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Thursday, July 10, 2014

Eye of the Beholder
Eye of the Beholder
“Now there are questions that come to mind. Where is this place, and when is it? What kind of world where ugliness is the norm and beauty the deviation from that norm? You want an answer? The answer is, it doesn't make any difference. Because the old saying happens to be true. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, in this year or a hundred years hence. On this planet or wherever there is human life, perhaps out amongst the stars. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.” The Twilight Zone: Eye of the Beholder (1960)

I blame Thomas Edison and his 1903 The Great Train Robbery, as this most likely ignited the motion picture film industry. Less than a decade later, Hollywood set its roots, the glitter and glamour began, and the definition of beauty started its ugliness.

I’m 29 years old. I’ve felt uncomfortable in my skin since I was about 10 years old. We had to sketch portraits of classmates, and I got paired up with a rude little twerp who frantically poked the paper with his pencil to mimic my freckles, laughing like a maniac and making fun as he went along. At 13, some older girls told me my chest was as flat as my back. At 15, a girl in school told me I had a big, pointy nose. Three years ago, I was asked if I was a lesbian because I “wore jeans and no makeup.” And just last year, a woman in her mid-to-late 30s told me I had too small of feet.

When I lost about 25 pounds during my sophomore year of college (from a relationship ending), I was unhealthy and rail-thin, and I was constantly told how “great” I looked. When I’ve gone to a tanning booth, I get compliments, like “You just glow” and “Wow! Your skin looks great!” When I wear something like stilettos and a sexy skirt (knee-length, of course), I’m told “You look a-mazing!” and “Wow! You really clean up!”

But when I roll into work on a Monday morning in jeans and only a dab of mascara on my eyes, I’m always told that I “look tired” or I'm asked if I'm feeling well.

Seriously. What the hell?

10-year-old me
Fat me
Present-day/is-she-a-lesbian? work me

Thin, tan, made-up, Photoshopped me

Why is this?

Like I said, I blame the movies, Tinseltown and now beauty magazines and Photoshop. Girls as young as prepubescent are living in a world where they are made to feel self-conscious of who they are on the outside. We women are expected to fit a certain mold, and if we don’t, we are then considered undesirable.

So what are we to do?

First of all, can I get an "AMEN!" for the Internet, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and the like? For without these information mediums, how else would we find out that this Victoria's Secret model is not hot, she's a weird hybrid-human-looking freak with only half of a torso?!

I could be ignorant, a shift has started, or perhaps I'm simply virtually surrounded by other people who feel the same way I do and are willing to repost this information. One thing is for sure. I, myself, feel as if the Internet and the aforementioned mediums are exposing the beauty-insanity more and more.

At any rate, I'm glad it's happening.

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