You are who you are. Wait… Are you?

Become who you want to be!
Accept who you are, and do not try to change!

These trends seem to be intertwined. When there is one present, so is the other. Constantly, we see girls trying different diets and/ or medication to be more like the Victoria Secret models. Some of them succeed, some of them do not, so they keep on trying. However, there is a pretty strong movement going on, which has accepting oneself as the focal point of its mission. Some people know they are fighting an uphill battle because of their genetics (or other factors), and so they try to accept themselves for who they are. Also, not everyone wants to be like those top models.

Whatever you do, you can always excuse yourself by saying: “Well, I feel like xyz, so that is what I will identify with.” While there were always people, who felt different, and wanted to be someone else, only now do I notice a strong trend for becoming everyone/ everything else but ourselves. Why is it so hard for us to be us?

We like to say: “Don’t judge the book by its cover”, but we do exactly that. This interesting research (by Todorov, A., Pakrashi, M., Oosterhof, N.) shows us that we judge consciously, as well as subconsciously, and that a lot of it can be accurate. Say what you will, first impressions ARE important. They are not everything, and they are not definite, but they help us gauge a few things about the other person. I will be the first to admit that I draft a quick description (in my head) of a person that I meet. This is done in the first few seconds, based on their facial expression, actions, words and their attention (or the lack of) to their appearance. HOWEVER, as soon as I do that, I shove it to the back of my brain and give that person a completely clean slate. After I get to know them a bit, I compare my “notes” to see if what I thought was accurate and what could be the explanation for this or that. This might make me seem “judgey”, but I assure you all of this happens so that my relationship with that person can be appropriately adjusted; not because I need material for gossiping.

An article about a white woman turning black prompted me to think about it all. She is the subject of different debates, which divide people across the globe. I think we have all heard about the white woman who claimed to be African-American. Nowadays nothing is as it seems, making things a lot more complicated than they should be. I will not argue that this person saw the rise of the anti-racism movement and decided to seize the opportunity. She did what she did for whatever reason. My focus is on the fact that she tried to pass for someone she was not. While this case surely shocked a lot of people, leaving a distaste in all, I believe the white woman, who is actively changing into a black-skinned one is of bigger interest. Long story short – aside from making her breasts as large as she can, and becoming a “human Barbie doll”, she is also undergoing a melanin treatment so she can be “crispier” looking. The issue here, of course, is that she does so for publicity, but I wonder where does it stop. Contrary to the other woman, who wanted to be identified as black, this one says that she will remain Caucasian, changing only her appearances. She likes African features, and so she wants to adopt them to her own “tropical” look. Personally, I think she was better looking before the skin-color-changing treatments. This is not because she is not white anymore, but because she looks unnatural (i.e. skin paint), as well as older, and more masculine. She does not seem to “fit in” with the white crowd anymore; there has been an outcry of black women from around the world, who refuse to accept her as one of them. Also, there are people who are very aggressive against her, saying that black girls have always been persecuted for not adhering to the “European beauty standards”, so she cannot monetize on something real black girls cannot. Huh? I do not even understand that. I have always been on the pale side of white, and throughout my life, I felt like I should be darker to be more “beautiful”. See? We always think others have it easier/ better. I do not think there is sufficient research on the topic of that type of tanning, to be able to say that this will have negative health effects on her, but I still wonder what will the long-term results be.

I am not perfect. None of us are. While we should always strive for being better, I think we should be OUR better selves; not trying to be someone else. I believe this is the healthier approach; both physically and mentally. The grass is always greener on the other side, so we might be swayed towards being someone else. However, we are who we are and we have been given some things others might not have. Is it not more exciting to make do with what you have instead of giving it all up for a chance at something else?

So, are you happy the way you are or are you currently aiming to change?

P.S. My head is all over the place this weekend, so it was more difficult for me to express what I had in mind. Hopefully, you understood…

28 thoughts on “You are who you are. Wait… Are you?

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  1. First, I think we should all come to that point we find peace with out distinct personalities, so as not to live someone else’s lifestyle. Howbeit, as responsible adults, it’s essential we keep accessing ourselve to quickly spot negative traits that would be detrimental to our overall success and growth. This is what I do. Because I like me.

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  2. I think there are levels of change. Some are healthy and some aren’t. Changing your hair colour, sensible diets, exercise etc – even tanning are all fine. It’s when people take these things to extremes that it becomes a problem. Some are recognised illnesses such as anorexia and bulimia so there is help but other toxic habits slip under the radar.. and it’s still a problem. If you’re that unhappy with yourself then it’s truly sad. The media propagates these image issues and then condemn people out of hand when it makes a good story. Sadly I’m finding more and more that the world would be a far better place without the fourth estate.

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  3. I think that you cannot change the core of who you are. Just like a maple tree will always be a maple tree. But we do evolve over the years, ideally to become a better person as we age, just like the maple tree adds rings. We can be affected by our environment, by our experiences, and by our heredity, our genes. Interesting topic!

    Liked by 3 people

  4. Good writing, straight to the point and very clear and concise. This madness is complete nonsense. People complain about needing to fit in, but what to be viewed as individuals. Its just as easy as not putting makeup on. Their excuses are their’s alone, even though they blame everyone else except for them. Do what you want, do what makes you happy and fulfilled, just don’t expect me to applaud you for it.

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  5. According to my Gravatar I’ve been to this post before… this time, I arrived as a result of doing a ?random (ie — my post ‘How to crowdsource blog maintenance‘ refers). I thought you might like to know that the link on ‘This’ in ‘This interesting research…’ is dead. Pity, I would have liked to have read that 😦

    A very interesting post. As one who suffers from paralysis on one side of my face I’ve been very sensitive to the ‘first impressions’ thing for most of my life. Facial symmetry is perceived as more attractive (see eg Wikipedia), something that has haunted me. I try to accept who I am, but it seems to me that it can take a while before others do the same. Of course that could just be my own twisted view of reality causing me to misinterpret. Do I no longer approach attractive ladies in bars because I know from experience that they’re repulsed by my appearance, or is it simply that I’m scared of this possibility?

    … not sure where I was going with this, but then that fits because your ‘head was all over the place’ in this post too 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ha! You found one. Great! Lesson learned – I need to include more details in the text, because I have no idea which study I meant. (I did go in and plug in another one.)

      I noticed my head is all over the place lately, too. Must be some sort of a recurring trend for me.

      You pose a very “What came first?” type of question. You will never know, I guess… You can either keep trying or totally give up.

      I struggle with people in general. I have no idea why they think the way they think. It just doesn’t make sense. They pay attention to the things they shouldn’t and don’t blink twice when they should be freaking out. Bizarre.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thanks for taking the trouble to fix that dead link (I think it’s a shame that the Internet hasn’t yet ‘learnt’ how to deal with dud content… we should be able to at least run a report on a blog that would find ‘404’ errors, for instance, to give us a chance of fixing them).

        Liked by 1 person

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Ellie Thompson's World

Poetry, Musings and Memoirs - True Tales of My Life

The Literary Serenity Archives

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