This paper was for me to express my views on how society and powerful people, create ridiculous standards for people to follow, which leads people to believe in false images of becoming wealthy and someone who they are not. Along with that, my goal was to open up and write about a scene that I haven’t exactly opened up about, publicly and I have successfully accomplished that. Overall, I am proud of my end product because I portrayed everything I wanted to in as many words as I could, and I expanded on my creative writing. I spent a significant amount of time on this as well, with extensive amount of peer editing and review, and I am happy with my essay.
Identity is something that you hold dear to you. Something that you become over time, where you discover and explore different things around you, and that eventually builds up who you are. Your identity affects what people think of you and your future. Identity is everything you do, your appearance, your behavior, your daily lifestyle, etc. Identity is impacted by the people who construct society, people who have power and create expectations that you must follow. This builds a false mindset around you, that being wealthy, prosperous, and changing yourself into someone who you are not, will make you happy. When in reality, that is not the case. People slowly start to follow this mentality and change themselves so they can fit in and grow into this facade society has built for them.
A method society uses to do this, is to push people to believe that you should establish and improve your self image, so you are noticed by the more powerful people of this world so you can become affluent. Though this “improvement” occurs slowly, and in daily aspects of your life such as at work, school, financially, and economically, the continuous effort and drive to become someone you are not, adds and adds to your shoulders and augments into a heavy pressure which becomes tremendously unbearable that eventually leads you to break. Society will always have these certain rules about beauty, careers, lifestyle, etc, that will never change, and if one person follows it, it becomes a chain reaction and more people will want to follow them to “fit in” and become wealthy. This makes it even harder for people to ignore it, which is why people get sucked into perfecting themselves.
Not only are normal people affected by this, but many celebrities as well. They come from all over the world and they believed in this fantasy as you are now, but it did not end well for most. Cara Delevingne, a model, stated the truth behind this in an interview, “We are told that if we are beautiful, if we are skinny, if we are successful, famous, if we fit in, if everyone loves us, that we’ll be happy. But that’s not entirely true.” Delevingne's statement exploits society and how it feeds lies to people in order for them to being wealthy, but when they get to that point, they are no longer happy or guaranteed what they were promised in the beginning. The voice Delevingne is portraying, is that none of the things society tells you to do is the right answer, you don’t have to change yourself, just work on yourself the way you choose and you will be happy. She expresses the message to not follow the footsteps society tells you to. Russell Brand, an actor, emphasizes in an interview, “I’ve been inside now. I’ve seen the other side of the looking glass... It don’t feel your soul. I still feel empty inside.” Brand demonstrates his discomfort of being a celebrity and how he woke up from the fantasy. Once he saw past the “looking glass,” which symbolizes how society portrays the rich, he realized that it wasn’t worth believing. Being wealthy and living that kind of life will not feel your soul, like society illustrates. In the end, you will be empty and unhappy.
I, along with many others, have experienced different aspects in their life where they have been discriminated or told to change something in their appearance, attitude, or personality to fit into society or to be accepted. Personally, I was treated negatively many times during my life, but one specific aspect was directly from my relatives. My story goes hand in hand with society’s beauty standards.
It often breaks down when my family has gatherings, such as dinner at my aunts or my place. I’m always around my female cousins and aunts and it always has to come to the conversation about who's gaining or losing weight. During these times, I shy away from the circle but one particular time, I wasn’t paying attention and I was happening to be eating chocolate cake. I mean come on, who doesn’t love cake? It’s irresistible so I kept munching away.
As I was savoring the taste of the silky, smooth, milk chocolate on my tongue until one of my cousins giggles and exclaims, “Look. She can’t stop.”
The moment that statement slipped from her mouth, my face dropped and I felt a sharp pain in my heart and I could feel blood rushing to my cheeks. I set the plate of cake aside and bit excruciatingly hard on my inner lip to fight back the tears. As everyone in the room realized my sudden change of mood, their snickers died down and they moved on to another conversation.
That wasn’t the only time that happened and I do not think that will be the last either but everytime it happens, a piece of me grows even stronger and stronger to love myself, and to not follow society’s standards in beauty. I promise myself to not believe in people’s criticism and society’s false ideas and views and to only follow my own raw beliefs and not the fake ones.
Society teaches us to follow erroneous images where we are all told to look a certain way or to be a certain way. It is about finding what is for you and not letting people tell you how things are. It is all about discovering the world for yourself and seeing the truth behind it all, and then deciding what you want to do and not what society wants you to do. It is about demolishing the these barbaric images for yourself so you can move on without the burden of society.
Celebrities Speak Out On Fame & Materialism. Perf. Josh Radnor, Lady Gaga, Russell Brand, Tom Shadyac, Alexi Panos, Cara Delevingne, Essena O'Neill, Alanis Morissette, Tupac Shakur. Think For Yourself. YouTube, 4 Mar. 2016. Web. <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zYDKCx4hSQQ>.
Reynolds, Siimon. "How Your Self Image Determines Your Wealth." Forbes. Forbes Media, 30 Mar. 2014. Web. <http://www.forbes.com/sites/siimonreynolds/2014/03/30/how-your-self-image-determines-your-wealth/#75e7e0dc26d5>.