We could have a million conversations about the concept of beauty, without reaching any conclusion.
In this newsletter, I want to shine a light on one perspective, one viewpoint only. You probably already know which one.
For those who have been following and reading my blogs for a while, you know that I love to talk about Social Anxiety. But I’ve recently become more aware of the fact that Social Anxiety can be quite contextual and can manifest itself in different forms.
This is why I wanted to talk about how the concept of beauty, as it stands today, can negatively impact us and awaken Social Anxiety when we least expect it.
There’s no other way to say it, but we humans place a lot of emphasis on beauty. Regardless of how subjective it is. We do many strange things to keep up with these young and beautiful models/celebrities/influencers. We wax our bodies, pull our faces, slather different creams on each body part, and pay for cosmetic surgery. All to have an impact on how we view ourselves.
And how we want others to view us.
We all want to look and FEEL beautiful like the movie stars. We think we’ll finally be confident if we are. So then, is it not true that we can get Social Anxiety when we feel like we’re not meeting our own expectations of being beautiful?
The perception you have of yourself has been shaped after years of experiences and run-ins with all types of people. And it’s not static.
We all have ups and downs when it comes to how we feel about our looks. Some days are better than others, but overall, we’re aware of where we land within the beauty range. Again, even if it’s subjective and fallible.
Beauty impacts us all differently, but at the end of the day, we’re all shaped by the thoughts that come with it and the stories we create around it.
If you’re running into this challenge, of not being able to overlook the whole concept of beauty and what your expectations are of yourself in relation to it, I want to give you three things to think about. I wish I knew these things when I was younger, in order to spare myself unnecessary pain and suffering. I allowed too many people to have a say in how I see myself, spurring extremely low confidence for many years. I’m still recovering from those days. That’s how much of an impact it had on my social anxiety.
1. Don’t let the wind sway you
While you might feel self-conscious about certain aspects of your looks because of something that happened in the past, someone looking at you will have no clue what you’re worried about. If you find yourself on a date for example, and social anxiety reels its head because you’re not confident about how you look, remember that you might be the most beautiful thing this person in front of you has ever seen. You cannot base how you feel about yourself according to someone else’s standards (see point number 2).
2. Only you get to define what beauty means to you
The only opinion that matters is YOURS, especially when it comes to how you feel about yourself. This will keep social anxiety at bay because you’ll have the confidence to back you up when it’s your turn to speak. It won’t matter if your skin broke out the day of a presentation, or if people see the scars you carry, because beauty is not related to a lack of those things. You get to define what beauty is and walk around proudly with that definition. I wish my younger self knew this. I wouldn’t have wasted so much time comparing myself to others.
3. There will always be the “Nay” and the “Yay” camp
Whatever you end up changing, you’re going to run into both the “nay” and the “yay” camps. The most recent example that comes to mind is Adele’s weight transformation. All it took was for her to post one Instagram picture of her weight loss and the world went ablaze. Everyone had an opinion on it. Good and bad. This goes to show that no matter what you end up doing, you’re going to get it from both sides.
This is why point #2 is so crucial. If you’re confident in your strut, then you won’t mind how many people are in each camp. I just want you to remember this point because it holds true for everything in life as well. The only person you need to please is yourself. Go ahead, be Adele, and be proud of it.
This brings me to the following questions:
- How does your view of beauty affect your social anxiety?
- Do you put extra emphasis on looking a certain way?
- What happens if you miss the mark?
- Maybe you believe that once you drop x pounds, learn how to highlight your face, or have the right tan color, you’ll be more confident?
These are really important questions to ask yourself. They’ll get you to think differently about social anxiety. When it pops up in a situation, look inward to find the root cause of the sensation. And if it just so happens that it has something to do with perceived beauty, then think about these 3 points and breathe. Changing your expectations of beauty is a continuous work in progress. Some days you’ll feel like shit about yourself, and some days you’ll feel on top of the world. As long as you work on elevating yourself above the ups and downs, you’ll minimize them.
Eventually, you’re going to walk away feeling confident and beautiful no matter what. And with that, you’ll also chip away at your social anxiety.