I am a Psychologist; I am a Therapist but more than anything I am a woman who’s fed up with linear beauty standards. I grew up in India, where the ideal image for a good-looking girl is light skinned with long hair. Well, I am brown-skinned. I was always curvier and I still do have dark circles. For the last two years, I have been dealing with clients who have had major self-esteem issues because of their looks and It made me realize how attractiveness was consistently looked at through a singular lens.
Today if you search the word “Beauty” you’ll end up with pictures of young, thin, fair-skinned women as if good looks don’t come in any other form. And so, when we get exposed to such content, we begin to think that we are ugly.
We look at the beautiful people and think, Damn, they have it all.’ ‘They’re rich, they’re in love, they’re happy, they’re successful. And I could have that too if I just changed… if I just had….’.
We start to think that we might not be that good enough or we might not possess those skills. That causes us to suppress opportunities for ourselves because we feel as if we don’t belong and that we don’t deserve and even worse, we extend that lack of self-confidence and low self-esteem onto our sisters, our friends, our cousins. We spread the beliefs that we hold about the standard of beauty one should have, on to them.
For the years, women were taught that our value was directly linked with our looks, our ability to get married and to have children. And even today, now, those women are starting businesses, becoming the CEOs, running the world – We’re still downgraded to this idea that beauty is very important. But it’s not only us that suffer, but most of the men also suffer silently based on how less than stronger they are, how less than good-looking they are, how less than smart or competent they are.
They don’t generally express this because of the stereotype attached that men are supposed to be secure and powerful. This is a multi-generational and gender-neutral issue. Our children are growing up not accepting themselves the way they are and certainly not being able to extend the same onto their peers. Those children grow up with low self-esteem and end up being consumers of weight-loss fads, of plastic surgery and skin whitening.
So how do we transform our thinking? How do we start accepting ourselves? We have to figure out what those triggers are that make us feel less about ourselves. Is it scrolling through social media? Is it revisiting the past incidents of your life where you were made to feel ugly? Try to discover the event or situation which causes you to feel less about yourself and cut it off. When you often find yourself saying ‘I’m like this because of my past, take it or leave it’, you are very subconsciously victimizing yourself. You have to drop that burden and adapt to the new change by embracing yourself.
So, I challenge you, as soon as you go home today look at yourself in the mirror, gaze through every inch of you, look at all the greatness that lies beneath your imperfections. Learn to accept it and love it. And finally, when you step out of the house tomorrow, try to
extend that same acceptance and love to someone who doesn’t look like you. Learn to be kind to yourself.
About the Author- Ms. Kruppa Savla, has completed her master’s in clinical psychology. she has completed an advanced diploma in clinical psychology and a professional counselor at Sion hospital. founder of ken clinic. pursed RECBT training by in-vivo Mumbai by Albert Ellis institute, new York. she is also trained in hypnosis at I chars and also worked as mental health practitioner at Sion hospital, Thane mental hospital, and Cooper Hospital.