Wanting what you don’t and/or can’t have, especially when it comes to your looks and your self-esteem. It’s a worldwide phenomenon, and whether or not it is ingrained in human nature, or just strategically placed there by ingenious marketing companies, we really should try to overcome this.
I remember being in India and being shocked by a bulletin for a Skin Lightening cream. It wasn’t shocking in the sense that it was so different or risqué, but rather that It was the same add I would see all over the place in Boston for a skin tanning cream, only it was reversed. For us sun deprived light skinned Bostonians the cosmetic companies advertise bronzers and skin darkeners. For those living on the other side of the world, they push them on skin lighteners. It’s pretty genius, I mean, how do we really know what’s going on over there? Even in this globalized generation, much of the information we get via newspapers, news shows, and the like are all censored. And the information is probably available on the internet, but we’re too busy trying to figure out the newest Facebook layout to actually do any research.
I get tired of sticking out all the time while living in Costa Rica. Some people can pull off just blending in wherever they go, but blondes, they can not do this. When I walk in the room I might as well be draped in an American Flag blasting Springsteen’s “Born in the USA” out of a 1980’s style boombox. It’s that bad. On the other hand, I have many people, especially my young students, telling me they wish they had my straight dark blond hair and bluish eyes. I, on the other hand have always wanted curls, or waves, or SOMETHING, and think deep brown eyes are the prettiest. WHY???
Again, in India, while visiting the Taj Mahal one day with Ross, tons of people (Indian natives) kept coming up and requesting to take pictures with me. The whole time I couldn’t get over the fact that we were standing in front of one of the original 7 wonders of the World, and people were interested in taking pictures of ME. I went along with it, and when we addressed this to some of Ross’ Indian coworkers after they told us that it was because often times, the only blonde people Indians have seen were movie stars. And porn stars. Oh great, I just posed for pictures with people who thought/ were hoping I was a porn star. No big deal. I almost went out and bought some dark hair dye right there and then, but I’m glad I didn’t. Now thanks to me, maybe some of those Indian’s will realize there are nice blonde American girls who have careers other than starring in any kind of movies.
I really do think traveling helps open one’s eyes to situations like this. If nothing else, it gives you appreciation and understanding for other people and other cultures, and makes you realize how beautiful it all is. And then you realize the reason it is so beautiful is because we are all so different, and thank goodness for that. I definitely wish traveling wasn’t so expensive, and almost wish it was required. If everyone saw the world for what it really was, I think we’d be living in a much different place.
We are not all meant to be the same (how boring would that be, seriously!). Trying to fit into an impossible stereotype of beauty will probably only cause you to feel bad about yourself and spend a lot of money on ridiculous things that are probably bad for you in the long run (skin creams, diet pills, shake weights, etc.) Today try to embrace those things that make you, you and worry less about the things that make you different from Angelina Jolie.