the negativity or pettiness to the wayside. It has allowed me to see myself for who I am and feel comfortable with my uniqueness by reducing my own self-hatred to something that only sparks up occasionally.
It is a never ending process but one that is far easier to fight when I know it is there, and not swept under the rug like so many of us try to do.