Graffiti in Beirut, Lebanon.
When I got back from my trip to Uganda, I thought I would never take running water for granted again. I thought I would stop wanting clothes and makeup I don’t really need. But somehow, it all came back so naturally. It seems like the difficulties of everyday life I experienced for a month happened a lifetime ago. I find that interesting, and even a little sad. Is it really so easy to forget how people live with so little?
As silly as it sounds, the accessibility of media and fast fashion provides people to compare yourself to – people like Kim Kardashian and Miranda Kerr, who have designer bags and personal trainers and perfect skin and sunglasses that hide their nonexistent under-eye circles.* In relatively advantaged societies, these ideals trickle down to people who strive to be the same, to have a fulfilling career, meaningful relationships and, most importantly, toned abs and cashmere cardigans. As a result, the resources we have end up being taken for granted in pursuit of the unattainable. I will always enjoy new shoes and lipsticks, but when I look at my old bookshelves and think of my experiences, I remind myself of how I was so much better off when I concerned myself with my insides more than my outsides. I want to appreciate what I have. I want to nurture my body and my brain again. The rest is just an accessory – pretty, but not necessary.
* I know that celebrities are human beings that work really hard too, but the world sees one side of the tale – something that helps to create those unattainable ideals.