Today I will be discussing the journey of self-acceptance in the age of glowing up. Glowing up can be referred to as the process undergoing an extreme makeover either physically, mentally, and/or emotionally. This new culture has been beneficial in motivating many people to achieve their life-long goals and committing to lifestyle changes. On the other hand, this culture has cultivated a need for everyone to have their own "glow-up", unwanted or not.
Nothing is black or white and the glow-up culture is not inherently evil.
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So let's get into the good, the bad, and the ugly!
The physical glow-up refers to a body transformation. This can be done for health or aesthetic reasons.
Completely changing your body is a difficult task not many succeed at. It takes dedication, motivation, and consistency. Glow-up culture provides positive motivation through support and visualization. It also brings to attention to those who are demotivated that change is possible if you put your mind to it. It shifts the mindset from complacent and "I can't change who I am" to "I have the power to create change". This is a great mindset to have when striving for your personal goals and can lead to success and discipline outside of the physical glow-up.
The physical glow-up culture has high standards. Unless you have embarked on a jaw dropping transformation, it is not seen as anything special in particular. "Trendy bodies" are an issue with physical glow up as well. People with normal and healthy bodies now feel pressured to attain the Kendall Jenner figure or Megan Thee Stallion body. Physical glow-up does not speak on self-love or discuss the prevalence of extrinsic motivation in changing your body.
The physical glow-up is focused on results but not the means. This opens up a situation in which people are willing to go to unhealthy extremes just so they can glow up to the unattainable standards set out by social media. The dark side and the struggles are glossed over providing a false narrative to the entire sentiment- which can be especially dangerous to young individuals. There are anorexia starter guides and TikTok on how to lose an unhealthy amount of weight each month and there's no filter. This is misinformation about the dangers of obesity and its undeniable links to a. Healthy at every size is a false narrative drummed up by unhealthily people to feel accepted. Also, people shame others for being comfortable with the body they love since it does not fit in the model-thin or model-thick archetype.
The mental glow-up refers to the transformation of a way of thinking. This can be done to raise self-confidence and increase personal security.
Mental health has been discarded for many years and has (and is still) heavily stigmatized. The newfound openness about personal mental struggles helps people feel supported and motivate them to change their ways of thinking.
Most of the mental health glow-up is focused on being a "bad b*tch that doesn't take sh*t"- which is great for some but not for all. There is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to learning confidence. The "loud" confidence is now popular but is not the only type. Moving in silence is an art that is lost in this culture because of direct opposition to showing off and bragging. This is also an issue with self-diagnosing mental health issues which can be dangerous, confidence and drinking more water isn't the cure to all mental health issues.
Most of the mental health glow-up is focused on DIY to get better but this is not possible for everyone. Clinical and medical intervention is needed sometimes and therapy needs to be at the forefront of mental health awareness. Primary information on depression, anxiety, self-harm etc should not be coming from TikTok but from the mouths of health care professionals. Also, with the growing awareness of mental health issues also came the trivial, deprecating humour. This may be a way to cope but can also hurt the cause at the end of the day. Depression is not quirky and having mental health issues shouldn't be a crutch- unlike what is portrayed on social media.
The emotional glow-up refers to the transformation of handling and portraying emotions in difficult situations. This usually involves stoicism and indifference.
The emotional glow-up is great for over-thinkers. It is teaching us to be unapologetically you and to focus on ourselves. It teaches people not to spend their life thinking about the past and what could have been but to move on and see what can be.
This indifference, once again, is not one size fits all. Emotions are now tacky and caring about seemingly trivial things is seen as weak. These things are natural human emotions but the emotional glow-up culture considers it unnecessary. Breaking up with someone or losing a friend is a situation that can cause you to feel anger and sadness but this culture promotes suppression instead of catharsis.
The emotional glow-up has bred a culture in which criticism is impossible and always comes from a place of hate. This can breed narcissism and inept social skills in the workplace etc. Criticism and feedback are crucial in growing and becoming better and if we lose this we lose self-awareness and sensibilities.
My Final Thoughts
Glow-up culture has many benefits but it still has its drawbacks. Nothing in life is perfect, especially something born from social media. Glow-up culture is a great starting point for creating change in your life but one must go beyond the initial point of contact and research, learn, and grow with accredited information.
What do you think of glow-up culture? Do you agree with my take or do you have a different opinion on glow-up culture? Let me know in the comments below!
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