Do you let your looks define you?

This question requires a bit of soul-searching. Countless times we tend to fixate on our exterior appearance rather than what we possess internally. Don’t get me wrong, we all want to look and feel good about ourselves. However, we shouldn’t spend our whole lives trying to live up to unrealistic expectations.

One of the things we need to understand is that we should only be tried by our intellect and not the shape of our bodies, what we wear or how tall or short we are. Many people dread getting old, once they see a wrinkle, they believe their relevance is over. This mentality shouldn’t be embraced at all. Ageing is not ‘lost youth’ but a new stage of opportunity and strength.

We definitely need to take care of our bodies and stay fit and healthy. Nevertheless, the lives we live need to have some sort of balance. Treat yourself to a nice hair cut or to a reasonable shopping spree but also, take some time to build yourself up in ways that will enable you to make a constructive change to the society around you.

When you let your looks define you, you are letting it control you. This is where you find people trying to change the colour of their skin (bleaching) because they want to impress their peers or are living up to certain expectations.

Being what you think society might accept is like living two lives. Why not be the funny, clumsy, grumpy, jolly, even irritating, person you are and if people can’t accept that, that’s their problem. We need to be around people who mould us into better versions of ourselves, rather than encourage duplication of other people.

“Being the best model of yourself is the purest thing you can offer to society. Many times we are misguided by what society portrays as “perfect” and we waste a lot of energy trying to measure up to that image. That energy concentrated into supporting and accepting each other could do more good than harm,” says Anne Mwiza, a receptionist.

Improving yourself shouldn’t be based on what other people think of you but how you perceive yourself. Collectively, we can change society’s book of rules and regulations. We can be whatever we put our minds to and that’s all we need.

“I believe making your uniqueness a strength is the only way to get by. If we stoop to the levels of those that try to bring us down, we will never evolve. Your look is not your identity, your soul is,” says Ivan Shema, a gym instructor.