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Adapting to Society’s Ever-Changing Perception of Beauty

Beauty; it’s a word that modern society has become way too fixated on. What does it mean to be beautiful? What does beauty look like, and do I fit society’s standards of what is beautiful? These are questions that unconsciously unravel within us, even though we try and deflect them. As a college student in particular, this word takes on a whole different meaning. When we walk out the door and into the ‘real world’, we see all kinds of people, and a natural human instinct is for us to compare ourselves to the person beside us. How do we look in comparison to that person? Do I fit in with society’s mold of what is beautiful? From this, I just have one question, “why do we care so much?”

It’s because we are taught to care. Nobody is verbally telling us that we have to look or act a certain way to look beautiful or to “fit in,” but it is implied that we have to cater ourselves to a certain physical and mental standard. College is a place where it is highly encouraged to express your own individuality, whether that be through fashion, hobbies or interests. But how do we train ourselves to just simply not care what other people think? We are taught to follow fast trends and look like everyone else for our entire lives leading up to college.

Although this is something that I am still trying to figure out myself, it is important to remember one thing: no matter where you are in your collegiate life, authenticity is the key. College is unique because it is catered to not just academic life, but learning about who you are as a person. High school does such a good job of molding you into the likings of everyone else in your class — it makes you change yourself to appeal to those around you. As cliché sounding as this is, beauty is not on the outside, it radiates from within. When people can tell that you are undeniably happy and confident in your own body, that is when you are at your most beautiful. 

If you are wondering how to get to the point where you feel your most beautiful — well, that is a journey within yourself. But some things you can do to get there are join clubs and activities, forget about being judged for your interests! Talk to people that you might not typically have conversations with. Open up to your professors and try to keep an open dialogue within class. These are small changes, but are guaranteed to make you feel happy in the long run.

Lauren is a sophomore journalism major at Temple University.
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