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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

Advice from the Arts Editor: Self-acceptance

Olivia Reid
A student looks to Vogue for some outfit inspiration as winter approaches. Photo by Olivia Reid / Mass Media Staff

Picture yourself walking into a room. How do you enter the room? How is everyone else reacting? Are they looking at you, or are they carrying on with the conversations? If you are anything like me, you imagine everyone is looking at you and making quick judgements on your appearance, the way you’re walking and how you’re carrying yourself.

You might imagine how you can blend into the background so no one notices—so no one could possibly think negative things about you. Because how could someone think negatively about you if they don’t notice you?

In that situation, you will never know what everyone in that room is thinking about you, and also, you will never be able to make sure everyone thinks only positive things about you. It’s impossible, and trying to do so will create such a huge headache with absolutely no cure.

Everyone develops these insecurities over what other people think of you. It’s human. It’s natural. But it’s the weight that you place on these insecurities that matters in the long run.

When I was in high school, I used to have these friends that would constantly judge every single person around them. I thought this was how everyone acted for so long, before I realized that wasn’t true. It was just because they were insecure and projecting their insecurities onto other people.

By the time I got out of those friendships, it had already taken a huge toll on how I viewed both myself and others. It changed how I viewed myself in situations, like when I walked into a room of people, and it took more than a full year to change my thought pattern.

I started to realize how I viewed people. I didn’t judge people at first glance. I wasn’t looking at their outfits, their hair or how they held themselves. When I spoke to someone, I wasn’t judging how they spoke or what they said. I was listening to their words. I cared about what they had to say. And that was the difference.

When you’re interacting with people, you want to focus on who they are, not what they look like, and you will attract the same energy in return. If you think about it, if you never hear what everyone else is thinking about you—which you don’t—it’s like it never happened.

It goes back to that old thought experiment that says if a tree falls with no one around to hear it, did it ever make a sound? Humans weren’t meant to hear every single thought that anyone has ever thought about them.

In the new age of the internet and social media, we are open to the idea that millions and millions of people, that we shouldn’t even know, exist. People from all over now know the opinions of others that live on the opposite side of the world as them. These thoughts come from different cultures and have different contexts that we just can’t understand.

Putting weight on the opinions of over seven billion people around the world is insane. The only person’s opinion that should matter is your own. Accepting yourself for who you are creates so much peace in your mind. It’s like the billions of voices buzzing in your head are silenced.

After I accepted myself, I started to feel pity for the people that thought negatively about me, because it’s sad. It’s sad that they are so unsure of themselves that they have to tear everyone down in the process. It’s sad that they have no peace. It’s sad that the billions of voices are just buzzing in their head non-stop. Feel pity for those people and you will start to feel liberated.

About the Contributors
Rena Weafer, Arts Editor
Olivia Reid, Photo Editor