By Jamie Kirk
Cliché: Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. But oh so very true indeed. It is amazing how two people can look at the same photo, same home, same car, and the same two people can walk away with two very differing opinions.
One opinion could be that the object is strikingly breath-taking, while the other opinion could be that the object is completely flawed. Both people could be the same age, same ethnicity, and have very similar educational backgrounds, yet have totally different take-aways upon observation.
I think this is absolutely astonishing that our taste can be so different in what we attribute to being handsome, pretty, “big-boned,” lean, dark, light, pale, short or tall. All of these labels can be clearly visible to the naked eye, but who’s naked eye is the real question.
When you see someone for the first time, we run them through our filters of past experiences, current situations, and sub-conscious expectations. When we look at someone, we actually DO feel more comfortable if we can identify them with a word or a title. It makes us feel more in control. Most of us don’t like the feeling of not being able to identify/relate to something. So when we are able to call someone unattractive, or “big-boned” we feel like we have a handle on the situation; even though these labels are 100% subjective.
At face value, we have no right to judge someone. We should not be comfortable calling someone too skinny, not-in-shape or needing to get some sun. These types of comments are pretty immature and could be a sign of our own insecurities about our own weight, our own skin color or our own inability not to count calories. There are often extenuating circumstances regarding a person’s appearance. A heavy person may be overweight due to an illness. A person that is very pale may have a skin disorder, or a person that is skinny could suffer from bulimia. It is not our job or our duty to pre-judge anyone based on what appears to be unquestionable or potentially controllable.
Don’t get me wrong, we ALL jump on the judging soapbox from time to time. It helps us feel better about ourselves. We look at folks in the gym and compare our muscles. Women look at make-up, shoes, eyelashes, etc. and judge (good and bad). After all, we are all human and being petty is sometimes a part of it. And by petty I mean, not being above putting someone else down in order to try and lift ourselves up. Unhappy people are dangerous and being intentionally mean is a sure sign of someone that is unhappy.
Keep in mind, as summer continues, we wear less clothing, we are out and about more, and we are generally a little bit more carefree. That is all great and all, but we should be as carefree with our spare time, as we are with caring about what people think or say about us. As long as we are honest, up-standing and confident individuals we are #winning. People watch how you treat yourself. If you treat yourself with kindness, calmness and have a peacefulness about your life, people will be forced to handle you that way. It doesn’t mean that they will not have private thoughts about you, but they will not share them. Private thoughts should be kept private, especially if they are not flattering and could be just plain ole mean.
In order to not fall into caring about being judged and more importantly not judging someone else, we just need to stay focused on our own lives. Making sure that we are living our best life, volunteering, being someone that is empathetic to others, is compassionate, funny when necessary, serious when needed, loving and kind – it doesn’t matter if the outside is wrapped in extra pounds or the exterior is not what society deems as attractive.
Focus on the main thing, which is making sure we are keeping our private thoughts private and not carrying ourselves in a way that people feel comfortable telling us what they think of us or someone else, good or bad. It’s not our business the opinion others have of us, we should only care about the opinion we have of ourselves.