Glow up culture has been going in the wrong direction for many years. ‘Glowing up’ has traditionally been seen as transforming your outer appearance only.
If you search the term up on Google and YouTube, you’ll see countless videos and articles on how to improve your appearance with makeup, fashion, and working out. And then there’s the very small portion of how to completely transform who you are on the inside.
That’s the problem. The Glow Up culture focuses TOO much on physical beauty rather than just loving who you are. Instead, we feel pressured to find what we hate about ourselves, looking at our bodies as if we are ugly.
A glow up is supposed to include becoming the best version of ourselves in ALL aspects of our lives which includes the mind, body and soul. A glow up is not going from having a ton of acne and frizzy hair to looking like a top celebrity. We need to stop having these unrealistic beauty standards.
If you don’t like who you are on the inside, you’re not going to like who you are on the outside either.
Glow up culture pressures women to constantly become more beautiful
After you’ve lost 40 pounds, you got rid of your acne, or you’ve learned how to do your makeup better, you see a new trend of how to improve your appearance. It becomes a non-stop cycle of always trying to look your best. You start to look at the extra fat in your thighs, your nose shape that you don’t like, etc. Some even start getting plastic surgery to keep improving their appearance.
It’s really unhealthy to live with this kind of mindset and it’s the opposite of glowing up. A glow up is supposed to include all the other aspects of improving your life like your mental health, confidence and relationships. It is very surface level to only focus on outward beauty and everything will fall apart if one does not focus on the foundation first.
I personally fell into this trap growing up. A lot of people told me I was beautiful, but I constantly rejected it after seeing my peers. It wasn’t until I learned to love who I am on the inside that I started to see my outer appearance is beautiful too. I don’t need makeup or fancy clothes to be beautiful.
People should instead strive to be their authentic selves
We should acknowledge that we can never be perfect or that we must prove our worth to other people. We should never try to glow up with the intention of bragging to others how much we’ve achieved or how close we are to being perfect.
There is not a standard idea of perfect. Everyone’s idea of perfect is different. We should rather try to be our best authentic selves. Do not compare yourself to other people’s achievements and beauty. Often we do not realize how beautiful we already are to other people, yet we constantly try to change ourselves.
Who is it that YOU want to be? Don’t try to copy or compete with anyone else. Finding your own style, letting yourself feel free, and being happy with your real self is the true glow up. We don’t need validation from anyone else in our effort to become the best version of ourselves.
We must change our focus to include an inner glow up
I believe the first thing that we should work on before our outer appearance is our inner appearance. What toxic mindsets and baggage have we carried for years? We need to do an inner Spring cleaning before we begin to focus on other things. The root to a glow up is falling in love with yourself in a healthy way and that includes cleaning up things that are no longer working for us.
That’s why you see so many beautiful people who have all the material success, but still feeling like their life is miserable. All this outward success is not as important as the inward success. Beauty and money will not make you feel happy if you feel like crap about who you are.
Mainstream media feeds into this by encouraging us to continue this toxic mentality
When someone wants to improve their appearance, most of the time they start buying a ton of products after what they heard works for someone else. This can get real expensive and beauty companies profit so much off of our insecurities. Influencers start advertising products way more than addressing the toxic habits that hold so many of us back.
We are not them. These celebrities and influencers have a ton of money to spend on improving their appearance and most of us do not. Save your money and invest it into something more beneficial in the long-run.
What glow up culture gets wrong is our old self was beautiful too
I often got confused when people pointed out how their former self was fat, ugly, and they had low self-esteem and now they are confident and beautiful. In their old photos, they looked adorable also and like average everyday people you can comfortably become friends with. Instead, they criticized their old photos so heavily when other people commented how beautiful they were then too.
At every stage of our lives, there are things we don’t like about ourselves, but there’s also a lot of good qualities about us too. Most of the time, we fail to see what good qualities we have because we’re constantly comparing ourselves to others. We need to recognize that our former self was beautiful also and not negatively react when someone else says they liked our former self too.
Glowing up is not a race, there is no time limit
Glowing up is more of a life-long process where we strive to improve our lives over time. You may have heard people trying to glow up before the end of the pandemic and rush to do so. That process should not be rushed and you should take your time at the best pace for you.
Currently, we are in a pandemic and so many people are rushing to have a lot of things accomplished before the end. Like many want to get rid of their acne, learn how to do their makeup well, learn as many skills as they can, but this will all lead to burnout. Take your time and set a few simple goals. We achieve more when we don’t set timelines according to what other people think.
There are other types of glow ups that people miss out on
Financial Glow Up – Learning how to budget, save for emergencies and your retirement, investing, and becoming financially independent. Most young people are not good at all of these. Your life will improve so much if you know how to manage your money well.
Mental Glow Up – Overcoming toxic mental issues, addressing childhood trauma, getting help from a therapist, learning to love yourself, becoming confident in who you are, becoming emotionally stable.
Career Glow Up – Leveling up in your career skills, knowing how to negotiate for better pay, learning the art of networking, improving your job search skills, asking for that promotion when you deserve it.
Educational Glow Up – Going back to college and getting that degree, enrolling in professional certificate programs, taking an alternative path by becoming an apprentice, researching things on your own online or through books.
A recommended glow up order:
- Acknowledging that you cannot be perfect and don’t compare yourself to others.
- Reflecting on your life and if there are any toxic things you want to change.
- Creating a list of things you want to improve in your life.
- Making an action step list to achieving those goals.
- Being consistent and measuring performance. Have an accountability partner.
- Celebrate small and big achievements.
- Help others glow up too.
What do you think of glow up culture?