3 min read

our obsession with beauty is dystopian

our obsession with beauty is dystopian
Photo by - - / Unsplash

I'm obsessed with beauty. I'm obsessed with my looks. I'm obsessed with preventing hair loss and preserving my skin and eating this not that and exercising 12x a week and looking good in my dating profile.

I'm not alone.

I'm a stand-in for many people in society.

Aliens would find it absolutely ridiculous if they came and observed. They'd see us as animals, pursuing status and mates in this way. Rubbing creams on our faces before bed, dutifully clocking our hours at the gym and eating this not that. Pursuing symmetry or whatever the beauty standard our biology + Tiktok gives us.

We're like peacocks fanning their feathers to be attractive.

It's all incredibly try hard.

I know me and my single guy friends, we put a lot of effort into beauty or looksmaxxing or whatever and IMO we need some perspective. At times our body is a source of insecurity. It's just so suspicious the number of my friends that are into fashion or losing weight right now. The amount of mindshare these activities has for us... it's fascinating. We're all playing this game together and we forget it's a game. If starving poor people from the French revolution days came and looked at us... idk they'd be like man, in 2024 they really have no perspective.

It's real bad.

Vanity is at an all-time high right now with Instagram culture.

I can tell because if I had to shave my head and wear ill fitting ugly clothes and gain 10 pounds, I'd feel quite shitty. This is telling. Seneca would tell me to do it anyway.

(The Internet leaves us overly concerned about aesthetics. Relatedly I felt bad that my room was ugly before I redecorated it. And it's just like... why the fuck did it matter? Bc of all the pretty rooms on the Internet.)

Further I'm also obsessed with the appearance of beautiful women: I'm picky on dating apps as if I'm The Bachelor. Truthfully it comes from being single for too long IMO - I focus on the surface level qualities of women. I further the male gaze. I don't think enough about how smart, funny, kind women are. I just focus on their bodies.

I had my eyes opened watching the movie Shallow Hal.

In the movie, the protagonist is hypnotized by Tony Robbins to see the inner beauty of women (instead of their outer beauty).

I could really use that hypnosis. Our mindset as a society is entrenched. It's difficult for me to switch OFF valuing outer beauty and switch ON valuing inner beauty.

The problem is not the obsession with beauty itself necessarily, the problem is what the obsession takes away from. The obsession takes away from the real qualities we want to pay attention to and cultivate and encourage in people — kindness, warmth, character, etc.

In modern society we receive little moral instruction. Benjamin Franklin practiced virtues. The church preached us to avoid the seven deadly sins. Today we get influencers on Instagram preaching fitness and skincare and beauty. Again, this content is not entirely bad - it's good to be healthy for one thing - but it sucks we focus on optimizing outer beauty instead of optimizing for more helpful values.

There's hope.

We just have to learn to see inner beauty.

We have to notice when people are kind and loyal and caring. And when they're smart and funny and creative.

If you want to find a Life Partner, look for someone with the following traits: loyalty, kindness, emotional stability, and a growth mindset.

- Logan Ury

Fortunately inner beauty is all around us.

Keep an eye out.

The best part? Once you start noticing inner beauty, you can't stop.

P.S. wrote about something similar in 2020