Is society ugly? Or is it just me?

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A tree in winter without its leaves with thin, brittle, uncovered branches may look bare, exposed and perhaps "ugly" but why do we automatically associate something natural and stripped back as something obscene? Those leaves and pretty flowers you see that bloom and flourish in the spring are like the make-up and hair accessories that some young girls hide behind so they can be accepted as beautiful. But the tree doesn't always look that way, when the harsh, cold conditions hit and its leaves fall to the ground, why is it not still considered beautiful? Why is a natural girl with no make-up on not still considered beautiful?
From a young age, without even realizing, ideas of so called perfection have been planted like seeds into our sub-conscious mind, brainwashing us into thinking we need to alter ourselves drastically in order to be thought of by society as "beautiful." Almost every day if you turn on your TV or look in a magazine you will see an advertisement promoting cosmetic surgery. Or you might see a picture of a celebrity who looks border-line anorexic, camouflaged in fake tan, with what looks like balloons implanted into her chest and hair bleached within an inch of its life being described as "gorgeous." Is it just me or is that a little hard to swallow? Am I the only one who finds it laughable that the only way society will see you as attractive is, if you change every aspect of your looks to suit their terms?
Someone who refuses to bow down to this pressure put upon us by society is Nikki Sixx. As well as being the bassist of metal band Motley Crue and selling millions of records, Nikki Sixx is also a successful author. As Nikki finds beauty in things that most people don’t necessarily find beautiful, in his memoir “This is Gonna Hurt” he forcibly tells the reader that you should never judge someone on their appearance and encourages us to take pride in being different. He communicates that beauty on the outside means nothing if you have an ugly heart. In the book, Nikki Sixx’s daughter Storm describes a sunny day walking down the street with her father as she noticed a red rose and pointed it out to him. Nikki then kicked the rose, knocking off all of its petals. Storm was shocked and asked her dad why he had done this and protested that the rose had been beautiful. Nikki then looked at his daughter and told her that the rose was still beautiful. “I don’t know if he meant to slip a message, as he often does, into that moment. But it really stuck with me, and now I think of that rose as every person who had been judged and hurt because of the way they look. To most people, it’s just a rose with no petals, broken and ugly, when in reality, these people really are some of the most incredible, beautiful roses you will ever meet.” You can either choose to be sad that a rose has thorns, or be grateful that thorns have a rose.
Marilyn Monroe, the world famous actress and sex symbol, was considered the most beautiful woman in the world when she was alive. Along with many other pin up girls and actresses of the 1950's, Marilyn was encouraged to be voluptuous and show off the natural curves of her body and her healthy figure. Marilyn was also a dress size 16 and still globally admired, yet I have seen first-hand teenage girls my age looking in the mirror, pinching their stomachs and thighs, and calling themselves fat and ugly even though they are a only a tiny size 6. In 2006-07, 597 girls and 55 boys in the UK were admitted to hospital for treatment of eating disorders because they wanted so much to be skinny, that they were willing to put their health at serious risk. In this superficial, degrading society we live in, some young girls carry the weight of the world on their shoulders and have intense pressure to conform to the accepted standard of the way a woman should look. Personally, I find the whole charade insulting and demeaning. Why should I starve myself to be as skinny as Paris Hilton? Why should I cover myself in fake tan to be as orange as Amy Childs? Or why should I go under the knife like Jody Marsh? Truth be told, I wouldn't want to go through any of those things and other teenage girls shouldn't feel like they have to either. Putting a foreign object, something man-made and plastic like silicone breast implants into your body is something you weren't born with, which surely suggests that it wasn't in mother natures’ plan. There is beauty to everyone, inside and out. If someone feels the need to alter themselves physically to boost confidence and to be happy with their body then fair enough, but it should be an independent decision and not one influenced by the condescending, materialistic nature of the media.
In 2010, 3,039 tummy tucks and 2,896 procedures of liposuction were performed in the UK, showing how many women are taking these drastic measures to be “perfect”. I am not trying to discourage plastic surgery and I am certainly not telling you what to do with your body. I am simply trying to communicate to the troubled minds of naive, impressionable teenagers who feel forced into these life altering decisions that they don't necessarily want and certainly don’t need. I am pleading with you to never call someone ugly or fat because words hurt and have a way of sticking in the memory like nectar to a bee. I am trying to say that we're all beautiful in our own way and we shouldn't let anyone ever get away with telling us otherwise. The next time you pass by a mirror, instead of glumly staring at your reflection in disgust and making a list as long as your arm of all the things you hate about yourself, just stop for a minute. Take the time to identify the features that you actually like about yourself, list as many as you can until you realise that you’re not ugly at all. If you do this, hopefully like a budding young plant, your confidence will grow.
In the words of Katherine von Drachenberg “confidence is the sexiest attribute anyone could have, male or female and I think that confidence exudes from loving yourself and being okay with who you are.” Nobody is born perfect and nobody will die perfect, so why do we insist on comparing ourselves to others? We are all individuals with our own opinions, passions, ambitions and downfalls, so why does society insist on trying to get us all to look and feel the same? Why would you even want to look the same as everyone else and become a clone? In the eyes of a teenage girl, there will always be someone who has shinier hair, a smaller waist, a bigger bust, longer legs or clearer skin. But imperfections are what separate us from each other and make us unique and who says that they’re bad things? You will never be able to let go of this petty obsession until you truly believe that there is beauty in everyone, even you, and learn to be happy with yourself. When you do this, like a flower your love for yourself will blossom and thrive and I guarantee it will make you happier than you were before. Beauty as they say is in the eye of the beholder and no matter how ugly or fat you may think that you are somewhere out there you will be someone's perfect idea of beautiful.





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