- Howl (Christian Bale) in Howl’s Moving Castle
“I give up. I see no point in living if I can't be beautiful.”
In some ways, Howl’s not wrong. He’s a total babe, and the reputation he has is (partly) to do with
him being a total babe. But when his perfect looks are threatened, his insecurities are unleashed-
just like most people who have never had an ‘awkward’ phase. Beauty is brief- and everyone knows
In today’s world, learning that beauty has no impact on worth is a lesson that takes a long time to
stick, especially when you are bombarded with images daily that say the opposite. But it is true. I
won’t deny the privileges and power afforded to the aesthetically blessed. But beauty doesn’t make
you resilient, beauty doesn’t equal anything other than…good facial symmetry or whatever. It can’t
be attained through discipline, willpower, years of hard work. You can’t even buy it, really.
Whilst I fully support the dismantling of the western world’s (very narrow) beauty standards-
something about the reassurance that ‘everyone is beautiful’ just rubs me the wrong way… when it
comes from a multi billion dollar industry whose sole purpose is to keep us feeling bad about
ourselves, whilst promising their new product will rid us of the insecurities THEY GAVE US in return
for our hard earned cash.
Riot and rebel! Fuck your beauty standards. Fuck these corporations.
Refuse to conform to a world that idolises unattainable standards and constantly tells you your self-
worth derives from your appearance. Never let anyone tell you that you need to change the way you
look to be worthy of love or acceptance.
If I could send a letter to my younger self ( and my younger self would actually take advice… ) I would
implore little Laura to cast aside the need to be considered beautiful, and dedicate the hours spent
anguishing over her appearance on ANYTHING ELSE. Literally anything. Wow, the hours wasted!
Scrutinising things I could never change about myself, the mental energy spent trying to convince
myself that I could! Imagine if I had spent all that time reading books I loved, or writing, or learning
an instrument or a language… I would probably be a much more fulfilled and grounded human
Beauty is everywhere if you know what you are looking for. The most beautiful people I know are
the most honest, the ones who love the most intensely, the ones who are kindest to strangers. You
don’t need a beautiful face to be a beautiful being, and the sooner you stop concerning yourself with
what you ( think you ) lack, the easier it is to just live.
- Writer + Artist -