Guest Article: Society Places Far Too Much Emphasis on the Importance of Beauty

Ben Dunham

by Leslie Hemenway
by Leslie Hemenway

by Leslie Hemenway

“Maybe she’s born with it, maybe it’s Maybelline.”

The camera focuses on a gorgeous brunette girl with flawless skin and a perfect smile. She just spent the past thirty seconds trying to convince us to buy a mascara so we can have full and voluminous lashes just like her. But her eye lashes are so ridiculously long and overdone, we know that won’t happen. And yet, the very next day we find ourselves at the store, buying the same mascara we saw advertised.

Nearly everyone wants to be considered “pretty,” especially girls. There’s a tremendous pressure on us, thanks in part to the media, to have a perfect body: long flowing hair, pearly white teeth, etc. All of this pressure is ridiculous because beauty should not be the center of our lives. We should yearn to be considered thoughtful and intelligent, not just simply beautiful. Unfortunately, it’s easy to get lost in this web, since society puts such a strong emphasis on good looks. Still, constantly spending time trying to make yourself look more attractive is such a waste.

Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder. That means everyone has their own concept of what beauty looks like. It’s impossible to fill everyone’s standards of beauty, so you shouldn’t even bother. Even though it may not always seem like it, you are someone’s definition of beauty. With all of the people in the world, you’re bound to be considered absolutely stunning by someone. And to other people, you may be considered ugly. It all depends on the judger’s perspective.

Depending on what beauty products you purchase, trying to be beautiful can get quite expensive. Cosmetic procedures, such as waxing and tanning, only bump up the grand total. According to Jennifer Romolini of shine.yahoo.com, the average American woman spends roughly $12 thousand a year on beauty products alone. The average woman, according to Blake Ellis of money.cnn.com, makes over $35 thousand a year. With this in mind, it can be inferred that women spend nearly one-third of their salary on make up products each year. So, that vacation you’ve been dying to go on? It may be more attainable than you think if you’re willing to cut back on some of your beauty “necessities”.

Not only can beauty cost you financially, it can cost you bodily as well. It seems like more and more people are being drawn to sketchy beauty procedures, such as tanning and even plastic surgery. Tanning may seem like a fun, harmless thing to do to enhance your appearance. In reality, though, it can cause a multitude of problems. Skin cancer, eye damage, and early wrinkles are just a few of the dangers of tanning, according to fda.gov. Maybe if more people were informed about these risks, they’d be less likely to partake in it.

Anna Wills, a junior, firmly believes people take beauty to great lengths, both financially and bodily.

“I think people should do what they want with their bodies, but I don’t think it’s worth the energy or strain to make yourself a certain way,” she said.

Opponents of this will argue that beauty does indeed matter because it’s important to be presentable and it’s the first thing people judge you on. That is admittedly true. We live in a society that glorifies attractive looks. This article isn’t trying to say that it’s totally acceptable to wear sweats all the time and only shower once a week. Good hygiene is vital to a healthy lifestyle. However, beauty should not be your only life goal, nor should it be the most important thing in your life. There are things, such as intelligence, that are far more worthy of your focus.

The struggle to be beautiful will never cease to exist. However, we shouldn’t spend all of our time looking in the mirror, trying to perfect our flaws. No one will ever be perfect, not even those models on the makeup commercials. We need to accept this, and move on so we can enjoy our lives. If you have a cheery personality and positive attitude, people will be drawn to you. There’s mascara for feeble lashes and foundation for blotchy skin, but there’s no product that can improve a personality. That part is all up to you.