"Mirror, mirror on the wall. Make me the prettiest of them all."
Many girls and women wouldn't openly admit it, but this statement has undoubtedly become the motto of our modern age. With the proliferation of fashion magazines, huge billboards, and dozens of TV programs featuring resplendently beautiful actresses, the desire to look good has never been stronger than before.
Showing a healthy concern for your appearance is considered normal. But some girls, due to a perpetual dissatisfaction with their looks, have gone to all sorts of extreme measures just to achieve the elusive myth of "perfect beauty." Being unhappy with themselves made them want to wage a war against what Mother Nature intended for them. In Western cultures it has now become common for parents to allow their daughters to acquire breast implants or go under the knife at a frighteningly young age.
Since childhood women have been pressured to desire physical perfection. Think about the stories you read as a kid. Did Sleeping Beauty get kissed because of a character trait she had like kindness or courtesy? Did Prince Charming dance with Cinderella because of her ability to balance a checkbook? Did the wicked queen envy Snow White because of her culinary expertise? Well, you most certainly know the answer.
The preoccupation with outward appearance – or "looksism," as one author called it – is not limited to females. The word "metrosexual" was invented for a fairly serious reason. The media excessively glamorize tall, muscular, and gorgeous men. It's no longer enough for a guy to spend money on his weekly haircut and a bottle of deodorant. Now he has to be able to afford a soap-shampoo-and-conditioner set, a bottle of astringent, cologne, perfume, and body spray. Why? Because society imposes upon them that in order to get ahead in life, they would need to look their best.
On the contrary, people must never hold on to the idea that having a stunning appearance is all it takes to live a quality life. A life worth aspiring for is composed of doing many of the activities you enjoy, not spending hours upon hours trying to fix your hair and face. It also means developing optimism and the positive attributes that make a person attractive to others.
This has been said time and again, but oftentimes ignored. Inner beauty is the only kind of beauty that will stand the test of time and remain steadfast all throughout the stages of life. And how would I define inner beauty? Well, it's simply what the mirror fails to see. But it's still going to be apparent even after curves and muscles give way to aging.
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