How To Stop Comparing Yourself to Celebrities & Feel Like One Yourself

Culture & Society, Learning To Love Yourself, Re-framing Your Thinking

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“ I finally realized that beauty was not a thing I could acquire or consume. It was something I just had to be. And what my mother meant when she said you can’t eat beauty was that you can’t rely on how you look to sustain you.”

Lupita Nyong’o

When I was younger, the only thing I wanted was to look different. I didn’t want to be the Asian, the exotic one.

But I couldn’t pay for plastic surgery. I couldn’t dye my hair, and I didn’t know that colored contacts existed.

I just knew that I was different.

There weren’t people who looked like me in the mainstream media. I didn’t have any role models, save for figure skaters. It irked me when people said things that they loved a celebrity or they felt like they knew them personally.

We all know the media projects a certain image of people in the public eye. Yeah, that one heartthrob might sound like your Prince Charming on paper, but wouldn’t you rather find someone who loves you for who you are instead of who you are in the public eye?

Yeah, I thought so.

But then I realized that I didn’t have to know the celebrity. I liked the celebrity because I resonated with something in their essence. I didn’t need to grow up with them to do that.

Because the things qualities you admire in people are already in you.

Yes, you read that right.

I’m going to say this again.

You possess the qualities you admire in others.

So how do you start to feel like you can take over the world?

 1.    Ask yourself this ONE question: What qualities do I admire in (insert person’s name here)?

I don’t care who it is. It can be a friend, family member, or a celebrity. If the answers you’re coming up with are, “Because he/she seems nice,” or “Because he/she is talented,” dig deeper. What do you admire about them?

I’m not saying it’s bad to love a person because they seem nice or because they’re talented, but loving a person because of their talent and kindness doesn’t do much when it comes to making you feel like you can take over the world.

Take Jennifer Lawrence for example.  (Yes, I am a fan.)

What do I love about Jennifer Lawrence?

I love the fact that she is refreshingly honest and candid for someone in the entertainment industry. She’s authentic.

Yes, I am one of the thousands of people out there that have  gravitated toward that authenticity. Knowing that that I have the capacity somewhere inside me to release my inner J-Law makes me feel pretty darn awesome, if I do say so myself.

Knowing you have an inner celebrity (or whoever you admire) makes you feel pretty awesome huh?

2.    Write These Qualities Down

 

According to The Positivity Blog, writing things down works. It lets you focus. And we all know that in this world where we live by going from screen to screen that our attention spans are….well, you know.

I mean, I don’t know about you, but I feel pretty invincible when I look at my list and know that I can pull out my inner Beyonce or inner J-Law when I feel like it.

And that satisfaction, that feeling of invincibility, is CRUCIAL to taking back your sense of self-worth. You can buy all the makeup and plastic surgery in the world, but inner beauty does more. Inner beauty “inflames the heart and enchants the soul…there is no shade in that beauty.”

Who do YOU like to channel that makes you feel like you can take over the world?

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How Japan Has Made Me Count My Blessings

Culture & Society, Travel

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(Image Credit: Pinterest)

Sometimes it takes going out of your comfort zone to realize how blessed you are.

I arrived in Japan at 15 armed with clothes to ward off the sweltering heat and what I thought was a solid vocabulary, but that confidence quickly dissipated when I heard my family try to converse with me at a normal speed. I was the American, the exotic one. They broke down words and spoke to me like a 5 year old the minute they saw my eyebrow furrowing.

It gave me an opportunity to try to take a backseat and listen rather than talk.

Watching my friends and family, I learned that a “nice” Japanese woman wasn’t supposed to be outspoken; she couldn’t accept compliments, either. You weren’t supposed to take care of yourself before you took care of others.

When an interviewer would ask a young actor what sort of woman he found attractive (a question nearly always asked in Japanese entertainment television), the answer was almost always something along the lines of an attractive woman who would cook, clean, do all the things men “weren’t supposed to do.”

The roles I saw in television shows only served to emphasize that description. The magazines were worse. Big, glossy publications filled with pictures of airbrushed models who had unnaturally big eyes, dyed hair and pale skin or came from mixed racial backgrounds were plastered everywhere. Friends of mine and young girls on the street (who were perfectly beautiful) would look at these images and say to their friends that they wanted a lighter skin tone, lighter hair, to be of mixed racial origin because that was what was considered pretty.

I had done that too. Oh the power of the media.

Don’t get me wrong. I love Japan for many reasons. The public transportation system is reliable (and clean), the food is incredible, and the people are extremely polite. Not to mention that the department stores are incredibly well organized and meticulously put together. Where else would you find a customer service representative willing to give you a waterproof bag to put your purchases in so that they don’t get ruined on your walk to the train station?

I understand that as someone who has never lived in the country for an extended period of time, my views may be biased. There are plenty of things about the country’s culture that I don’t understand. But that doesn’t mean that travel can’t teach you anything about yourself and life.

Doing things just because you’re told “you should” doesn’t guarantee you’ll be happy (or healthy)

Many friends of mine are in unfulfilling jobs just to have the safety net of financial security. They do it so their parents won’t worry about them. But that financial security comes at the expense of their passions. Inevitably, the phrase, “I wish I could” comes up in our discussions revolving around the job market. I feel for them. Many aren’t in a position to just pack up and go. Watching them shows me how blessed I am to have the family I do, and live in a society where it’s OK to forge your own path instead of going down the beaten track.

Find things that you like about yourself in order to stop comparisons

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(Image Credit: Pinterest)

This one is a tall order. It’s much easier said than done. Comparing myself to the models in magazines and television only served to make me feel awful about my own appearance when I looked perfectly fine.

It wasn’t until I was back in the States that I realized something. Sure, I would have liked to have avoided the condescending stares in the trains, and sure, I didn’t look like Yuri Ebihara or Meisa Kuroki (the two models pictured above) but I loved having the confidence to wake up every morning knowing that I didn’t need to paint my face to feel beautiful. (This is not to condemn makeup. Makeup can alter a person’s appearance and thereby give them a degree of confidence, which is never a bad thing. I personally prefer going makeup-free.) Finding little things like that about yourself that you appreciate can help build your confidence without the media telling you to do one thing or another.

“The media can be an instrument of change. It can awaken people and change minds. It depends on who’s piloting the plane.”

                                                                       -Katie Couric, MissRepresentation, 2010

Keeping your emotions in check on account of others = not good

Too often, I’ve had 3 way discussions with acquaintances and friends, where one friend says something, and the second the third person is out of earshot, they turn to me and say what they really think, which often turns out to be the opposite of what they actually said.

It’s true that there are situations that arise where it’s not entirely appropriate to voice certain opinions, which vary from culture to culture. Try to be aware of that. But I’m a firm believer that honesty is better in the long run. If you keep suppressing your opinion, the frustration builds, and without a good outlet for that energy…well, things don’t always turn out pretty.

Age is just a number

You can be in your eighties and still act like a child having a tantrum. You can be in your twenties and enjoy things that people in their fifties do. Young people can be wise beyond their years. The idea that the older you are, the wiser you are, is not always true.

Read between the lines

Sometimes the things that aren’t said are the most powerful and profound moments.

Ask for what you want

If you don’t ask for it, or make your goals known, the answer will always be no. You never know who will be able to help you. Silence will get you nowhere in life.

Are there any particularly profound lessons you’ve learned while traveling abroad?