Deceptive Beauty Ideals & Why They're A Waste Of Time

If someone gets plastic surgery and they are praised for their beauty, are you complimenting them or their doctor? And does it matter?

This happened to me recently. I was on Instagram when an older photo of Bella Hadid popped up on my explore page... and I was shocked. Just a few years ago, she looked completely different, aside from your usual teenage awkwardness that mostly everyone goes through.

While I've admired her photos from all the fashion weeks, follow her on Instagram and generally, think she looks stunning, I've always figured that maybe she resembled her mom more, rather than her dad (Yolanda Hadid, a former model, is Dutch, and her father, Mohamed, is Palestinian).

However, this #TBT pic really threw me off.  She looked almost unrecognizable. 

Could this REALLY be what she used to look like? Was this someone else? Maybe it was just a friend or something. When I Googled it and realized that this photo actually was her, I almost felt deceived.

All this time, I'd been thinking and, if I'm being honest, borderline envying how beautiful Bella is. Come to find out, her features that are helping her book all these huge modeling gigs aren't the ones she was born with. 

So it got me thinking... we spend so much time praising these supermodels, celebs and people who we think are the image of "beauty" -- but sometimes, those features aren't even THEIRS to begin with. Sure, they paid for the surgery and it's still their body, but aren't we nearly idolizing a lie, at the end of the day?

We are envying a manmade alteration, instead of a God-given creation.

Those symmetrical features that are seen as beautiful, anyone can have, if they had the money, desire, etc.

So what are we really wishing for? Desiring? Coveting? I seriously had to check myself. 

Most days, I'm happy with what I was born with and am proud that I refuse to wipe away my ancestry from my face by choosing not to get plastic surgery. It took studying abroad in Italy when I was in college and seeing statues with features just like mine to prove to myself that these Western standards weren't always what defined beauty.

But hey, to each its own. Whatever makes you happy at the end of the day, go for it, but hopefully you do it for the right reasons, not to fit a mold.  For everyone else who wishes they could have features like these models and celebrities -- I challenge you to look harder and see beyond the perfect presentation.

Instead of spending that time aspiring to achieve these nearly impossible beauty ideals, we should all work more on loving what we were born with. 

This is not meant to "shade" anyone who has decided to get plastic surgery or alter their appearance in any way. This is merely my recent observation and me wanting to get candid about this.

But hey, maybe it's just me.

[ Sidenote: My friend Kirbie has an amazing show called Pretty Unfiltered, which dives deeper into this topic. Check it out for a ton of candid celeb interviews about beauty. ]