Eye of the Beholder
As the green movement progresses, America and much of the world are making the effort to return to nature’s basics and preserve what still remains of the earth. Yet when it comes to ourselves and the façade we hide behind, the image we choose to preserve could not be further from what nature intended. In a world where girls aspire to look like models who have literally had portions of their bodies photoshopped from sight, and mothers who dress their toddlers like My Size Barbie dolls only to parade them like cattle, we have to question where our values lie. Beauty isn’t always what you see, and what you see isn’t always what you get.
For instance, despite the fact that we’ve known the way nature and the weather works for years, we continue to partake in the Groundhog Day tradition. On February 2, a designated person is required to coax the poor little animal, whether it be your state’s resident groundhog or good ol’ Punxsutawney Phil, out of its little den six weeks before it would ever consider emerging simply so we can satisfy our need to perpetuate a tradition we’ve single-handedly flushed down the toilet anyway.
As the groundhog is lifted to face the inquiring masses, spotlighting blazes upon his weary body, while cameras flashes in his sleepy eyes, making it impossible for the poor thing not to see his shadow. (If you can remember the last time the groundhog predicted an early Spring, please share.) No matter the weather conditions, the gathering of media hounds will always ensure that Winter will be hanging around for six more weeks. But you can’t believe your eyes in this case, for we all know Spring doesn’t begin until the third week of March regardless (and even a Flea would see his shadow while surrounded by such a crazy circus).
Human beings are the gullible type, willing to believe anything that is deemed acceptable by the majority, whether our instincts tell us such things are a mistake or not. We are the kind that pride ourselves on diversity and individuality, then kick off our Ugg boots and hop into a tanning bed in the middle of January. We long to be accepted, praised and loved, even if it means blending with the crowd.
Yet we rarely bother to think about exactly who decides what constitutes the various “socially accepted” trends and beliefs suitable. Popularity and styles can be looked upon almost as if you are colorblind – what may look terrible to someone else may be the most gorgeous thing another person has seen. Things that appear one way to one person may not look the same to another.
The years go by and society becomes more and more sheltered, like a coddled baby. With so much terror in the world, we’d much rather concern ourselves with the hottest fashion trends or a rodent’s weather predictions simply so we can ignore the things that so desperately need our attention. Like a child curled up in the corner, ears cupped until their parents’ fighting ceases, we have selective hearing, only listening to what will benefit ourselves, not humanity.
The goal is to be yourself. Those who make history are never the ones who agree with the majority, but who oppose it. See what you see and accept it as truth, no matter what everyone else says is right. Take a stand and embrace who you are because individuality should be a characteristic we embrace, not a trend, for beauty is all in the eye of the beholder, and the future is in your hands.