We live in a world of comparison. We compare ourselves to the A+ students, the Instagram-
famous travel bloggers, the couples who are so “in love” that it makes your own heart ache. Each
person, better than us, in their own way. Richer, healthier, happier and more beautiful.
It consumes us whole until we are picking apart our own lives, our own relationships. We prod at our bodies wishing that our own bumps and blemishes could simply disappear into airbrushed perfection like the women in the magazines. We search for a one-size- fits-all remedy that can lessen that undying disparity between you and them.
I actually used to google “how to be prettier”. I wondered just how could I get the perfect body. Some days I would think, if I ate less and less, then maybe I would feel better about myself. If only I had hair-free skin and legs that didn’t jiggle when I walked, then I believed I would be happier. I saw these women on social media as my role models. They motivated me to work out as hard as I ever had—I wanted nothing more than to look just like them. I tried their diets, their workout plans. But at the end of the day, I found myself less happy than I was before. Despite working hard for months, I still didn’t have everything they had.
It broke me down. These women and I were now fierce competitors; I was the loser and they
were the winners. I didn’t realize then that I only lost because longed for something that was ultimately unattainable. I, just like so many of us, longed for perfection.
My own goals, my own desire to be “better”, plunged me into a trap of constant inferiority and further discontentment with myself. In my quest for beauty, I lost my sense of worth. Some of the things I valued most, authenticity and positivity, became muddled until I no longer could see them when I looked into the mirror.
What was the point in having these goals if they only hollowed me into someone I never wanted
I realized that by assuming that my self-worth came from a number on a scale, I saw myself as only a body.
But, I’m not merely a body. I am not just an actor playing a role. I am a human being. And, by the way, the same goes for those seemingly flawless people on social media.
The people I compared myself to, they only displayed the picture-perfect side of their lives to me. The kale smoothies, the beach bods, their happy babies, and the romantic date nights with their partners. The façade that even they can only uphold on screen. At first glance, we may only see the differences between us and them. But perhaps, the biggest thing we all have in common is that we are all just works in progress.
We are all here trying to better ourselves, little by little. Whether it’s by being healthier, working harder, or living more intentionally. We are each at different chapters in the story of our lives, setting and resetting our own goals.
And in this world of comparison that we live in, we must remember that our worth is not founded on an elusive standard of perfection. We can appreciate someone else’s beauty without questioning our own, because we are each unique and beautiful and we are all just here doing the
best we can.
Words & Photography by, Dev Mearns