It could be said that to one degree or another people have always been concerned with their appearance, and in recent years, it could be said that they are more concerned than ever before. For a number of years, the mainstream media had the biggest influence when it came to someone’s appearance.
It would then have been normal for one’s appearance to be heavy influenced by what they saw in magazines and on TV, for instance. As a result of this, the media not only had incredible power when it came to one’s appearance, but also when it came to their well-being.
This is because how one feels about themselves can be defined by how they look, and if they looked good in the eyes of the media, it would have allowed them to feel good about themselves. In this case, their appearance was not something that can simply overlook; it was something they needed to take care of.
At the same time, there would have been people who were not defined by what they saw in the media, and it might then have been easier for them to feel good about themselves. Perhaps they had their own style, or they were not too concerned about their appearance.
What would also have played a part in whether one was caught up in what the media presented would have been what part of their life they were in. At one part of their life, they may have done everything they could to crate the ‘right’ look.
Yet as time passed, what they used to be concerned about might not have concerned them any longer, and this can be a sign that their priorities had changed. This is not to say that they just ignored their appearance; what it could have meant is that they had a more balanced approach.
One way of looking at this would be to say that when one gets older, they can end up feeling more comfortable with themselves. They are then no longer going to have the same need to please others, and this can allow them to settle down.
It can then be normal for them to have less interest in their appearance and more interest in what is behind their appearance. In this sense, getting older can allow one to experience greater inner peace.
Getting older is often seen as something ‘negative’ in the western world and this can then lead to resistance. This is a natural response if one has been conditioned to believe that their value is defined by their age.
This can then stop one form being able to experience inner peace as the years pass, and cause them to experience even more pressure. It they are able to stop themselves from being caught up by this, it is likely to make their life a lot easier.
While the mainstream media still has an impact on one’s appearance, nowadays, there is also social media. However, regardless of whether one looks at images in the media or on social media, they can still end up being deceived.
This is because not only are images edited in the media; they are also edited on social media. Yet even though this is the case, it doesn’t mean that one will realise this.
When one doesn’t realise this, it can set them up to believe that they also need to look a certain way. Therefore, if the pictures that they take of themselves are not ‘perfect’, they can feel the need to edit them.
On one side, this can allow them to feel as though their appearance matches up with others, but on the other side, it can also cause one to believe that they don’t look good enough. This is because their real appearance is not going to match up to the appearance they have after their pictures have been edited.
Nevertheless, sharing images online can allow one to receive approval, and this can then allow them to feel good about themselves. One will receive this approval through receiving ‘like’s’ and comments.
It can then be important for them to look a certain way; if their appearance was to change, it might stop them from receiving these responses from others. If one feels comfortable in their own skin and they don’t depend upon the approval of others to feel good, it should stop them from being obsessed with their appearance.
However, if one doesn’t feel comfortable with themselves and they only feel good when they are receiving positive feedback from people on social media, it could be easy for them to end up being obsessed with their appearance. This could then cause them to overlook the other parts of themselves, and it will then be normal for their appearance to become more important than it needs to be.
If they were to come across people who tell them they look fine, it might not have an effect on them. This is because their real appearance is not going to match up with their edited appearance online, and it is unlikely to match up to how other people look if they have edited their pictures.
One Step Further
One may find that editing their pictures is not enough, and that they need to change their physical appearance. This could then cause one to have some kind of cosmetic surgery and/or they could have cosmetic procedures that are non-surgical.
But no matter what they do, there is the chance that they will always find something they don’t like about themselves. This is not because there is something wrong with them; it is because they are trying to obtain the unobtainable.
What this comes down to is that one will never be perfect, and regardless of what they look like, not everyone is going to accept them. If one is obsessed with their appearance, it might be important for them to take a step back from social media.
Through doing this, it will give one to chance to focus on the other parts of themselves, and it will allow them to realise that there is more to them than just their appearance. If one finds it hard to feel good about themselves when they are not receiving approval from others, they might need to reach out for external support.
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Oliver JR Cooper
Oliver JR Cooper
Author, Transformational Writer, Teacher & Consultant.
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That which is contained within these articles is based on my own empirical understanding and is true for me at the time they were written. However, as I continue to grow, what I perceive as the truth will inevitably change and as a result of this - parts of these articles may not reflect my current outlook.