Friday, December 20, 2013

Inner Beauty?

So if you've been following me for a while, you know that when I get stressed I binge watch a movie.  That movie has changed throughout the years; Aladdin, Tangled, Goodfellas, you name it.  I pick a movie and latch on and watch it multiple times a day.  This finals week I think I watched "The Devil Wears Prada" at least twenty times.  Yes I have a problem, no I'm not going to stop.
Anyways, one line in the movie really got me thinking about self image and whether I'm actually comfortable being me.  Nigel says "that's what this whole multibillion-dollar industry is all about, isn't it?  Inner beauty."  Is that all this is to designers?  To the fashion industry?  Is it just an industry?  I looked at myself with all my new clothes, obsessive need for makeup and the disdain I had at the little tummy I developed during my finals week diet of take-out and chips.  Instead of thinking about my time at home during my drive out of Boston, I kept thinking of how I was going to clear up my stress acne and lose the finals weight.  I almost had an aneurysm when my parents thought I didn't need makeup for going out to dinner to a small pub with them.
Wow what is wrong with me?  The more I thought of it, only a little of this thinking is new and I've been stressing about my appearance for years.  
I was a huge dork in high school.  I had Hermione Granger hair and my mom wouldn't let me wear makeup.  I thought the solution to the first problem was to cut it all off, and the second problem would be fixed by drying my face out because no oil meant no acne, right?  Well, wrong.  My hair turned into an afro and the dry skin only made my acne worse.  It wasn't until I almost graduated that I figured out that the weight of long hair keeps it flat and moisture actually keeps your skin from producing oil.  Turns out people aren't "naturally beautiful", they age into their awkward and learn some tips to look more put together.  Seriously, who looks normal in 8th grade and doesn't grow up to be a stripper or something?  At least that's what I tell myself.
Also to top it off, I was on the science team (loved it though!)
I was the entire nerd package.
The point is, did I really change much after learning these things?  No not really...   I'm still kind of a socially damaged chemical engineer at MIT.  Do I have more confidence?  Yes, definitely.  For me, looking put together tells people, "hey, I know what I'm doing".  Being put together is a way of showing that since I put the time into looking professional, you can put time into listening to my ideas.  Is this truly what happens?  No clue.  But it does give me more confidence when I go to a conference or a job interview.  
So back to Devil Wears Prada.  Can we really separate inner and outer beauty?  I'm starting to think not.  Yes one is artificially crafted by people making millions of dollars off of me being a sheep, but I think that having that beauty leads to the other.  Having nice hair and dressing in clothes that compliment you can increase your self confidence dramatically.  I have the confidence to walk up to people and present myself and my ideas without worrying what they're thinking about my appearance.  The point is, I'm not really seeing a need to differentiate "inner" and "outer" beauty, to me they go hand in hand.

Plus clothes are pretty ;)

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