In a world of the newest “beauty” product or the latest fashion trend, we quickly cave in to the idea that beauty is skin deep. We concentrate so much time on being attractive that we neglect what is actually beautiful. We have been taught to concentrate on what society deems as unattractive, rather than our positive features.
Outer beauty is a social and cultural construct. There is no universal beauty. People want what they do not have: When everyone is pale, they want tan. Or when people have dark skin, lighter skin is seen as attractive, and when everyone is blonde, they want brunette. Attitudes in regards to beauty change over time. Plump was gorgeous back in the day, then it changed to thin. It’s moving back in the direction of plump, thanks to mainstream media putting down women who lack a rear end.
Summertime is wonderful because it means everyone is going to the beach, basking in the sun, and getting a shade of bronze. This glowing bronze is attractive to society, and it’s somehow a bragging right on Instagram like “Taking advantage of my melanin! #GeneticsAllowMeToTan,” But, for the individuals who lack melanin, it is a time to be made fun of more than usual.
I have extremely fair skin. One time I went to get foundation because I thought I would actually wear it, and I was matched with “Cool Bone.” It was its lightest shade. It did not match my face. In my defense, the shade was a lot darker than bones. But, on a positive note, I can get my foundation at Staples for under $4. White Out is not super blend-able, but it’ll do. It really covers up the other flaws.
People in my generation always had difficulty with my skin tone because for some reason they thought it was a problem. They would crack jokes about how I was so pale and needed to tan, or how I had a certain desirable physical aspect, “but” I was “pale.”
For a little while I was self-conscious of my skin tone and wanted to be tanner. Then I asked myself, why? Why should I alter my appearance for a group of people who judge solely on outer appearances? Why should I cause harm to my body for the superficial aspect of attractiveness?
I go in the sun, and I burn. But now, I do not try to be tan. I do not try to be something I am not, or look unnatural because society tells me that is what is beautiful. People have recently called my complexion “porcelain,” which makes me chuckle. My complexion is what people list on their wedding registry. Fine china is a nice thing to be compared to.
Concentrate on being beautiful on the inside. Everyone wrinkles and everyone sags when they get older. And although I do not find wrinkles unattractive, Botox exists. So it must be unattractive to some people. Natural aging is attractive because it shows you have lived, and you are wise enough to understand society should not play a vital role on how you perceive yourself. Don’t spend all your money trying to correct your external flaws. Be happy with your appearance.
Find the characteristics you like about yourself, and love your “flaws” because they are what set you apart. I like my pale skin and being able to see my veins. I don’t have seasonal coloring and I’m always ivory; my coloring is dependable. So, when people say how pale they are in the winter, I can say “I’m always this way,” and put my white arm next to their tan arm and make them feel better. It is a very humanitarian thing for me to do.
I like that when I blush it’s the shade of a fire truck, and people pull over to let me pass. I like that I learned how to “stop, drop, and roll” in first grade, so when I go in the sun and smell my flesh burning, I’m prepared. I like that my legs have a purple hue when I’m cold, so I can pretend like I’m Barney the Purple Dinosaur — it’s a real hit with the kids.
I like that in a world of people who try to tell you what you need to look like in order to achieve success or a significant other, I can shrug and say, “Well, at least I still have my personality.” No matter what you do, how much plastic surgery you get, you will never look “perfect.”
Someone will always be able to pinpoint something they do not think is attractive about your appearance. If people are not going to like you for who you are as a person, you should not try to achieve their affection through bodily appearance because that affection is superficial.
Be safe this summer. Wear sunscreen. Avoid cancer.
(Author’s note: Do not use White Out on your face. It could cause an allergic reaction, and the fumes might cause harm to your well-being)