Through My Spectacles: Do you feel pretty?

Amari D. Pollard ‘17, NEWS & FEATURES EDITOR

We have always lived in a world where appearances mean a lot. Where you are judged from the style of your hair to the shape of your glasses to the shoes you wear. And while all those things may be superficial, unfortunately, they all matter in this world.

Although as a society our vision of the perfect male or female is changing, there is still the belief that a man needs to be “tall, dark and handsome [and muscular],” while a woman needs to be thin, yet curvy in the right places and have a striking face, all in order to be deemed pretty. But by molding our culture around such idealistic images of how a person is supposed to look, we have created an extremely insecure society.

I originally thought people took to social media so quickly because they all wanted to boast about how wonderful their lives were. They wanted their followers to see they have a new Abercrombie worthy boyfriend, that their trip to Paris involved an incredible amount of shopping down the Champs Elysées, basically that their lives are awesome while yours is incredibly mundane.

While my first impression may still be true for some, I also think the main reason people use Twitter and Instagram so religiously is because they’re looking for some type of validation. They use those comments and likes as a way to confirm that they’re doing something grand with their lives, or that they’re attractive—especially that they’re attractive.

My friends, and myself as well [although I’m ashamed to admit it], love when we see our latest Instagram posts get a large number of likes. Don’t act like you don’t do it either. You know it makes you feel good inside, that you like the fact someone noticed you, that they saw how beautiful you looked in a picture and decided to let you know by liking it.

And there’s nothing wrong with wanting your pictures to receive positive reactions or feeling good when they do, but there is something wrong when people start to base their beauty and importance off of the number of likes received on a selfie.

Random question, but have you ever stopped to ask yourself what makes you feel the most attractive?

I know some people would say they feel the most attractive after they work out because they’re all nice and buff [this is mainly for the guys], or when their face is all dressed up in makeup [this is mainly for the girls], or when a gorgeous individual approaches them.

I’ve had to ask myself that question quite a few times. I’ve asked myself that question after getting compliments on my appearance or getting approached by a gorgeous individual or when wearing a cute outfit. I ask myself because I want to figure out if other people’s opinions of my appearance outweigh how I feel about myself. And while I have my bad days and moments, for the most part, they don’t.

I know this because when I look at myself in the mirror, I like the girl who is looking back at me. I like her with makeup, but I like her without makeup. I like her with long hair, but I like her with short hair. I like her with contacts, but I like her with glasses. Either way you present her, I think she’s beautiful. Not just because of how she looks, but because of who she is.

For some reason as a society self-love seems to be something we shy away from, either because we don’t want to be considered narcissistic or because we’re just insecure. But I think loving yourself is what can make a person the most attractive—not the looks and not the likes.