There is an image of a person that our culture puts up on a pedestal. And as idealised and unbelievable as that person is, most people who look at them feel the need to try to be them. Or, at least, as like them as they can be. And even though everyone knows it’s near enough impossible to be that air-brushed, imaginary, god-like creature, it doesn’t stop anybody from trying.
It’s why people spend huge amounts of money on gym memberships and personal trainers. On academic and creative classes. On equipment for all kinds of skills and hobbies. On hair dye and tattoos and plastic surgery and make up and clothes and accessories. On whatever they feel will improve them.
On whatever they feel will get them one step closer to being up on that pedestal.
Even though, maybe not even very deep down, they know it’s futile.
They know they’ll never get there.
They’ll spend their whole life aiming for an unachievable goal, attempting to reach a level that is beyond the grasp of the vast majority of people.
And it is a huge waste of their time.
And a huge waste of yours.
Because nobody needs to be on anyone’s pedestal to be wonderful. No one needs to be that constantly obsessed by that kind of ideal.
The best way to be happy with yourself is to accept yourself for who you are. If you really hate those extra few pounds or the colour of your hair, it’s not a bad decision to go for a jog or get yourself a new style and dye. But don’t let it rule the decisions you make. Don’t let your obsession with having perfect abs mean you miss out on the more important things in life.
And if it’s something you can’t change, accept it.
If it’s a scar or a birth mark or a stretch mark or you are just the kind of person who likes pizza too much to keep the weight off consistently, it doesn’t matter.
There is no such thing as a perfect person. No one’s appearance, attitude or skills are to everybody else’s taste. What’s important is to live up to your own standards. Not ones set by anyone else, whether it’s an individual or a society’s expectation. Teach yourself the skills you want. Keep yourself as healthy as is necessary to live your life comfortably. Love the things that make you unique, love the things that make you different, the things that are singularly, solely you.
If you’re content with the way you are, don’t ever let anyone tell you that you’re not good enough. The things that are yours alone are wonderful because they are the things that make you you. They are the most important things about you.
Though a lot of things are irreversible, a lot of them are things you will have forever. Don’t waste your life hating things you can’t change, or are not worth the effort it takes to change them.
Instead, cherish the things that are only yours. You only get one chance to appreciate them.
One chance to appreciate you.