Washington Square News

The Pressure of Comparison Makes Us Weaker

By Christopher Collado, Contributing Writer

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We interact with an abundance of people every day. However, due to the nature of modern society — where pictures and posts of everyone’s best moments are just  clicks away — it has become extremely easy to constantly compare one’s life to everyone else’s. Unfortunately, this can dramatically deteriorate one’s self-esteem and outlook on life.

People comparing themselves to others is multi-dimensional.and the media plays a role by pitting artists, actors, athletes and politicians against each other. An example of this is the media comparing Beyonce’s Super Bowl halftime show to Lady Gaga’s. Even though they are both female artists, that does not mean they are the same person. Beyonce and Lady Gaga are both talented. Instead of observing and enjoying both shows as separate entities, the general public follows the media’s ideology of basing success on what others have done.

This trend also prevails at NYU. By putting immense emphasis on majors, schools and grade point averages, the university encourages students to work hard not to help themselves but to be better than their classmates. This system does not create a message for students to be their best but instead to be the best.

Both education and media typically focus on the appearance of excellence instead of individual success, which shifts the focus to how we can be the best among peers instead of our personal bests. Many of the celebrities we see in tabloids are very wealthy with luxurious lifestyles and display seemingly flawless appearances. When these people are deemed perfect or fabulous, we start criticizing ourselves in the hopes of becoming like them. Not only is it unfair to put these doctored celebrity images on a pedestal, but it’s also unreasonable to let their glorification affect the way you view yourself.

Students should better themselves by considering how they can be the best version of them, despite the many media images that say otherwise. Regardless of strengths and weaknesses, it is important to love and care for all aspects of yourself. We are all unique, and there is no single definition of success or happiness, so why should we compare ourselves to others? Embracing individuality will lead to self-love and joy, which will help everyone be their best selves.

Opinions expressed on the editorial pages are not necessarily those of WSN, and our publication of opinions is not an endorsement of them.

A version of this article appeared in the Tuesday, Feb. 21 print edition. Email Christopher Collado at [email protected]

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