We have been our own worst critic since the dawn of time. We can be down right ruthless with ourselves. If we talked to others the way we talk to ourselves, we would push away a lot people from our lives. Even when it comes to our looks we can be critical. From the bump on our nose to the shape of our toes. The truth is most of these things don’t even matter.
We are bombarded with images of perfection on a daily basis fron television and movies to magazines and billboard ads. We have perfect bodies flooding our visual sense everyday. How does this effect our internal mirror? By nature we are a species that compares and contrasts everything we see and hear because it allows us to create, improve and survive. We want to find the best qualities in people for the survival of our genes. Not to mention that we are wired to be attracted to beauty. The more we see these images the more it gives us an imperfect view of the real world around us.
We see these images of perfection so much that we start to compare ourselves with what we feel is the average person out there, but what we think is average has been tampered with by Photoshop and hours of hair and makeup. That average has been falsely altered.
If you are not active and live like a hermit, how are you supposed to know what real people look like? If you spend most of your day in a tiny office or at home watching television, your view of the real world can be very misinterpreted. It’s important to get a real perspective. Even here in Hollywood, which some have called ground zero for beauty, it hardly compares to the depictions of Hollywood that are on television via shows like Entourage. If all you know of Hollywood is that show, you would be in shock from the reality of it. Don’t get me wrong, we have some of the worlds most beautiful women here, but if you walk down Hollywood Blvd. you will not see model after model except on billboards and advertisements.
Being repeatedly shown these images, how are we going to look at ourselves with all of our insecurities and imperfections and feel good? We know all of our failures, weaknesses and faults. It’s easy to beat ourselves up. It’s easy to see how low self-esteem runs rampant in our society. Then when it comes to strangers it is easy to rate them higher than ourselves because we don’t see the failures and flaws that they see in themselves.
Do you remember when you looked at women from a far? Some seemed like perfect works of art. Then after approaching and getting to know some of these women, they don’t seem so pretty and perfect. Their true colors of self-worth come pouring out. Their imperfections start to show. You now notice the little things and even then, we sometimes write some of these imperfections off as character or that it adds to her beauty.
A study done by Psychologists Ann Demarais and Valerie White showed that subjects that had listened to what other people said, smiled and lightly touched other people were rated more attractive than the people who were standoffish and unfriendly. They did not even notice the imperfections that the subjects thought would hinder their attractiveness ratings. I’ve personally seen it many times with students who have come in. I remember on two occasions when I had done a coaching call with clients before they came in for their program, telling me about their acne and skin issues. Then when I finally met them, I thought I might have spoken to someone else because I did not see these problems. They were carrying around an image of themselves from their teen years to this day.
Make sure that your internal mirrors are cleaned up. You are probably more attractive than you give yourself credit for. Make sure those mirrors are giving you real world feed back about how you look and feel and remember that social skills, listening and positive emotions go hand in hand with physical attractiveness. Beauty is the bait to get us to say hi. It’s everything else that builds the real attraction and solidifies it.