Self-Image: finding perfection in obvious palces

Kelsey Gustafson
Kelsey Gustafson

It feels like you’ve been hit with a ton of bricks. Standing bare-skinned in front of that mirror, turning your body in every direction possible, just to see if there’s an angle that makes you feel comfortable in your skin. You see every imperfection imaginable and begin wishing your body could be like clay that you can shape and mold any way you please.

As humans, society has provided us with such a disservice when it comes to the ideology behind “perfection.” Sure, it can be fun taking potentially great selfies that require photo-shop assistance — I for one love boosting the color and playing with the lighting to make my hair and eyes stand out more. It’s like creating your ideal you, making your appearance replicate that of a porcelain doll. We are given the tools to create our desired images with the press of a button and yet we forget that we are choosing to use the tool that feeds our insecurities.

So many of the apps that social media promotes have built-in filter and editing tools, allowing you to monitor how much of the real ‘you’ the social populace is allowed to see. The scariest part is that we begin comparing the person in the photos with the person standing in the mirror.

I’m not discrediting these apps, since they can assist in creating some great photos. However, I am saying that it’s important not to get sucked into them and begin building your self-image around how they “perfect-ify” you.

If you were given the body of a renaissance woman, wear it like armor. If your skin hugs your bones airtight, do not apologize to those who make skinny-shaming remarks. It’s important to remember that since society is prone to change, so are our beauty standards. Over the years, a variety of different shapes have been in the spotlight for women’s anatomy, from bigger framed bodies to smaller framed bodies, but all deemed beautiful.

The moral behind all of this is that you shouldn’t limit yourself to a cropped photo. You shouldn’t base your appearance on how many likes you acquire on selfies or the ratio between your followers and who you follow. You’re so much more than just a pretty face liked by peers. Your untouched and undisturbed morning appearance is just as beautiful as the edited version of yourself. Don’t allow society to take control of your thoughts and tell you that your natural self isn’t enough. Look in that mirror and know that the person staring back isn’t looking through a filter. Appreciate the rawness of the human form and learn to realize that your brilliance and individuality is not measured in a snapshot.

Be the dandelion among roses and learn to bloom in the cracks on the sidewalk during a full-blown rainstorm.