“If only”- It’s probably the most destructive phrase in the English language, and yet, we seem to use it quite often, or at least I do. If you’ve never started the “if only” sentence, let me just give you a spoiler on how it usually ends: not well. If you’re like 99% of the American population, you probably finish that sentence with something that you think will make you happy. (ie- If only I could be the richest person in the world.) And if you’re like 91% of the female American population, you probably finish that sentence with something that you think will make you happy, pertaining to your looks. (ie- If only I could be skinnier, taller, prettier… and the list goes on.)
Unfortunately, by the nature of the sentence, we somehow make ourselves believe that we have the power to change what ever falls behind that “if only.” Because if we can change it, then we have mastered what truly matters in life. Forget curing diseases, making scientific discoveries or fighting for equal rights, we’re trying to be pretty, people. Keep your eye on the prize. So we hit the mall, spend more money than we actually have and buy the things that in our mind, we actually need. (Look in your closet, you probably don’t need it.) Then we torture ourselves on social media by stalking barely human super models, fitness accounts that inspire us to hate ourselves more than workout and superficial fashion blogs that tell us what we must do to be fashionable, as if our life depended on it. (Yes, kinda like this one.) It’s a vicious cycle. We put all of our energy into being “pretty” because once we are pretty, we’ll be happy. Pretty people are always happy. And if people think you’re pretty and happy, well, then you’ve REALLY nailed it. But here’s the thing (in case you didn’t catch all of my sarcasm), doing all of this “stuff” really won’t do anything at all, except take up time. Don’t get me wrong, I will probably always buy more things than I need and practice some slight form of self-hate. And as far as the whole fashion blog thing goes, I’m the one writing it, so I’m not really going to spend more time addressing that one. But we put such a massive emphasis on what we look like as if that’s the only thing that defines us. We’ve become so dazzled by this world of materialism that we can’t bare to look away because our eye is on the prize, remember? If we’re lucky, sometimes something smacks us right in the face and we’re forced to look away, outside of this destructive world of perfection. And that’s when I came to this radical conclusion that maybe this misconception of beauty is not everything. Maybe it’s barely anything.
I haven’t been able to write a post on this website for over two months, and up until tonight, I wasn’t sure why. I figured I probably didn’t have anything to say, and I was right, to some extent. I have nothing to say because how much can you really say about seasonal trends or about achieving the perfect mani/pedi? The truth is, I love writing this stuff, and I will continue to do so because it’s fun. But it doesn’t actually matter. I know we’re constantly told that it does, that it means everything, but it doesn’t.
Beauty is a hobby, like riding your bike or playing a board game. It actually has no relevance in the scheme of things, but that’s not to say that we can’t still enjoy it. No one ever said buying a little black dress or wearing an extra coat of mascara will do any harm, and if you need a million coats of mascara to feel good about yourself, then wear it. (Just beware that your eyelashes are probably due to fall out any day now.) The wonders of beauty and fashion should be used to give us that little extra oomph of confidence we need when we’re not feeling too hot about ourselves. It shouldn’t be used to fulfill our “life purpose,” and it definitely shouldn’t be used as our guide to being happy. Because if it is, I guarantee we will fall short and be disappointed every time.
There are thousands of ways to be pretty, beautiful even, and I’m not so sure that the way we look is even one of them. I know this may seem deranged. How can anyone be anything without looking the part? But if you reject all of your implanted first world thoughts and really think about it, you might just come to realize that this “mind blowing revelation” is something that you already knew, but consistently choose to push away. We reject the idea that beauty might have everything or even anything to do with who we are because it’s simply easier to do so. It’s possible that we really don’t believe that beauty is an inward causation, but it’s also possible that we really, really do. Maybe we already know that all of this “stuff” has no significance in the truth about beauty, and that all we really need to do is work on the people that we are. But that would require focusing our thoughts on all of our flaws that aren’t so easily changed. After all, you can’t buy intelligence, kindness or a witty sense of humor. But you can buy makeup. Easy enough.
Xoxo~ Cara & Tal