The culture of today is focused on aesthetics. To some it may be no more than just a word, but to others it is the air we breathe. It is what we are trying to achieve in the way we dress, the way our room is decorated, the angle of our selfie or the appearance of the food on our plate at lunch. To some, aesthetics is the goddess of acceptance.
We turn our personal lives into an aesthetic environment where everything, even our plastered smiles, is Instagram perfect and fits our theme. If our friend doesn’t “fit” the aesthetic they are either left out, asked to change, or we just filter their face so they won’t stick out like a sore, non-aesthetic thumb. Some are even shallow enough to choose the friends they hang out with based on whether or not such friends are aesthetically pleasing, or fit their own personal aesthetic. Talk about being a diva; that takes the cake.
I’ve even seen mental illnesses turned into an aesthetic setting. There is a trending hashtag, #bloodaesthetics (mostly used to beautify self-harm or to glorify gore) and many “thin inspiration” aesthetic accounts for those with Anorexia and/or Bulimia, as well as several self-harm and suicide aesthetic accounts. People take something so dark and painful and turn it into this eye candy for others to enjoy. I find that sick, and honestly just wonder where all this madness will end.
Aesthetics, very simply, means “having a sense of the beautiful” and although I understand how appealing that is and believe that there is a place for it, I think we can take it too far. We are turning life into something artificial and shallow and forgetting about the importance of what lies underneath the surface.
Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy and love beautiful things. But life is not all beauty, and there is a valid place for the pain and the ugliness. I feel like my generation needs to take a step back and ponder the blood, sweat, and tears that brought us to where we are today. If we understood what our ancestors went through to pay for our freedom, we’d care a little less about how our perfectly manicured nails look while we hold up our $8 coffee and worry a little more about our intentions when we do and say the things we do.
I’m not saying that we should seek to be flawed and broken; not at all. My point is that we should take this life more seriously, and stop spending so much time, effort, and money on trying to look #flawless and fit our current aesthetic theme. These things are too trivial and transient to waste our time on even though they may seem so big and important to us right now.
When we stand on the edge of time as we know it, the things that seem so big to us now will be like tiny specks of pin-point sized glitter sitting in the palm of our hands. We will pause when we step over that small ledge that lets us fall into eternity and blow it away with a breath of resignation. As we fade away into forever that small backdrop of shimmering dust will remind us that all of these moments we’ve held on to in life are but a vapor, made only as a reminder that what matters is Whose Spirit resides within us. For by the time the glitter falls to the ground, we will either be resting in the Father’s arms, or cast away into eternal fires which are fueled by His hate for sin. By then we will have forgotten that the glitter ever even existed; so far will it be from our thoughts.
So acknowledge the brokenness, and let God use it to mould you into something deeper and better and of more value than a Barbie girl or a gypsy. Love the flaws that make you so relatable because empathy for others is worth more than a thousand likes on Instagram.
Your humanity is a reflection of the Deity who purchased your freedom with His own blood, and I’m pretty sure He wasn’t worried about how aesthetically pleasing the crown of thorns looked on His head. He bore the wrath of God so that we could be free to live and to love and to serve Him. God doesn’t care about what shade of blue your tears are; He cares about your soul. So please stop squandering your time on color schemes and font sizes and start living for something greater and more beautiful than any retro red lip shade could ever be.
WARNING: please do not look up the hashtag listed. :)