Always struggling with appearance

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Always struggling with appearance


“You are more beautiful than you think.”

This is how video footage about an experiment on women’s appearances ends. Personal care brand Dove had a sketch artist draw the faces of women based on their descriptions of their facial features. Then, the artist drew another set of portraits based on a stranger’s descriptions of the same women. So each woman gets two drawings, and the differences are startling. In all cases, the pictures created based on a stranger’s description were much more attractive and relaxed.

Along with the video, Dove also cited the results of research that says only 4 percent of women deem themselves beautiful. Last year, a Korean online recruiting service surveyed college students, and 91 percent said that they were not confident with their appearance. The complex seems to be a far-reaching epidemic. The most beautiful celebrities often complain about their physical features on television, and even someone like Angelina Jolie considered plastic surgery. Why are we so unsatisfied with how we look?

First of all, we see too many beautiful people around us these days. A few years ago, I sat with famous actress Hwang Shin-hye at an event. Afterward, I washed my hands and nonchalantly looked at the mirror. I was surprised to see my face. It was so chubby! After looking at a face with beautiful features for hours, my face seemed so plain. I thought, “Excessive beauty makes other people disheartened.”

But nowadays, celebrities who are already beautiful nevertheless confess that they have worries about their appearance and often resort to plastic surgery to perfect their looks. So, average people feel that we don’t deserve to be satisfied with our appearance when more beautiful people are discontent about their looks. The social environment that excessively highlights appearance ends up lowering ordinary citizens’ overall confidence.

We also are all conscious of other people’s eyes. As I watched the video, I’ve noticed that the images based on self-description resembled the actual faces more. These drawings reflect troubles and struggles of life as they include wrinkles, dark spots and freckles.

But the images based on the stranger’s observation feature only outlines without details. Naturally, these faces look more relaxed. The women in the drawings say that their faces perceived by a third person look “happy.”

In fact, we want to live happily, but it is hard to shake off the hard reality. In other words, other people’s eyes are so irresponsible, but we are affected by them.

Then, is it OK to make any comments about others? After all, life is already harder than it seems.

*The author is an editorial writer of the JoongAng Ilbo.

by Yang Sunny
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