Escaping the Beauty Trap
Beauty. Do you see it in yourself? Can you feel it? What is beauty for you? Have you ever thought about beauty being more than just an outer appearance? In fact, have you ever wondered how the blind define beauty?
Today is Mother’s Day. So, here’s to all our mums teaching us beauty, strength, and life. I find it fascinating that how a girl feels about her beauty starts with how her mum feels about her beauty. Just think about it. My mum has always hoped for better, smoother, less irritated skin. Take a guess at how I feel about my skin.
Our definition of beauty influences people around us has an enormous impact on our self-confidence, and can even inspire what we strive for in life.
So, what is the beauty trap?
When I began my blogging journey, I was shocked by the amount of online social media profiles portraying a lifestyle that is compromised by an idea of beauty set out by consuming specific products and looking a certain way. Young women and men quickly find themselves trapped inside an unrealistic world which defines beauty by a mix of porn and Photoshop. Admittedly, I am guilty of losing my voice amongst the voices of the ‘cool kids club’. Wandering into the world of Instagram as a blogger feels like walking into the school yard as a 14-year-old, spotting the cool kids all hanging out in the corner leering at you, with their white teeth, shiny hair and perfectly arranged açai bowls. My sense of beauty began to be slowly taken over by an idea of normalised perfection aka I woke up like this. The fact that the phrase #nofilter has to be used to enhance trustworthiness makes one doubt the whole idea of credible social media in the first place.
However, I believe it is important to remember that social media, just like conventional media, portrays only a small snapshot of reality, which can be added to a family album, used to market a good, or framed and put into an art gallery. The latter is my goal, but I may use the former to get there. Removing myself from this ‘trap’ reminded me of why I started sharing my thoughts to all of you lovely readers. Now, when I scroll through my Instagram feed, I don’t see a set of rules and obligations, but I recognise my potential to create, inspire, and share.
My sense of beauty is intertwined with a sense of adventure. I can’t smile and be comfortable with my self if I feel trapped. My mind and my heart must be free. Does my outer appearance define me? No, instead of measuring myself by a mirror or the image of others, I create my idea of beauty through exploring my passions. I am inspired by travelling the world, discovering the art of fashion, and being surrounded by the people I love.
The beauty trap inhibits the realisation of individual potential. Casting aside the perception of others, escape it by listening to what makes you smile and go from there.
How do you define beauty?