So, before I begin I must state that I love One Direction. I love what they have achieved and how they achieved it. Any act who didn’t take first place on the X Factor but then goes on to smash it regardless, will always hold a place in my heart. Especially if they are five, attractive boys, who i’m almost certain are old enough now for me to admit that.
Of course they won a BRIT Award for their debut single, “What makes You Beautiful” from their debut studio album, “Up All Night” and of course this song was written for them. Savan Kotecha and it’s producers sculptured this pop masterpiece that would educate teens across the world on what, exactly, makes them beautiful.
Luckily I was 24 years old when this single was released. I’d explored myself in many ways and had established a ‘me’ I was going to work with for the foreseeable future. Now, i’m not saying everyone should ‘find themselves’ or ‘be sure of who they are’, frankly, I think that’s a load of drivel. Do what you like, when you like, without hurting anyone one along the way (unless you’re genuinely being cruel to be kind) and that’s you. Simple. With three minutes and eighteen seconds to fill, the video displays yet another insanely attractive girl, and we are supposed to believe she is insecure and THAT is what makes her beautiful? No. let’s be realistic. If i was given three minutes to fill with what makes someone beautiful to me, i’d like to think I could come up with something a little more creative, believable and just a little less generic and cheesy. Let’s inject a message to the teens of this generation that everyone is beautiful.
Anyway, enough about One D, and more about what does, in fact, make you beautiful.
OK, so ‘Beauty is only skin deep’ is a proverb first found in the work of sir Thomas Overbury back in 1613, yet we are 403 years on and still don’t seem any closer to believing it. Everyday I am saturated in the monotonous yet equally addictive social media platforms containing a never ending source of images of ‘beautiful’ people. As a 26 year old women, I find it impossible not to get swallowed up into the world of social media and I am guilty of selfies, the occasional boast and shameful self plugging antics, but as striking as the ‘Earlybird’ filter is, it hasn’t once fooled me into believing it. not once have I ever looked at an image and genuinely wished I was that person. That comes with being comfortable in yourself, as you. Sadly, I believe my generation was the last to achieve total self complacency. As a 90’s kid, I grew up on the streets playing kirby in my cycling shorts, football shorts and mud speckled on my cheeks. now replaced with FaceTime, hot pants, crop top and blusher.
Now that’s what makes me beautiful; The ability to speak my mind, my sense of humour and most importantly seeing the beauty within other people. As yourself the same question next time you’re drooling over that airbrushed thigh gap. And whilst you’re at it, ask yourself if you want to waste your precious years, months and minutes wishing you were someone else. If so, be my guest. But I can assure you, your humour, wit, intelligence, confidence, personality and honesty would captivate me more than any false lash or fake winter tan ever could.