The unattainable beauty on social medias
In the history of beauty there is a before and an after. Before the advent of social media and after the advent of social media. In fact, social media has strongly changed our idea of beauty.
Very often the beauty we see on social networks is unreachable and in most cases it is also absolutely false.
We see girls with perfect looks, from the tips of their hair to their toes, and we think: "What luck, look how beautiful she is!"
But maybe we don't know that behind that photo there were hours and hours of preparation to appear like that. Tricks, creams and the search for the right place and the perfect pose.
Most people have neither the time nor the tools to look perfect. And then there are the filters on the smartphone and everything you can do to edit a photo before posting it on Instagram or Facebook.
In the end, that girl in a bikini who seems to be walking absorbed in her thoughts on a paradisiacal beach is showing an image of beauty that is simply unreachable. A perfection that can only exist on social networks.
But people don't realize it and believe that beauty is attainable. They believe it's within everyone's reach so they become obsessed with it. They think, "Why does she and I don't? I want that group of people who love me and tell me I'm beautiful too."
That's why some people spend thousands of euros over the course of a lifetime to buy clothes, accessories, make-up and all kinds of products. The world is full of people who change the color of their hair, nails, skin, eyes and sometimes even get their skin cut to have a bigger breast or a smaller nose or a less fat butt.
And it's not just a question of the rich, who has the money to afford it all. Those who don't have the money invest their time: hundreds of hours to choose the right dress, the right hairstyle, the right accessory and the right colour scheme.
If the way you feel depends on how you look, something might not be right with you. It's a common but serious problem, because it's a condemnation of unhappiness: take examples from celebrities who have built their appearance in a way that is inaccessible to most people and so you set yourself to such high standards that you're unreachable.
In practice you climb the steps of a staircase that has no end. You'll never be perfect, so you'll never be happy.
We do all this because we believe that only by appearing in a certain way will we be happy. Happy that we can love each other and be loved. On the other hand, the models we see on ads, as well as influencers on social networks, are always smiling. Perfect and smiling, therefore happy! But it doesn't really work like that. Apparent happiness does not always reflect internal happiness.
How can a dress or a way of make-up say something about you? The cover of a book tells only a very small part of the pages it contains. Why do we human beings think that our essence is in our "cover"?
When I've been having this conversation with other people, I've often heard that the way we dress expresses our personality. In part I agree, but precisely because a cover also expresses the essence of a book.
I'd really like to believe that that's the way people are, that the way they look says something about their true nature. But then I look around and see people all dressed the same. I remember when I was a little girl and in Milan, the city where I was born, everybody bought the same T-shirt with the same logo from the same store. Growing up, I saw fashions arrive and disappear into thin air, supported by millions of people who wore certain clothes and accessories just because they were trendy.
How do you express your personality by deciding to have the haircut that thousands of other girls have? How do you express your true nature by wearing those ripped jeans that they all wear? How are you expressing the frequency at which you vibrate, the one that belongs only to you, if you dress like everyone else, following the guidelines set by the few masters of fashion?
The truth is that we are afraid of isolation. As nice as it is to tell the story of the outsider who goes against everything and everyone, most people are afraid of looking different and being alone. That's why they feel the need to conform. This is the principle by which most people choose how to dress every morning, certainly not to express their essence.
In essence, constantly bombarded as we are by the more or less glossy, more or less retouched images we enjoy every day on social media, we feel increasingly inadequate. Sometimes, it would be enough to pause and reflect on the fact that many of the people we follow, and whom we consider so impeccable, are only particularly photogenic or have chosen to devote their lives to the pursuit of the perfect shot. Few of the beauty we see on social media is natural. We learn to appreciate ourselves for those we are with the knowledge that no one is perfect.
Do you and your language exchange friends also think that beauty on social media is in many cases artificial? Do you retouch your photos before posting them on Facebook or Instagram? Write your answers in the comments!
- 1 Aug, 2020
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