I watched the movie Tall Girl last night, and as is my habit with everything I read or watch, it got me thinking.
This is not a movie review, by the way, just bear with me.
The movie is about a tall girl who is self conscious about her height (she really is that tall in real life) and a Swedish exchange student who is very beautiful but feels ugly because apparently everyone in Sweden is beautiful (I looked it up, it’s true). The movie ends with a speech about being true to who you are as a person and owning all the things you’re insecure about.
I totally agree.
But still it got me thinking “How beautiful am I really?”
And I actually began to pick at my insecurities (the things about my looks I don’t like) and then I stopped myself.
I reminded myself that even though people in Sweden are “aesthetically beautiful” and if I ever went to Sweden or was around a Swedish person, I would feel so insecure…that doesn’t mean that I’m any less worthy than a Swedish person. Besides, Swedish people obviously feel insecure too, compared to other Swedish people.
Beauty doesn’t determine your worth.
Besides, the standards of beauty being “fair skin, tall, light colored hair, colored eyes” are just not fair and not true. Some people with these characteristics are plain, and some dark people are gorgeous.
Some beautiful people are insecure and some not so beautiful people are arrogant, because they’re smart or rich. So beauty doesn’t guarantee self esteem.
I’m teaching my 5 year old son that being aesthetically beautiful or smart or rich doesn’t make you any better than others, nor does being the opposite make you any less.
My son is given much attention for being cute and smart, even by me, but I constantly tell him not to let it get to his head. He isn’t arrogant about it. In fact, he is insecure about not being tall and of being skinny. And he is just 5!
He is often compared to his cousins who are taller and heavier than him but close in age (unfortunately by me sometimes in an effort to get him to eat) and it really affects his self esteem.
The bottom line is, no matter what you look like, your worth is determined by your kindness and personality. It doesn’t matter if you’re beautiful but a bully.
In fact, as I was writing this blog post, my son was telling me about a girl he played with and he said he didn’t like her because he saw her being unkind to another boy their age.
So be kind. Kindness is attractive.
Of course taking care of your hygiene and dressing nicely is very important but it has nothing to do with aesthetic beauty.
In fact, in Islam, showering regularly and wearing clean clothes is a must.
Another observation I made in real life (and is shown in the movie) is that beautiful people are often admired for their beauty before you get to know them. Once you get to know them, if they have a nice personality, you’ll like them. Otherwise, they’ll become ugly in your eyes pretty quickly. In the end, beauty is in the eyes of the beholder.
So even if you’re beautiful, be kind.
And even if, by aesthetic standards, you don’t feel beautiful, remember that you are beautiful to the ones who love you and care about you. You are beautiful by your kindness.
Just like some rich people are generous and others are stingy, the amount of money in your bank account doesn’t determine what type of person you are. Some poor people (by society standards) and more generous than their rich counterparts.
I think the movie Tall Girl was very enlightening and you can either take it superficially as in “oh gee, beautiful people complaining about how beautiful they are” or take the deeper meaning that “even beautiful people get insecure” and “if you’re unkind, you’re ugly, no matter how beautiful you are”.
I personally don’t believe I’m a very beautiful person. I think I’m average, by aesthetic standards, and I’m trying to be a kind person. I feel I can be unkind sometimes, because my tolerance level is very low, but I’m a work in progress. One thing I know is I’ve never felt more superior to anyone because of the way my face looks, but I have often felt inferior to others because other people were smarter or more keen or more naturally social than I am.