Challenging Beauty Standards

Challenging Beauty Standards

How to be confident in today's society.

Very few people have complete self-confidence. In the society we live in with all the beauty "standards" set forth, it is practically impossible for anyone to love themselves 100%. There always seems something that could be better or fixed. That shouldn't be a "standard." Even girls in Fifth grade think they need makeup. When I was in Fifth grade, I didn't even know what bronzer was. Media has such a strong influence on women and children (men too); It's demolishing our self-esteem and brain-washes into thinking there's something wrong with us. Here's something I wrote in my early high school years:

"What if you looked in a mirror, and actually liked what you see?

What if you said "thank you" instead of denying your beauty?

What would happen if you actually appreciated what you have?

See, there's a reason you are who you are and that reason's never bad.

We were put on this earth to make beauty in everything we do.

But how can you do that if you don't see the beauty in you?

It's hard for me to grasp the idea of self-loathing.

I mean, how much makeup you wear or your weight isn't everything.

Neither are the shoes you wear, where your clothes come from, or how straight you can get your hair.

I can only imagine how you see yourself, but it’s so hard for those around you to bear.

All your loved ones around you want you to be happy in your own body.

You shouldn't listen to the hurtful things from a random somebody.

Listen to the people who care and want to make you happy.

It's them who say the truth, no matter how sappy.

You need to understand just how amazing you are.

You are gorgeous, but that's not what is important by far.

All that actually matters in life is who you are on the inside.

Yes, you've probably heard from your mother or some philosopher who, by now, has died.

But there's still every bit of meaning in internal beauty.

Yes, first impressions are generally based on looks,

but show your internal self and that first impression will be overlooked.

Looks and appearances cannot define a person for who they are and what they become.

It's what you feel in your heart makes you the person you become.

I feel in my heart I am set to create beauty in art in this world.

It's different for each person, but what's the same is, is just one word.

Beauty. Beauty comes in all shapes and forms.

Each and every person has their own unique way to make this earth transform.

I'm not saying that everyone uses it or even knows what it is they can do,

But everyone still has their personal beauty, just like you.

You have a beauty unlike anyone else.

You create beauty in your own way, by being yourself.

You are the only one who can change the world in this way,

Don't waste it on hating yourself while you let your beauty rot and decay.

I'm saying this as a person who cares and has experienced the bad,

Accept yourself for who you are because that person is pretty rad.

Be brave and express your inner self.

Embrace your beauty and stay you."

In summary, don't feel like you have to look like celebrities or models. You don't need it. Beauty "standards" should not be standards at all. Being your beautiful self should be your only standard.

Personally, I have great self-confidence, but I do have things I don't like about myself. It's hard to distinguish what I want to change for: Do I change because that's what society thinks is best or do I do it for myself? It's practically impossible for us to break away from what the America culture sees as beautiful, so all we can do is do what's best for us, not for them.

Cover Image Credit: Samantha Ledbetter

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It's Time To Thank Your First Roommate

Not the horror story kind of roommate, but the one that was truly awesome.

Nostalgic feelings have recently caused me to reflect back on my freshman year of college. No other year of my life has been filled with more ups and downs, and highs and lows, than freshman year. Throughout all of the madness, one factor remained constant: my roommate. It is time to thank her for everything. These are only a few of the many reasons to do so, and this goes for roommates everywhere.

You have been through all the college "firsts" together.

If you think about it, your roommate was there through all of your first college experiences. The first day of orientation, wishing you luck on the first days of classes, the first night out, etc. That is something that can never be changed. You will always look back and think, "I remember my first day of college with ____."

You were even each other's first real college friend.

You were even each other's first real college friend.

Months before move-in day, you were already planning out what freshman year would be like. Whether you previously knew each other, met on Facebook, or arranged to meet in person before making any decisions, you made your first real college friend during that process.

SEE ALSO: 18 Signs You're A Little Too Comfortable With Your Best Friends

The transition from high school to college is not easy, but somehow you made it out on the other side.

It is no secret that transitioning from high school to college is difficult. No matter how excited you were to get away from home, reality hit at some point. Although some people are better at adjusting than others, at the times when you were not, your roommate was there to listen. You helped each other out, and made it through together.

Late night talks were never more real.

Remember the first week when we stayed up talking until 2:00 a.m. every night? Late night talks will never be more real than they were freshman year. There was so much to plan for, figure out, and hope for. Your roommate talked, listened, laughed, and cried right there with you until one of you stopped responding because sleep took over.

You saw each other at your absolute lowest.

It was difficult being away from home. It hurt watching relationships end and losing touch with your hometown friends. It was stressful trying to get in the swing of college level classes. Despite all of the above, your roommate saw, listened, and strengthened you.

