Value more important qualities than beauty

Why is beauty what we value most?

There’s no diet in the world that could give me a body like Sofia Vergara or plastic surgery that could give me a face as perfect as Rachel McAdams. The unfortunate truth is that beauty is a quality that we all strive to achieve but one that is randomly bestowed upon us at birth by the genetic lottery. Why is our society so obsessed with a quality that, for the most part, we can’t change?

Our obsession with physical attractiveness is so ingrained in our culture that we use the word “beautiful” to describe qualities that have nothing to do with our appearance. We tell people they have a “beautiful soul” or that they’re “beautiful on the inside.” We’re so infatuated with the concept of beauty that we apply it to praise the qualities that are significant for being unrelated to our appearance.

Women’s fashion magazines and cosmetic empires are essentially built off our desire to be beautiful. Articles claim that we can lose 10 pounds in one week, reduce blemishes and perfect our makeup so that our features are pronounced. Even worse, the new makeup fad called “contouring” teaches women how to use makeup to change the appearance of their natural bone structures.

Our physical appearance, barring diet, exercise and plastic surgery, is a quality that we can’t change, so why is it the one we care about the most? There are so many endless things about ourselves that we can improve, but we focus on the one thing that we can’t impact.

If you want to be a kinder person, you can volunteer on the weekends and bake cookies for a friend. If you want to be more musical, you can take guitar lessons and learn how to play your favorite songs. You can improve yourself in so many more interesting ways than your physical appearance.

I want magazines to write articles about how to be a better friend or how to succeed in the workplace. We should try to improve the things about ourselves that we have more control over, the things about ourselves that matter. Maybe we are not all born beautiful, but we are all born with the potential to become something.

Instead of fretting over your appearance in the mirror, spend time discovering what you’re capable of achieving. I promise it’s more interesting than what you look like.

Featured image courtesy Pixabay user jill111

December 2, 2015


Rachel Berquist

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