There is no doubt that in today’s society, there is an issue with beauty and self-confidence plaguing the lives of so many. With social media constantly displaying a barrage of what is perceived as beauty, a severe distortion has been created. The result is a widespread false view of attractiveness and a detrimental lack of confidence.
However, there is hope for this endemic.
Recently a video took the Internet by storm that shows the reaction of people after being told they are beautiful. Created by Shea Glover, an 18-year-old Chicago student, the video reveals the harsh reality behind today’s perception of beauty, but also provides the solution.
The video (seen below) started out as a school project, but quickly turned into something much more powerful. Glover began by asking both friends and strangers if she could take their portrait. However, the simple task of taking a picture became endlessly more powerful when Glover said:
“I’m taking pictures of things I find beautiful.”
Eight simple words completely changed every aspect of what would normally be a fairly uneventful encounter.
Eight simple words completely altered the physical and emotional reactions of Glover’s subjects.
The reactions displayed in the video completely embody the distortion so many have created of their own self-image. Each time a person was told they were beautiful, their expression was completely altered, going from nonchalant to complete and utter shock and happiness. While many may see such a reaction as normal following a seemingly out of place compliment, the level of astonishment speaks volumes to the lack of self-confidence in today’s world. Many of the subjects were unable to stop smiling after the comment and continued to thank Glover for her kind words several seconds after the picture was being taken. The reactions were truly powerful and beautiful, but heartbreaking at the same time.
One of the most poignant moments came when a young woman became extremely angry with Glover and stormed off after an exchange of words. The young woman seemed to perceive the comments as a joke, and was greatly offended by the possibility of someone calling her beautiful. Such a reaction is testament to the level of distress self-image and beauty causes so many people and the dire necessity for change.
However, as previously mentioned, the video also offers the solution. While there is certainly no quick fix to such a widespread and growing issue, steps can be taken in order to ensure no person feels anything but beautiful and confident in their own skin. The answer truly starts within and requires each and every one of us to find beauty in every aspect of our being. Although doing so may be difficult, one must set personal commitments to overcome and integrate including, choosing healthy relationships, setting achievable expectations, and finding balance in all aspects of life.
There is endless beauty in each and every single person. The reactions elicited in the video demonstrate the desire humans have to feel beautiful and be recognized for the beauty they possess. But, with society pushing the image of the perfect person through social media and the celebrity image, there is not a great deal of room for people to find what makes them confident. Glover, however, demonstrated the power of our actions and the effect even the smallest words can have. Glover’s mere utterance of the word “beautiful” was more than enough to instill happiness and confidence into the lives of people who may struggle with their own personal definition of beauty.
People should not be surprised or taken aback when they are called beautiful and as a society, we should not find someone complimenting another to be an abnormal action. Rather, confidence and beauty should be integral aspects of society and all should seek to build one another up, rather than seeking to continue trends that achieve nothing but societal distortion. Take Glover's message to heart and commit to making a difference in the lives of all; perpetuate the message of beauty for the betterment of society and never miss out on the opportunity to remind someone how beautiful they are.