...but you also saw each other during your highest highs.

After seeing each other during the lows, seeing each other during the highs was such a great feeling. Getting involved on campus, making new friends, and succeeding in classes are only a few of the many ways you have watched each other grow.

There was so much time to bond before the stresses of college would later take over.

Freshman year was not "easy," but looking back on it, it was more manageable than you thought at the time. College only gets busier the more the years go on, which means less free time. Freshman year you went to lunch, dinner, the gym, class, events, and everything else possible together. You had the chance to be each other's go-to before it got tough.

No matter what, you always bounced back to being inseparable.

Phases of not talking or seeing each other because of business and stress would come and go. Even though you physically grew apart, you did not grow apart as friends. When one of you was in a funk, as soon as it was over, you bounced right back. You and your freshman roommate were inseparable.

The "remember that one time, freshman year..." stories never end.

Looking back on freshman year together is one of my favorite times. There are so many stories you have made, which at the time seemed so small, that bring the biggest laughs today. You will always have those stories to share together.

SEE ALSO: 15 Things You Say To Your Roommates Before Going Out

The unspoken rule that no matter how far apart you grow, you are always there for each other.

It is sad to look back and realize everything that has changed since your freshman year days. You started college with a clean slate, and all you really had was each other. Even though you went separate ways, there is an unspoken rule that you are still always there for each other.

Your old dorm room is now filled with two freshmen trying to make it through their first year. They will never know all the memories that you made in that room, and how it used to be your home. You can only hope that they will have the relationship you had together to reflect on in the years to come.

Cover Image Credit: Katie Ward

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But Seriously, Self-Care Is Like Brushing Your Teeth

Minty freshness and all.


So, I don't know about the rest of the universe, but I brush my teeth twice a day: when I wake up and when I go to sleep. Weirdly enough, though, I tend to follow this mouth cleansing with a wonderful, teeth-staining cup of coffee within 10 minutes.

Many people will wait until after they've had breakfast to brush their teeth, and another group will take it a step further and brush after every meal.

Well, not to be gross, but I am not in those groups. My almost 23 years of no cavities or braces have told me that brushing twice a day is perfectly acceptable. Nor do I have the time or patience to brush after every meal, especially considering that literally, all times have the potential to be meal times in my mind.

Regardless, it's safe to assume that we all agree that brushing our teeth is good for us (I won't get into the whole flossing debacle). Dental health is all that and a box of crackers, and especially good for preventing halitosis and mouth cancer.

Even so, some people may doubt the necessity of brushing one's teeth so often. It's probably the least consistent of all daily routines. I know I've just grabbed a stick of mint gum when I'm running late as opposed to taking the two to three minutes to actually clean my teeth.

Okay. Before I lose you entirely with my confessions of inadequate hygiene, lemme let you on a secret: this is all just as true for self-care as it is for brushing teeth.

Stick with me here. Self-care is that thing that's supposed to help you through the stresses of life. Essentially, it's care for your self.

I know, I don't make this stuff up, kids.

Self-care can be anything from getting an extra five minutes of sleep to canceling Friday-night plans when the week has you emotionally drained to treating yourself with a steak dinner instead of ramen for once.

However, because it looks different for everyone, it can be hard for us to validate actually doing self-care. It's much easier to pretend plaque is a big ol' lie when you can barely tell it's even there.

Plaque, like stress, builds up, though. You can only chew so many sticks of mint gum until you start feeling like you've french-kissed a bowl of lard. Your dentist's face when you finally get around to meeting with them, too.


Same with self-care. Stress can only build up so much until your entire life is consumed by stress. Your teeth might not rot and fall out, but your hair might fall out and the panic attacks might set in.

Also yikes.

Self-care brushes away stress like a toothbrush gets rid of plaque. Do it too much, and you'll have sore gums and an extreme tendency to avoid responsibilities. Do it too little, and you'll have cavities and stress for days.

Now, I'm not here to tell you what to do. I'm not a licensed anything, and I'm a beta adult, at best. However, I have interacted with the human race just enough to know that we're all unique; therefore, we all need different routines to help de-stress.

Revolutionary work here, I know, but seriously. Take a bit to find a system that works for you. Whether it's brushing your teeth right when you wake up and taking yourself out to brunch or it's making yourself a kick-ass breakfast at home and then brushing your teeth, each person is different and each person needs their own method.

For me, I run outdoors, read for fun, and treat myself to good food with good friends. I also try to wake up with enough time to brush my teeth before I have to get to class.

Moral of the story: Self-care is essential for life. Find a routine that works for you.

And, most importantly, brush your teeth.

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