Self Love in the Digital Age
By Brianna Cateriano
Amid current trends of social media and such, it’s been difficult to maintain and fully understand the concept of self-love. However, this concept is quite simple to implement: treat yourself with immense love and respect. With the trend of comparing yourself to models and actors/actresses, young adults find it extremely challenging to look at themselves with the same awe and respect they do to those of a high social status. The highly asked question is why do they do that to themselves?
It was once said that if you cut your arm, you would bleed red and if the king cut his arm, he would bleed red too. This alludes to the fact that all humans are just that - humans. We all bleed when we are cut, we all get tired and need sleep, and we all have basic needs such as hunger and thirst to keep us alive. These needs are what make us human, so what sets celebrities or others who adolescents tend to idolize apart from "normal" humans? Is it their looks? Their hair? Their smile? Or does it happen to be their status? Teenagers, most commonly, long for what they can’t have. If they see a model who fits the textbook definition of beauty, then they will want to fit that archetype.
Beauty should come in two separate parts: one being physical beauty (most glorified in the U.S.) and the second form being inner (an essence that is most ostracized in the U.S.). Being a beautiful soul or a genuinely good person is not frowned upon; however, it isn’t encouraged in the media either. Runway models are not chosen to be in a fashion show because of their personalities, but rather despite them. Their looks ultimately improve the name of the brand they are presenting because “ordinary-looking people” tend to look up to beautiful models and associate the clothes they are wearing with beauty. Perhaps they aim to achieve this form of beauty because that is what our society encourages. But what if that could all change?
What if inner beauty was what models presented as opposed to physical beauty? Would adolescents continue to pine over the attributes of them? The answer is yes, since anyone who is glorified by the media in any aspect is influential among those who are most thoroughly and easily influenced- adolescents. They tend to treat people glorified by the media with the love and respect they deserve to treat themselves with, but since young adults long to look like their idols, they begin to hate the fact that they can’t achieve a similar look.
In order to solve this problem, it needs to be instilled into impressionable adolescents that it is necessary to treat yourself with the same respect and love that you treat celebrities, models, and anyone else who is glorified by the media. If hurt, both a celebrity and a regular person bleed red blood. There is such a minuscule difference between you and a celebrity, the difference being that they have chosen to create a life for themselves in an industry that glorifies physical beauty. To treat yourself with love and respect, remember that inner beauty matters just as much, yet isn’t glorified by the media, and physical beauty is only portrayed as a certain body image, hair and eye color, and height due to current trends in the media. It is important to know that beauty is something that the media has created, but it does not mean that you have to live like a model nor look like them. If you see and treat yourself like you treat celebrities, models, and anyone who is idolized, then you can achieve self love.