Sorry, everyone, but you’re probably not beautiful

ELIF GABB Opinion Editor

The “body positivity” movement has gained considerable traction with the general public over the past few years.

As someone who has struggled with her weight and body image, seeing a movement that allows people to celebrate and enjoy their appearance is a welcome change from the normal self-hatred expected by most people. I can’t say I’ve been able to reach this level of body acceptance yet, but one day I hope to get there.

However, while I agree with the majority of the values and ideals this movement encourages, there is one thing I cannot accept.

I do not think everybody is beautiful.

Most body positivity followers I have seen preach the idea that “everybody is beautiful,” and we should treat everybody as such.

But to be quite frank, this just isn’t true at all.

As a society, through cultural norms, cultural standards, media influence and a whole host of other reasons, we have created an objective standard of beauty. Hollywood, for example, is filled with actors and models who adhere to this standard. That’s why they’ve been able to succeed in such a fickle business.

But how much of the general population is objectively beautiful like them? Twenty percent? Ten percent? Five percent? One percent?

Whatever the number is, it isn’t big.

So is it fair to us mere, ordinary mortals to treat ourselves as beautiful, even though we aren’t?

Is it not unbearably cruel? By treating everyone as beautiful, we let people entertain delusions of grandeur.

Not everyone can succeed in Hollywood. Not everybody is America’s Next Top Model.

That’s just the way it is.

I believe that a person’s physical beauty is one of the least important things about them. There is an infinite number of intricacies that add up to form a person.

However, the emphasis we place on our outward appearances is phenomenal.

We all nod our heads in agreement that a person’s physical beauty is of little importance. Yet, the plastic surgery industry continues to boom.

We feel we have the right to comment on a celebrity’s body, face and weight, even though we don’t know them.

We put ourselves in “leagues” when looking for a partner. We can refuse to date a person because they aren’t in our “league,” and another person can do the exact same thing to us. Just look at Tinder. I don’t think anyone’s deciding on personality when choosing which way to swipe.

Perhaps what would be best is to rid our society of the notion that “beautiful” people even exist. Just recognizing the fact that we all ended up on this planet together is pretty spectacular — the fact that we even exist is extraordinary.

But unless we experience a media blackout due to an apocalyptic situation hitting Western society, I think the concept of “beauty” will remain.

Elif Gabb is the Opinion Editor for The Collegian and can be reached at [email protected].