“Your nose has a massive bump in it”
“You’ve got no bum”
“Your eyes are squinty”
“You’ve put on a lot of Christmas pudge”
Just a selection of a few of the most memorable criticisms I’ve received over the years. And I’m not ignorant to the fact that others have defintely had much worse. People can be so careless and cruel with their words, most of them not really understanding the impact just one little sentence can have on the way somebody sees themselves in the mirror.
So, leading on from my last blog post (Why Do We Care So Much What Other People Think?) it’s pretty vital to remember that we have NO CONTROL over others’ views and judgements. If they want to pull us a part, that’s their prerogative.
- How do we fight the paranoia and self-doubt that sets in after we hear such statements?
- How do we learn to absorb the positives and kick those negative criticisms into the dust?
As one of my heroes, Julia Roberts, so clearly and simply puts it in Pretty Woman, “the bad stuff is easier to believe.”
You could be told since the day you were born that you’re beautiful, but one person, one tiny insignificant speck in your life tells you otherwise, and it’s all tits up from there. Those walls of confidence you’ve been gradually building up brick by brick have now in one instant, been reduced to a pile of rubble.
WHYYYY??!!! – well, to be honest I think the main reason people criticise others’ appearances is to mask their own insecurities and attempt to eradicate their personal twinges of self-doubt.
So, effectively they’ve knocked your tower into a mound of debris, and now they’re using those bricks to build up their own walls even higher – AND WHAT’S WORSE IS THAT YOU’RE LETTING THEM. In fact, no, you’ve actually given them the bulldozer.
- Why do we give other people such power and control over the way we see ourselves?
It’s actually one of the biggest human mysteries.
More and more of us are aspiring to alter our appearances, saving up to pay for tweaks to our face and body, undergoing procedures that promise to make us more confident and comfortable in our own skin.
I went through a phase where I was so serious about getting a nose job. I spoke to my mum (who of course was not a fan of the idea), read up on articles, researched into different clinics. I had a major complex about that bump, simply because of a few comments from various people in high school and my later teenage years.
Well I can tell you now I will not be changing my nose in the hope that after a few chisels and cuts I’ll somehow be a better version of the original Becky and my nose will finally comply to what society deems a ‘nice shape.’ I wouldn’t lie and say if I had the money it wouldn’t still be slightly tempting and I totally understand why people go down the surgery route.
People can be so cruel but not just to others…to themselves. We are our own worst critics and it doesn’t take a lot for us to find an excuse to hate our appearance.
Right, let’s round this up. I want to make it clear that I’m not shaming surgery or cosmetic procedures. I just want people to know that they have a choice and shouldn’t feel any pressure or need to change in order to become more attractive to the rest of the world. Most of the images shoved in our faces in the media on a daily basis are NOT REALITY. They are edits, carefully refined and chiseled. We need to all stop aspiring to look the same, and accept our differences.
Isn’t that the point of humanity? Our diversity? Our contrasts? Isn’t that the true measure of beauty? Celebrating what makes everybody UNIQUE?
There is no ‘perfect’. There is no ‘ideal’.
Dr Seuss said “Why fit in when you were born to stand out?”
Lady Gaga commented “You have to be unique and different and shine in your own way”
Emma Stone, “What sets you apart can sometimes feel like a burden and it’s not. A lot of the time, it’s what makes you great”
All of them legends in their own way. All of them have faced the world’s superficial scrutiny.
So I’m going to sign off now, and go own the hell out of that angled, bumpy nose of mine!