If I could change one thing, I would change the world’s thirst for approval. Our generation seems to thrive on it and there are so many things present in today’s world that compel us to the realms of ‘Approval’.
As this is read, a teenage girl is scrolling through her Instagram feed wondering why she isn’t like the other girls. Wondering why she doesn’t look like them and why she can’t be them. She looks at herself afterwards carefully picking upon the things she doesn’t like, the little pudge on her abdomen, the little scar on her face from falling off a tree when she was three and how the number of likes on her picture barely match those “Instagram Girls”. Drowning in the vicious ocean of approval, she begins to lose herself, inch by inch, pound by pound. What she fails to see is how her flaws don’t represent her. When looking at a painting, the first things we tend to notice are the imperfections but after some time, we look over the ‘flaws’ and let them dissolve into the masterpiece it truly is. Much like a painting, the situation is similar with people and that is why we seek their confirmation. The ones who truly matter are the ones who stick around to appreciate the pure beauty that comes after the first few moments, much like true art connoisseurs.
As people, our cravings for acceptance extend far beyond our appearance. The notion in the world today that without a significant other you are incomplete is superior. The idea is sensationalised by the media who scavenge off the remains of the ones looking for love and the ones who broke because of it. What is actually left is a group of people who succumb to this unspoken expectation which dominates most screens, books and billboards and leaves them feeling alone. Why are we conditioned to believe that we are inadequate? As a society I believe that we need to progress beyond those interdependent restrictions ad start appreciate ourselves unconditionally to stop the constant need for external approval.
As a millennial, I think many of the issues kept under wraps have been exposed in recent years. Despite this exposure, so many individuals bury their problems and issues deep within, the stereotypical ‘I don’t care’ attitude. This fear of being unable to express our true emotion puts so many people at risk of becoming unwell. All this seems to spur from that main desire; approval. So many beautiful people start to lose precious people of their personality as they’re afraid it wont be good enough to please the crowd.
Finding ways to cope with ‘it’ may lead to overindulgence in things that are temporary distractors such as food or other people. What we’re forgetting is that those perfect people online who seem to have everything you have ever wanted are usually the ones struggling to find comfort within themselves. The quest for acceptance is everlasting, making poor decisions to make you seem like a million dollar painting for those who fail to understand what art is is not worth it. It is not worth as much as embracing your unfiltered self for the knowledgeable ones who want to understand the meaning behind your exterior. What I want to change is the world’s mindset, convince them and myself that the yellow brick road to approval starts from within and what should be the final destination is loving yourself wholeheartedly.