Growing up with a chronic eating disorder and major weight issues has probably been one of the most humbling experiences I have ever been through in my life. Unless you have had weight issues, then you have no idea what it’s like to go to school, college or try to socialize with the world carrying excess weight. The world was so quick to judge my entire personality by my so obvious flaw and rule me out immediately. Because of my determination to try and fit in, I had to work three times as hard as my beautiful friends to get the stamp of approval. I had to be funnier, smarter, and more intellectual. My acquired ability to focus on the bright side made me direct my pain towards music and I managed to get a career out of singing for relief! I had become an expert at fitting in and this skill came in quite handy when I started working with brands on reputation management and public relations…
Coming from Lebanese roots was a cherry on the cake… If you know anything about Lebanon then you would know they like their women thin! Not only that, but women are under tremendous pressure to look perfect all the time – as if they were celebrities hounded by paparazzi….
What’s funny is that the “quick-to-judge” behavior is very much innate! Research actually confirms that people tend to view attractive / beautiful people as more intelligent, friendly and competent than average-looking people. Kids even share that sentiment! When kindergarteners were asked to choose between an average looking teacher and an attractive one, guess who these little innocent minds chose? Yes: the more attractive one… Another study published in Psychological Science, found that people pay closer attention to those they find attractive – truth be told – we are all guilty of that! Beauty is just great to look at… that’s why God created it in the first place…
One thing I found interesting in that study was: it reaffirmed that beauty is indeed in the eye of the beholder. The participants interviewed were totally receptive to the positive traits of people they personally found attractive irrespective of whether others found them to be or not… Hurray! There is hope 🙂
Another bright side to this is that researchers have found that people can still look attractive to others beyond classical esthetic perfection… Thanks to what some of us call that “somethin somethin”, which is a mix of personality, charisma, physical grace and body language that make a person more attractive. This state can only be reached with the help of positive energy and self-confidence but at least… It is accessible to all those who seek it – naturally beautiful people included!
Truth is that when we feel good about ourselves, we look good and vice versa; both states of mind are visible to the world – kind of like dogs smelling fear and in this case the world catching on to lack of self-worth! Instead of making ourselves miserable because of physical flaws here and there, let’s tap into our strengths and I bet you have many of them! If anything, I don’t blame society for the pressure it put me through, in fact, I consider it a blessing! After all, I have found my flaws to be a filtering system… yes! To filter out the shallow people from my life… I enjoy their company and all but I leave the quality time for those who are profound enough to realize that physical appearance is only temporary and what we need on the long hall is depth, sensibility and intelligence that ultimately create a lovable person!
Keep it positive!