Giving up in the best way: My journey to reject outrageous beauty standards

It’s a wet Friday morning. I’m in my dorm, scrolling by way of TikTook as any school scholar does (I’ve completed my homework – don’t fear mother.) I’m filtering by way of all the focused advertisements crammed with excellent folks with trim waists and porcelain pores and skin. I do know these advertisements know one thing about me: I’m a teenage woman in school. This signifies that I’m their most insecure demographic—most vulnerable to promoting my soul to a 12-step skincare routine that may save my life in some way. I dodge the aspirations the advertisements are attempting to dangle in entrance of me as a result of whereas my feed is crammed with an amazing abundance of excellent girls smiling and laughing at how excellent they’re, I keep in mind what it’s like to look up from the display. I do know what regular, actual folks appear to be. 
But it’s in my dorm that Friday morning the place I come throughout my last straw: a TikTook of a woman preparing for a frat celebration at the University of Miami. She has lengthy, excellent blonde hair and a superbly structured face. She lathers on her make-up and gushes about how she didn’t anticipate her Halloween costume to go viral. She’s a school scholar, identical to me. For a second, I’m wondering how easy it have to be to reside her life. After all, after I open the remark part, it’s crammed with males asking for an opportunity together with her, for her hand in marriage, and even asking how a lot it will value to buy her bathwater (that is how males flirt in the 12 months 2022.) After a fast scroll by way of her Instagram, I notice this woman resides a life adjoining to that of a Kardashian: skilled, posed images in designer manufacturers in Vegas and Miami, with the world at her toes and in her feedback. 
She jogs my memory of an entity I carried in my head all through highschool and a blueprint of myself that I had all the time wished to fulfill. Girls like these have been the motive I woke up an hour earlier than faculty began, ravaging by way of make-up tutorials and strategically curling my eyelashes only for the likelihood to be seen (use Euphoria’s Cassie Howard for reference). I desperately assigned myself the mission to carry this entity to life, as a result of I knew this was what the folks wished. I knew this was what boys wished, and at that time, that meant every thing to me. I do know that if I have been a person, I might be so dazzled by this lady that I might hyper fixate on this social media persona she has designed – a lot in order that I might overlook about the actual girls in my life. This would ignite a worry in me that every one of the issues that make me who I’m are nugatory in this division, as I reside in the shadow of this lady on the web. 

But it was throughout quarantine the place I had this epiphany. I’m glad that the excellent woman on the web exists as a result of by way of a special lens, she’s inadvertently saving me. If males resolve to indulge in her relatively than the actual girls that exist in life, then it’s by way of their ignorance that I’m protected against being held to such an outrageously unrealistic commonplace. I do know I’ll by no means be her, so why ought to I let her eat my life?  The males who’re consumed by this egregious fable of a girl with no flaws ought to be banished into their basements to entertain one thing that doesn’t exist, not to work together with actual girls who roam the world with good intentions. All girls ought to be protected against males who maintain them to such standards, particularly younger ladies who’ve to develop by way of their most early life listening to their flaws amplified and categorized right into a label with wording like “crow’s toes” and “strawberry legs.” 
Whenever I get caught up in these expectations and stress that I want to change, I all the time have a look at images of my youthful self: often a photograph from earlier than I hit the age of 12 and was made conscious of such standards that have been anticipated of me. There is one picture of myself in explicit that I all the time come again to: I’m sleeping peacefully on a chair in my childhood dwelling, most certainly dreaming about making it throughout the monkey bars. I’m rocking pigtails and a vibrant pair of pink Uggs that made me really feel like the coolest woman in the third grade. I have a look at this picture of my youthful self and assume: “Who is attempting to persuade me that this superb woman isn’t ok?”

Now that I do know firms don’t need me to assume I’m ok, I’m let loose figuring out I not have to worth the standards it presents me with. The journey that I embark on to be a greater individual not contains saving up for rhinoplasty, ice-rolling my face (is that even efficient?) or perfecting my physique. My schedule is now cleared up to make room for doing my best in my lessons, strengthening my friendships and expressing gratitude for the ones I maintain shut. I’m by no means going to please everybody, so I’ll as nicely simply make investments my effort into the issues I like. 
I really feel good figuring out I’ve the possibility to cease swimming upstream and unsubscribe from that commonplace. I’m free. I let my hair develop its pure colour as a result of that’s what I used to be born with, and I don’t really feel a necessity to impress anybody anymore. I like when folks like me, but it surely’s even higher after I know they like my real, pure self relatively than some dramatic commonplace I do know I may by no means reside up to. When I look in the mirror, I remind myself I’m not taking a look at my flaws. I’m taking a look at the components of myself which can be distinctive and may’t be taken away. I really feel safe in figuring out that the people who find themselves attracted to me get pleasure from the model of me that can not be changed, relatively than a clone of another person. I’m additionally very happy with the incontrovertible fact that I’ve gone from letting these standards steal the pleasure from my life to now, the place I might not commerce my life for anybody else’s. I want the identical destiny for the different younger, impressionable ladies rising up in such a harsh society. I don’t assume I’m excellent, however I get pleasure from being myself and figuring out that’s ok. It’s a lot much less exhausting.
To quote Joe from the movie “The Princess Diaries” (as he quoted Amelia Earhart), “No one could make you are feeling inferior with out your consent.”

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