The Meaning of Our Looks

Anton Shackelford
Jul 3 · 3 min read

I’ve long been of the mindset that looks aren’t everything when it comes to life. I mean, truly, the main part of looks is to express yourself, right? Why is it that looks have become so narrowed down and predictable though?

The answer is a lot more obvious than you may think. You see, I didn’t really catch on to what everyone consumes like it’s normal until a few years ago, because I suppose I just didn’t actually give it the thought it deserves.

We’re in a time that media is able to push just about anything towards us and we’ll take it as truth. And the reason we consume this news so readily is because it’s in our faces without us having to do any work.

Media used to be for documenting things that happened. For telling it like it is. But as with all things in the western world, money became the big reason to do this. And so, different media outlets have different agendas. A big one that came barreling forward in the latter part of the 20th century was entertainment media. That’s when celebrities began being thrust into the spotlight, and everyone wanted to look like and act like their favorite stars.

Well, guess what happened? Tanning caught on as a movement for beauty. Makeup has evolved exponentially since the age of this sort of media and even with the dawn of the Internet. Plastic surgeries grew far more popular. And high end clothing brands started seeing returns like no other.

It’s all because something was forced in our faces. And yet people consume it like their own personal bibles in order to stay with the times and trends.

Really, this all seems to boil down to sex appeal. “If I can just look like _____ then I’ll get any guy I want!”

The problem is that this is a shallow way of socializing. Anyone worth truly wanting to be your friend wouldn’t care about your fake looks so much as your natural beauty (which is admittedly a part of our chemistry in being attracted to other humans). But they’d also care about something else more: your sense of expression and character.

Clothes should be about expression. What you look like should be about expression. If you feel you like a certain color or style, wear it for you. The same comes with your dental health. If you feel like you want white and healthy teeth because it’s good for you but also because it’s beneficial in your potential meetings with other humans, go for it. But you also cannot be blamed for slacking on that end if you care about other things in life. Just don’t let it get out of hand.