"Everything in moderation." I've probably said this at least a couple hundred of times in the past, but the secret to a fulfilling and well-balanced life is none other than moderation. Sadly, as humans, we all have an insatiable appetite for all things extreme. And while it's good to not settle for the mediocre, sometimes the same extremities can lead to severe consequences: anorexia, diabetes, depression, etc.
So here's a food for thought - Is there such thing as too fat, too skinny, too ugly, too beautiful? According to the media, the answer is yes. Take Renee Zellweger for example. She has been under the radar for a couple of years now but has only caught the attention of the tabloids when a huge speculation of plastic surgery arose. It kills me each and every single time I log onto my Twitter account only to see yet another recognizable female name as the center for criticism. More than often, the conversation would revolve around her outer appearance or the like. It upsets me that as a community, we choose to focus on the materialistic rather than a person's achievements, personal merits, or charitable works. But I get it. That's just the way it is.
For years, I've resented everything about my physical attributes. From my natural sex hair to my vampire fangs, to my low nasal bridge, these so-called "flaws" gave me a reason to want to be someone other than myself. Then puberty happened and even then, I still couldn't find comfort in wearing my own skin. Being me was never good enough. I secretly longed for beauty, but not just in my eyes but others as well. After all, what's the point in being beautiful if no one appreciates it? Then a met a guy who loved me dearly and I've never felt more beautiful in my entire life. Although we didn't work out, I developed a new self-esteem and confidence. Since then, I've learned to progressively appreciate myself for everything that I am and everything that I am not. However, in order to reach that satisfying level of contentment, I had to adopt the mantra above, 'Everything in moderation.' With this new practice comes a variety of changes that has affected my life tremendously. Yes, I would be lying to you if I said I did not enjoy the perks (ie. Bottle service, no wait in line, free swag) but there are also some unspoken downside to it.
#1 At work - Two summers ago, I interned for a modeling agency and decided to show up to the office one day without any make-up on. The Executive Director (whose desk was right next to me) said to me with no hesitation, "Khanh, I think you should at least put some blush on."
The next day, I showed up with my hair and face did. She smiled at me and said, "You look nice today."
#2 At home - I visited my family in Vietnam this past August and since I was on vacation, I decided to eat as much as possible because #whothefuckcaresimonvacation
Sadly, it only took two weeks before one of my aunts commented on my much 'rounder' stomach and 'fuller' face
#3: Dating - I've talked to a couple of people in the past and although they were extremely sweet, I couldn't help but to notice that each and every single compliment I've ever received had a lot to do with my physical appearance and very little to do with me as a person
- My other half is an extremely (objectively) very handsome man. I'm not biased at all, I swear. Every single person who has ever met him even said so. Despite of my initial frustration with his vanity, I realized that when I'm with him, I'm actually at my most unglamourous state. In a way, it's kind of refreshing.
You see, establishing meaningful and genuine relationship has become problematic for me not just in the workforce but also at home. People's evaluation sheet naturally focuses more on my perceived level of attractiveness rather than intelligence, competence, or talent.
From an economic standpoint, looks, in today's society, are currencies. Why? "It's seldom a good idea to flaunt your money, and although it doesn't necessarily buy you happiness, it's better or certainly more fun to have it, than not." And being beautiful is a reward in its own rights, but you know what? I am also witty, adventurous, and at times, humorous. How's that for being beautiful?