I remember being a child. The first story I heard of beauty was that of the splendid appearance of Shakuntala that mesmerized King Dushyanta the minute he laid eyes on her. I remember being a teenager and reading about Aphrodite in the ancient Greek literature- a woman so beautiful that she was identified with Venus. I remember growing up into an adult and seeing all this fade into the misty winds of change that society brought with it. Do you remember it too?
I am sure you do.
From fairy tales to reality bites, from Zero worries to Zero figure, from Real to Reel, our world has changed drastically, and the biggest spectator of this change has been us! While this generation has seen a growing number of "influencers" emerging from various backgrounds of the world, we sometimes fail to reckon how much of "influence" is right influence. With the rapidly growing technology, almost everyone of us has become tech savvy. There is no single person who won't be having at least one of the currently famous social media apps on their smartphones. Some of us are busy tweeting our thoughts on Twitter, some of us are posting our day to day schedule on Instagram, and some of us are trying to look as beautiful as the girl who just posted a selfie on her Snapchat.
Talking about selfies, social media platforms have left no stones unturned to ensure that their users get the best handful experience of everything- be it of going live with several other people or enhancing their natural beauty with the use of Filters. While Instagram is evolving in this arena too, Snapchat still remains to be the king of filters. And let's keep our hands on our heart and agree that all of us have been a little too obsessed with the different shades of graphics and appearances that Snapchat brings into our pictures. I mean, who doesn't want to look like a better version of themselves with full plum lips and doe eyes, right? But the question is, "are you really this flawless?" And the bigger question is, "what is flawless?"
With the growing demand of social media to look up to date and post your pictures of perfection with no skin pores, no blackheads, and everything spotless, we all have lost our Real Selves somewhere down the lane. Snapchat Dysmorphia is the new emerging warning of the world trying to tell us that yes, we have come way too far. It is basically a disorder where Teenagers and Adults are seeking for plastic surgery just to look like their filtered selves. To say the least, this phenomenon has given a new direction to Body Dysmorphic Disorder, which is a very severe mental health condition. Our generation has come to a point where there is no place for imperfection. But, along with filtering out our imperfections, these filters have also filtered out our reality. When did we let our acne scars, our complexions, and our untamed eyebrows define us? How did we come this far? Above all, is there a way to go back?
The current scenario reminds me of the classic literature poem written by Sir Robert Frost, "The Road Not Taken." Simply put, maybe the problem is that we are blindly following the road where the crowd of people is moving. But what if, that is not the only road? What if I tell you, you are more than those filters? What if I tell you that you are more than your face? And what if I tell you that you already know this? Isn't there a possibility that Shakuntala must have gotten some acne scars while growing up, or that Aphrodite always had stomach rolls? None of it ever made them less beautiful, they are still remembered for the marks they have left on the world- the marks that comprise of things other than beauty, the marks of bravery, courageousness, and self acceptance. Maybe it is your time to accept yourself too. Your eyes may not be perfect almond shaped but they still shine in the sun, your face may not have a perfect glow but it has freckles that almost resemble the stars. So, stop for a while, breathe in, and look in the mirror. What you see will be just as splendid, in fact, even better than what the filters show you. Stand up, smile, and say, "I am beautiful," and learn to mean it. Because you are, and you are.
And you do not need any filter to validate your beauty!