September 1, 2015

Its been a while since my last diary post, so tonight I'll be writing about one of the things that's been on my mind lately, my ideal self.

An idealized version of yourself 
created out of what you have learned 
from your life experiences, the demands of society, 
and what you admire in your role models.

For this semester I have a class called Photo Communication and our first assignment was to take two portraits and two photos related to emotion. The portraits can be selfies or of other people, but our lecturer advised us not to edit the photos. I initially thought of taking other people's photos instead of myself, but one day while I was playing with the camera I decided to take a selfie.

As you probably already know, I photoshop my photos a lot and I have to say, it is something that don't feel confident without. I feel like every photo needs to be perfect. This mindset led me to photoshop the shiz out of the selfie and this was what I got:

(I'd post the original photo as well but the difference is just too...disturbing that I'd rather not)

And after staring at the picture for a while, I started to think: who was this? Is this how I see myself? Is this how I want to look like? Is this my ideal self?

First of all, editing my face has become somewhat of a natural thing for me to do, so in my mind there is a specific image that I see. So I guess this IS how I see myself.

Second, I know that I don't look like this in reality, but after getting used to the image that's in my head, of course I want the image to become my reality. So again, yes, this is how I want to look like.

Third, yes, in terms of aesthetics and looks, I would say that this photo represents my ideal self. Fair, slim nose, V-shaped chin, defined jaw, and perfect skin. To be perfectly honest with you, the only thing I don't edit at all are my eyes (okay maybe once every 100 photos but not by a lot also). I would say that my eyes are my favourite and my best features.

An ideal self is created from what you have learned from life experiences, what society demands and what you admire in your role models. In terms of life experiences, I guess everybody knows: good looking people have an advantage over those who don't look as good. It's sad, but true. There may be people who are satisfied with their looks, but I think everyone has something that bothers them. I don't think you'll ever find anyone who wants to look worse. Be it skin colour, face shape, eye shape, etc, everyone has their insecurities. 

As for what society demands, I would say that Malaysia isn't as bad as other Asian countries like Korea, Japan, China and Thailand where the standard of beauty is set really high. Although it isn't the same, you can still see traces of society's standards all around us. Society says people with V-shaped faces are pretty. Tall and straight noses are pretty. Fair skin is pretty. Double eyelids are pretty. Full lips are pretty. The list goes on and on.

I would say I look up to celebrities a lot, especially Korean ones. My role models all look a certain way, which makes ME want to look the same way. I've always envied stars and think to myself "I could look like that if I changed this or changed that."

In the end of the day, my ideal self is just that: an idealized version of myself. Have I ever thought of making it into a reality? Many, many times. I admit, I am a vain person. Plastic surgery is looked down upon by  a lot of people, and most times people who have gone under the knife receive ridicule, badmouthing and a negative light. To be honest, I've never seen people who have gone under plastic surgery as any of these. I see them as brave people who know what they want and make them happen.

To be honest I'm a bit torn on the topic as well because a valid point against PS would be to find satisfaction in what you already have and to be thankful to God. But on the other hand, is it really that bad to go through with it even if it will make you happy? I'm not saying that everyone should get surgery to look like one certain way (because that would destroy everyone's uniqueness), but is it really that bad if someone fixes just one or two of their insecurities? Why do people with braces not get the same hate when braces alter a person's whole look just as much? You may argue that it's for oral health, but you gotta be honest, most people go for braces because their teeth aren't that pretty and they want to straighten them. What if it was the same situation with a nose? What if it grew up crooked and someone wanted to straighten it?

I'm not saying that I want plastic surgery, I'd probably never even have the guts (or the dough) to go through with it. But  to achieve my ideal self, plastic surgery is a method that I have considered many times. Its a common topic between myself and some of my friends and my brother. I just wanted to share with you some of my thoughts on the matter and I hope no one sees this post as negative (because its in no way negative hahaha). To achieve your ideal self is to attain self actualization, and I believe that the thought of lowering the standard of your ideal self to meet your actual self is just as reasonable as modifying your actual self to meet your ideal self.

Thanks for reading this post and listening to one of my recent brain babies (shall we call all of my long thoughts brain babies from now on hahaha)! Leave a comment below if you wanna let me know what you think about your ideal self, self actualization, happiness, plastic surgery or satisfaction :)

Again, thanks for reading!

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