On Comparison

These two quotes below deserve a time of reflection, not only on the implications of their meaning, but on how comparison manifests in, and affects, our lives.  Comparison is shoved upon us by every form of media today:  Magazines show only perfectly air-brushed images of celebrities and then run how-to lists to make the reader feel they should reach for perfection in outer beauty; comparison has fuelled multi-billion-dollar industries in cosmetics, clothing, medicine and material possessions such as houses, cars, and gadgetry.  It has taught us to crave the latest and best as if these things were necessities, and not excessive luxuries; it has taught us to crave them at the expense of the poorest in the world, as industries strip natural resources and abuse the defenceless workers who are paid pittance so that you and I can buy cheap clothing, and foods and flowers that were growing in fields half way around the world the day before we buy them.  Comparison robs men and women alike of contentment, joy in the simple pleasures of life, and the discernment to recognise marketing bullies who knock us down, steal our peace, and then expect us to buy their products so that we can feel better about ourselves until the next time they come around…



Comparison, Culture

Do You Like You?

It’s an open secret that self-worth, -value and -image are under attack in western societies; especially that of women, though not exclusively (men struggle with it too, though they are usually not as vocal about it).  Woman, however, are constantly bombarded with air-brushed, photoshopped images of what they should try to attain:  Improve that, nip this, tuck that, exercise not to become healthy but to change your external appearance; enhance, hide, cover up – those are the messages women hear, see and have rammed down our throats 24/7.  When woman are sold as objects (i.e. whenever you see an ad in which only a part of a woman is showing, whether it’s her foot in a shoe or her shoulder, hair or eye, she has been dismembered and thus become an inanimate object, something to attain) any advances of so-called women’s liberation have gone out the window.  Women are degraded if they are not “top-quality”, yet very few have questioned those standards, or asked, “Who says?”  No wonder there’s an epidemic of eating disorders.  Who has the right to judge the way you or I look?  Women have been trained by the media to judge themselves, and compare themselves to others; it needs to stop, and that change begins with you and I, one choice, one observation at a time.

Thankfully, there are awareness campaigns that have sprung up in the past few years, such as the Dove campaign for Real Beauty; there are Hollywood stars such as Kate Winslet that refuse to be photoshopped for magazine articles; and there are songs and videos that raise awareness as well.  Click on the image below to see one such music video, by Colbie Caillat, called “Try”.

Colbie Caillat, Try Video


So whether you are a man or a woman, the next time you see your reflection, try not to look at the outside, but the inside; true beauty comes from within… when you love yourself, you’ll be able to love others, and that’s the most attractive quality of all.