Consider the following phrase without any religious overtones, “your body is but a vessel.” The implication is that the body is just a container for what is truly important – you! In our superficial modern society, we have certainly lost sight of this. The thing that bugs me most is not that people are obsessed with their appearances – external beauty is something everyone is no doubt attracted to, and this attraction is probably hardwired into us biologically. What bugs me is that people’s whole identity is too often controlled by their external appearance. It’s not just “I’m too fat, and I’m not pretty,” but the more disturbing, “No one wants to talk to me, and I’m a nobody.”
Ouch. Since when are we fated at birth to belong in the scrap heap forever? Ok, some things are more difficult to do, like becoming an actress or a model, but even those things are not impossible. What about Danny DeVito and Rosie O’Donnell? And if you can’t make it as an actor/actress, there are so many other things you could be doing with your abilities.
Your sense of self worth should not depend on what you look like. Take the example of Abraham Lincoln. He was not a model by any stretch of the imagination. Lest you think he looked better as a young man, I included a picture of young Abe. He was skinny and tall like a beanpole, had a twangy voice, and looked “like a monkey” according one of his contemporaries. And yet he was intelligent, witty, and became one of America’s most acclaimed presidents.
To truly feel a sense of belonging in this world, you must first be at peace with yourself – this includes being comfortable in your own body! It doesn’t matter if you are tall, short, big boned, or rail thin. Sure, there are things I wouldn’t mind “improving” about my body, but that doesn’t define who I am. Rather than trying to be perfect on the outside, why not make yourself the person you want to be on the inside? External beauty is only skin deep and doesn’t last; inner beauty radiates as brilliantly as the sun and shines throughout your lifetime. It may even last forever; just look at the person whom the title of this piece is most associated with.