Take a moment to write down five people that you think are extraordinary, and include a few words describing what you think makes them special. Now, set that aside for a moment while we talk about redefining beauty.
Both men and women are brainwashed to believe what is beautiful, and we never get a chance to develop our own ideas about attractiveness. It starts in infancy and continues throughout our lives.
Just think about the toys you played with as a kid, from Barbie and Ken dolls to GI Joe, where each of them have the “perfect” body. Children’s movies present the “ideal” male and female characters that brainwash us as well. The heroines have the same delicate body type, and the heroes have broad shoulders and small waists. The evil, antagonistic characters are often overweight or “ugly.” Not only does this teach us that we have to be in spectacular shape, have glorious hair, and giant, mesmerizing eyes to be considered beautiful, but it teaches that only the good people are beautiful.
The false definitions of beauty continue into adolescence. Because we have everything that we need, marketers work hard to make us feel bad about ourselves to get us to buy their products. From anti-wrinkle cream to hair dye, it’s all designed to make us think we are not attractive enough as we are. TV, movies, Facebook ads—there are negative influences everywhere. We see them so often that we are numb to them and we usually don’t notice when we are being brainwashed.
Take a look at where your personal standards of beauty came from. Are they truly yours, or are they coming from elsewhere? Can you define what you think is beautiful rather than taking on societal norms?
Now, go back to your list of people that you find extraordinary. The reasons you have for choosing those people have absolutely nothing to do with them being beautiful, right?
Redefine what beauty is to you, because our current version isn’t even ours. Make sure your new definition of beauty contains the extraordinary aspects of the people you admire. How about humor, honesty, or selflessness? These are much more beautiful qualities than a tiny waist. Once you change your definition of “Beautiful” you’ll start seeing it in everyone you meet!