As the age-old saying goes—beauty is pain—right? It's one of those clichés everyone seems to have heard and one I definitely think should be retired.
Beauty should not be defined by how much pain it took to "get" there. Wearing six-inch stilettos, Spanx, and waxing your eyebrows shouldn't be considered a necessity for being considered beautiful. Unfortunately, based on today's society it kind of is.
Being beautiful should be more than how great wearing stilettos makes your arse look. To me, beautiful people are confident ones—people who carry themselves tall and feel comfortable being who they are.
From a young age, we're shown all these amazing "grown-up wonders" that we'll get to use once we're older: makeup, heels, fancy clothes, etcetera, but we're also told by our family members, like grandparents and parents, how beautiful we already are. It's quite a double standard. Society tells us we need things like makeup to be beautiful, but at the same time were constantly told that we're already beautiful and things like makeup are totally unnecessary. What are we supposed to believe?
Thinking about the phrase "beauty is pain" from a literal standpoint is quite interesting. Think about using a hot tool like a curling iron or a straightener. Have you ever burned yourself trying to get that perfect curl? Think about putting on mascara in the morning, how many times have you poked yourself in the eye with the mascara wand? Think about those six-inch heels you "love." How many times have you rolled your ankle while wearing them? What about when you shave your legs? How many times have you nicked yourself trying to get the perfect close shave? We supposedly do all of these things because they are going to enhance our beauty, but sometimes they inadvertently cause us pain. Is all this really necessary? Who decided that it was normal for women to shave their legs, contour their face with makeup, curl their eyelashes, have perfect ringlet curls or no curls at all? What is the price for being feminine and "beautiful" by society's standards and is it really worth all the pain?
You can also think about the phrase from a different standpoint, think about the emotional impact these words can have. Think about all the girls that look at women in the media today and envy them. They see Victoria's Secret models in magazines and worry that they're not skinny enough, not pretty enough, not good enough. So then, they stand in front of their mirror and analyze all the things they need to change about themselves to be considered beautiful by societal standards. Think about the impact this can have on a person's mental health. People wonder why one in eight adolescents suffer from clinical depression—I don't.
Society is giving teenagers unrealistic expectations of what it means to be beautiful. We should be building people up, showing them all the things that make them beautiful without makeup and high heels and waxing and everything else. We should stop using the phrase "beauty is pain" because beauty shouldn't have to be painful. We should be encouraging others to stand tall in who they are, be confident, and shine with the beauty they already have. I'm not saying that all beauty products are bad, I'm saying that they shouldn't be thought of as necessities anymore.
Beauty isn't pain, beauty is confidence—beauty is just beauty.