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Beauty Obsession

Mar 20, 2023 | Daily Trek, Unlearn

Beauty Obsession - Radical Trekking - Ayelet Baron

Beauty Obsession

In nature, there is beauty everywhere; it’s natural! Confucius reminds us that “everything has beauty, but not everyone sees it.”

Did you know that, on average, people dedicate four hours a day to enhancing their appearance?

A recent study of 93,000 people across 93 countries, published in the Journal of Evolution and Human Behavior, unveils that humans, regardless of age or gender, spend a substantial portion of their lives focused on enhancing their physical appearance.

According to international researchers, we devote one-sixth of our lifetime to self-beautification, which equates to four hours daily.

The study highlights that both older and younger people are equally invested in maintaining their best appearance. Moreover, researchers pinpoint social media usage as one of the primary factors fueling our preoccupation with external beauty.

But let’s remember that early humans adorned their bodies with pigments. And ancient civilizations employed various methods, such as rudimentary cosmetics, ornate clothing, and jewelry, to enhance their looks. Some researchers propose that these tendencies may have originated from primate self-grooming behaviors.

Redefining Beauty in a World Obsessed with Perfection

Long before the advent of social media, people were fixated on attaining the perfect body through enhancements and surgeries. Today, AI filters have sculpted an image of the ideal woman, paving the way for more unrealistic definitions of beauty. These filters are likely to trigger a massive wave of individuals yearning to resemble their artificial and superficial digital counterparts.

And the irony is that we can only see ourselves through reflections in mirrors, windows, or someone’s glasses. And yet, there is a global obsession with physical beauty.

In ancient times, heavier-set partners were considered desirable because their physique indicated access to food.

Some politicians might never have won an election in the television era, while others lost because they didn’t meet society’s external beauty standards.

But why should beauty be solely external? As we move into this new era that is emerging, we can leave this narrative behind. Engaging in inner work often uncovers hidden treasures and inner beauty.

A thought-provoking idea suggests that if we truly valued and prioritized experience, we would embrace our gray hair and wrinkles with confidence. And define new visions of natural beauty. Maybe more people would dye their hair gray or let it be natural?

By choosing to live a more authentic life, we free ourselves from these artificial constraints. Imagine what we could accomplish with the extra four hours a day saved from focusing on our appearance. And we would likely save even more time by dressing the way we want. It all comes down to our choices and discernment; knowing what energizes us and what depletes us.

What can we create that kindles our hearts and cultivates a renewed understanding of beauty—one that radiates from within and shines outward?

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