Monday, July 20, 2015

Beautiful: A Response To "You Look Disgusting"

This post is different from what is typically on my blog, but recently I felt a need to write this post after watching a video by My Pale Skin called "You Look Disgusting", which touched on the unrealistic expectations of beauty. Since its upload, the video has received millions of views and rightfully so. The video is linked here and is on the bottom of this post, but as a quick summary, the video opens with Em Ford, the creator of the video wearing no makeup. Several hate comments about her appearance are displayed next to her bare face, but as she starts applying makeup, positive comments begin to appear. Em Ford, however, then also displays hate comments regarding her makeup. After then removing her makeup, she leaves the video with a positive message stating, "you look beautiful."

According to Em Ford's description, the purpose of the video was to show the unrealistic standards of beauty in a world dominated by social media. She further explains that no one should ever feel ugly because of these standards. I could not agree more with Em Ford. We are unfairly judged by how we look based upon expectations that are far from the truth. I had actually written a whole post about society's standards on beauty, however for some reason it has remained as a draft as I have not gotten myself to post it. Em Ford's video, though, makes me feel silly that I haven't yet posted one of the most serious posts I have ever written. After I edit the post one final time, I will be sure to post it on my blog soon.

Not only was Em Ford effective with showing the hate comments regarding her face without makeup, but also the hate comments she received when she had put makeup on. For some, makeup is to cover areas that society has deemed as imperfect. However, for many, makeup is also simply a form of expression. Writing a degrading comment about someone's appearance based on their makeup is just as hateful as writing a comment about someone's bare face. The comment may not hate on the person's actual features, but it does hate on the makeup work done by the person and their creative effort. It is as if there is a very fine line between too little makeup and too much makeup. A fine line that is molded and shaped by society, in which if you don't stand on that line, you are viewed as imperfect or ugly.

This video left me frustrated and sad with not only the current standards of beauty set by society, but also with those leaving such nasty comments about whether or not someone is considered beautiful. The hate comments show the power of social media and how society can greatly influence your view on someone you barely know by making a quick judgment about their appearance. A quick judgment that is based on unrealistic standards that we all become victim to and further strengthens the power social media has on our view of others. Hate comments not only cause pain, but also continue the cycle that we were successfully reeled in by both our society and social media. The only way that we can weaken and break the cycle is by making a conscious effort to remove ourselves from the cycle. This does not require any great act, but it does require one to think twice before judging a new face through the screen. It requires just a few seconds to rethink about writing a surface-level comment that could potentially cause someone pain.

I believe that it is not entirely our fault that society and social media has skillfully influenced our opinions based their greed for money and power. However, once we become aware of this influence and see that it is causing more pain than good, we become responsible for distancing ourselves from the influence of social media. Although the power of our society has made it difficult to change our view of beauty, it is important to rethink writing a negative comment and to prevent society's unrealistic expectations from making you think that are less than beautiful.

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