January 31, 2023

“Ang kagandahan ay nasa panloob na kaanyuan.”
To some extent, this is true; however, it is undeniable that a person’s external appearance matters as well. In fact, physical appearance influences how society treats an individual, which is a sad reality.
When I was younger, I did not really care about how I looked considering that my relatives always complimented me, saying “Ang ganda mo naman” or the iconic “Ang ganda ganda naman ng apo ko.” But when my 13th year waved at me, I started using social media, I started watching videos of beautiful people, I asked myself, “Was it a joke?” “Maganda ba talaga ako?”
I became quite conscious about my appearance. At first, it was not that bizarre. Not until it got out of control and I developed an obsession. It all started when I sobbed over a tiny pimple on my face. This led me to frequently visit Watsons to hunt for products that would make me feel better about my appearance. I would also adhere to every piece of advice given by the top beauty influencers to fit those unrealistic beauty standards. In addition, I would always look into the mirror whenever I could, even though I had just looked at it seconds earlier. The facial features I used to neglect started to make me feel insecure. I never imagined that I would compare myself to those gorgeous girls on the Internet and ask myself, “Where did I go wrong?” I never thought I would have so many breakdowns about my appearance that I would cry almost every single day, and because of all the breakdowns, my parents would frequently ask me whether I cried because my eyes red and sore, but I wouldn’t tell them the real reason because it might seem absurd to them, even if it’s something that kills me internally.
The thought of being flawless runs through my head continuously, to the point that I would do everything just to be flawless. However, at some point, I became so sick of it since it already drains me. I remember the picture I came across on the Internet that says “Beauty is pain” and I couldn’t agree more. It is emotionally, financially, physically, and mentally painful. I decided to take a break from any beauty-related contents and activities; a break that changed me. I realized that I was no longer myself. I realized that I’m too young to be worrying about it. I even came to the realization that it’s my resume that will be assessed for my job in the future and not my looks. Did I overreact?
Personally, experiencing the phrase “beauty is pain” gave me pain. However, it also taught me lessons in life. I was taught the concept of substance over beauty and that I shouldn’t feel ashamed of how I look. I was probably just scared of society’s treatment, but who cares? Not everyone matters anyway. One thing’s for sure, inside and out, I am beautiful. We are all beautiful.