Chic fashion models, glamorous movie stars, stylish influencers. we look up to these people and admire what they have. We admire their lifestyle, the presentation of themselves that they have put hours into building. But we hate them at the same time. We condemn them for portraying an unattainable image of beauty. We say that being pretty isn’t important. We say that looks aren’t important as we put on our 10 layers of make up everyday. How can anyone truthfully say looks aren’t important?
Romantic pursuits aside, looking good takes you places, whether you’re a gorgeous lady at work or a handsome man on the street. Looks will only cease to matter when we turn blind. What we perceive as beautiful may be due to societal influences but it’s also very much biological.
Notice the unending war against such messaging. No matter how hard we tell young girls that being pretty doesn’t matter, we fail. Utterly. And it’s not because the media’s influence is strong, or that education and advocacy is not loud enough. The problem here is the message.
It’s a confusing and inaccurate one. Instead of talking beauty, we should be talking attraction. What’s the difference? If you’ve ever found yourself attracted to someone you haven’t traditionally considered beautiful you know what I’m talking about. The charisma, the positive vibes, the confidence, the passion and the values a man displays elevate his social presence.
Sure, people who were born good looking are already one step ahead, but an ugly heart will pull their attractiveness down, if not immediately then in the long run. The way he dress, the manner in which he treats people around him, the way he talks. These things add on to an overall sense of attractiveness. We talk about inner beauty, of being kind to others, of having a good attitude and strong confidence. These are the things that we should be focusing on.
So it’s not to say that we shouldn’t avoid a universal ideal of beauty. And not to emphasise that looks don’t matter. It’s about recognising that as functioning members of society, attraction matters. Not just attraction from your outwardly appearance but from how you project your inner self and let it shine through. Instead of taking the easy way out and blaming society on being superficial, we should just put in the effort and respect for others, to improve ourselves to the best of our abilities, be it on our faces or in our hearts.