This is a thing going around on Facebook right now. One of those chain post things. A person is tagged and they are supposed to post “five photos of yourself that make you feel beautiful” and tag 5 friends to do the same. I’ve been tagged in this thing multiple times now.
I don’t plan to participate and here are some reasons why:
1. I don’t do chain mail. It’s no different now than it was when it was on paper or via email, it just spreads exponentially faster now that we have social media.
2. I don’t care if I’m beautiful. Yes, you read that right. I am a woman who doesn’t find any pleasure or power in thinking about how beautiful I am. Now you may be thinking that “true beauty comes from within” or some other nonsense but that’s just a load of crap to me. There are beautiful people who look gorgeous on the outside and are hideous beasts on the inside. They’re still going to look beautiful in a photo. You cannot look at a photo and see someone’s “soul”. Beauty is outward, aesthetic, ever changing, and superficial. As women, we are taught that nothing we do matters unless we are beautiful while we do it. I reject that. You may be thinking “well you must be ugly then, only ugly women say beauty doesn’t matter.” That’s fine, like I said, I don’t care what random strangers think of my appearance.
3. I spend zero time worrying about whether or not I am beautiful. To me, looking in the mirror and telling myself how gorgeous I am is just a tiny step above looking in the mirror and thinking about how hideous I am. Either way, it places a ton of importance on the outside package. When I see a photo of myself, I don’t think “god I’m hideous” but I don’t think “Oh I am so beautiful!” either. If a photo had the power to make me feel beautiful or not, I would see that as a problem not something to celebrate. Vanity is still a vice in my book, despite what our society may be trying to tell us about the virtuousness of being obsessed with your own appearance.
4. “It is amazing how complete the delusion that beauty is goodness” – Tolstoy (one of my favorite quotes).
5. It’s sexist. Can you imagine a viral chain FB post asking men to post five photos that make them feel handsome? No. It wouldn’t happen. Why? Because men are allowed to be things other than handsome. They can be smart and talented and successful without also being handsome. Their worth isn’t all tied up in whether or not they feel handsome. They are expected to go on about their life either way.
To me, trying to convince every woman she is beautiful is just more of the same bullshit. Call me when there’s a viral post to show five photos that make me feel powerful or intelligent or grateful and maybe I’ll think about it.