Friday, October 9, 2015

Article Response: Don't Compare Yourself to Others

After submitting my discussion essay on "Self-Reliance" by Ralph Waldo Emerson, we talked about it in class. In English, we just discussed what the article was saying and summarized/paraphrased it, and we didn't get to share our opinions on what Emerson was saying. That's what I've come here for.

The article said a lot of things, but this is one thing that particularly strikes me (aside from what I wrote about yesterday, pre-class discussion).
"Imitation is suicide."
Envy is ignorant because we're all unique and you need to be yourself. (Ex. I'm jealous of so-and-so's hair. But maybe I have nice hair too, so I shouldn't go out and get their haircut.) Envy dehumanizes you because it robs you of your uniqueness. In modern terms: be yourself because everyone else is taken; don't compare yourself to others.
I struggle a lot with comparing myself to others. I think it's mainly because I have a unique face. It doesn't look like everyone else's. I can't exactly match my face shape to any of the seven face shapes (oval is probably the most accurate, but it's more of a squarish/round oval). My nose is wide but not triangular, and I have a small mouth. I look at other people and see something very different than what I see on myself. I'll see a girl whose eyebrows are pointed and on fleek and think, "I wish my eyebrows looked like that." But the thing is, if you copied and pasted some harsh, defined, shapely, arched, pointy eyebrows onto my face, it wouldn't look right on my soft features. Or I'll see a girl with a perfect, ski-slope nose and think, "I wish I had her nose." But my nose looks good on my face. I've been told by friends, "I like your nose!" My nose has character, okay? I'm sure when other people look at me, they don't think, "her eyebrows aren't pointy enough."

Another thing (unrelated to the article): "If you've ever caught yourself saying, 'they're only saying that because they're my friend' when a friend gives you a compliment, stop yourself." (I remember hearing this in a YouTube video, but I couldn't find the video.) Logically, if they didn't believe what they said, they could've said nothing. They didn't have to compliment you. That's not to say you should get your self-worth from what others think of you, but don't put yourself down when you receive a nice compliment.

Another thing: It's all fake. All the beautiful girls you see (especially online) who you're jealous of are wearing craploads of makeup. If you wear a shit ton of makeup, you can look like that too.
[Extension: The concept of wearing makeup because it's fun and you enjoy it vs. wearing it because you're insecure and want to cover up blemishes/etc. is tricky. Your goal as a makeup-wearer is to wear makeup because it's a fun way to express yourself, not correctional makeup to cover up blemishes, redness, sparse eyebrows, or anything else you're insecure about. If makeup is making you insecure, you might want to stop wearing it. Even if you have redness and insecurities. You can stop wearing makeup. (maybe I should take my own advice...)]

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