By Guest Writer [@FelicityAndElixirs]
Dear all not-so-perfect humans,
Do you remember that Snow White fairy tale that we all used to love in our childhood? If not, let me give you a quick summary.
It was a story of a woman who was reminded so very often that she wasn’t as perfectly good looking as some others, and that she didn’t fit their beauty standards; this made her a little cynical and a lot more evil.
Yes, you heard it right. It wasn’t a story of that fairest of all, the oh-so-magnificent Snow White at all. It could never be. The perfect ones make the stories boring and highly non-relatable. It’s the ones that lack and yearn, the ones that are left behind, who lead the stories.
Back to the summary: so in Snow White, the not-so-fair “evil queen” owns a mystical “magic mirror” which she uses to find out who is the “fairest of them all”. Each time the Evil Queen asks this question, the mirror states “My Queen, you are the fairest of them all”, up until it states that it is, in fact, Snow White who is the fairest of them all.
Tada! Doesn’t it ring a bell?
- The “mirror” telling her that she ain’t the fairest.
- That she was being “compared”.
- That her own question was one big fat question mark that had an underlying tone of “competition”?
- That in fact, we all used to be very fascinated by the mirror. And remember how at times some of us must have looked into the mirror and inquired the same question. And we know for a fact that the mirror never answered, yet there were voices.
The voices in the back catalogue of our memory, the voices of some of our closest family members, the voices of the people we had called our friends for a very long time, the voices that never made us feel better about us, they had shouted in unison, rung an alarm in our heads and answered – that we weren’t the ones who were the prettiest.
There was no mirror. It was them all along. It must have been the same for the “Evil Queen”.
I, for some reason, have always felt that the mirror in that fairy tale was symbolism for the opinions of people. We always look at ourselves with eyes that do not belong to us. When we strike one last glance at our reflection, we are actually trying to mirror image the world’s opinion about us. Why is it so? Because we have conditioned our own acceptance to the world’s endorsement of us.
We take hundreds of selfies using the inbuilt beauty cams of our smartphones only to delete them all later because we didn’t find them acceptable enough to the set standards of beauty.
Another thing is uploading these pictures to social media which is basically like opening the door to a hell hole with your own hands. You either get compliments or become the target of trolls. Both things lead to a different kind of addiction, an obsession with “acceptance” by a faceless, soulless void.
But I’m not here to discuss the Snow Whites, the fairest of them all. I want to talk about the ones who are usually most affected by these illusions of perfection.
I want them to realize that social media has become the new mystical “magic mirror”. Today, it’ll call you the fairest after seeing your perfectly taken pictures. Tomorrow you’d be trolled ruthlessly for your teeth or your complexion or your height or your weight or the unusual length of your toes. You would be called out mercilessly for anything that pleases them. You would be called “ugly” for your imperfections when ugliness is as vague a concept as “beauty” is. Today, your picture will go viral, tomorrow someone else’s. We have all became trapped in these never ending grey shaded, door-less, dark and cold alleys of self-pity because of these comparisons and competitions on looks. We have all started waiting for the acceptance of others so that we could finally accept ourselves as the way they please and not as the way we are.
Is it possible to undo this new norm of social media? No. Not yet. But it surely is possible to accept yourself as the way you are. It definitely will take years and years and some more years to accept your flaws and imperfections. Those judging eyes… initially they’ll shatter your self- confidence down to grains when you’ll be flaunting your imperfections with perfection and courage. The whole process would be demanding, demanding courage and a piece of your peace of mind but once you are past that stage, the next level would be the rejection of unnecessary comparisons and you would be able to do it more easily and willingly. And the very next stage would be of acceptance of you by the world – acceptance of you as you are. And trust me: they would do it with a bigger heart and open arms because what is more perfectly beautiful than self-confidence? Nothing. And because they are just like you – as imperfect as you are.
Again, there will be times when you’d feel like running away and hiding yourself in the dark corner of your room. There would be times when despite all your efforts you won’t be able to save your soul from crushing under the high pitched noises of the perfect looking illusions. I can’t promise that there won’t be any nights where you’d not cry yourself to sleep but there is one thing I can promise you for sure: that the very next day you’d be back to your “accepted” self. Once you accept your own flaws, you won’t be bothered by any magic mirrors or any illusions of perfection.
You would be you and that will be enough for you.
Remember the acceptance that took years to come will stay for years as compared to the rejection that is usually momentary and will soon wither away.
And remember that of all the things that are rare, perfection in human beings is the rare most. Past this perfect illusion of social media, all the Snow Whites are just like you. There is no one who is fairest of them all. They are all imperfect. We are all imperfect. And that’s the only perfect idea to hold onto.
For more interesting reads, you can follow the author on Twitter @ninewunnwunn and/or on Wattpad @FelicityAndElixirs