Why Aesthetic is Not Everything

I feel like now, aesthetic has become so much more important. We want to go to pretty restaurants so that we can take Instagram pictures of our food in the perfect lighting and have beautiful ambiance to surround us as we eat. Our organization has become about picking the prettiest folders and the nicest agenda. Our rooms aren't just to sleep in, but a place to decorate: with string lights, air plants, and an Urban Outfitters tapestry.

I remember talking to my mom about restaurants. We were saying that now, young people care about the ambiance of the restaurant just as much as the taste of the food. And for me, at least, that's true. My friends and I love going to this one local restaurant because it has rooftop dining with string lights. The food comes out arranged nicely and it the ambiance of the restaurant makes it feel like we're somewhere more exciting. However, the food isn't actually that fantastic. Part of the criteria is now the aesthetic of the restaurant, not just the taste of the food.

My point is, suddenly I'm placing ambiance and the restaurant's aesthetic as something of importance to me when searching for a place to eat. It's another factor that goes into the restaurant that matters to me. Aesthetic can be important in our lives.

However, although important, it might also not have the best benefits. When I was trying out bullet journaling, half of it was about trying to make my bullet journal pretty and the other half was about actually trying to organize my life with it. Based on the post where I tried bullet journaling for a week, I realized that all of the days focusing on the aesthetic caused me more stress and more time than the days making it simple. The truth was that by focusing on aesthetic, I was losing sight of the purpose of bullet journaling.

Setting priorities on aesthetic cause you to lose sight of the purpose of the task at hand. 

Aesthetic is important to me, but it shouldn't have been as prominent as it was in my journey for bullet journaling. In the end, it caused me more harm than good. Although aesthetic can bring me joy, by directing so much of my attention towards it, I was distracted from everything that I could have been doing instead.

On the other hand, although focusing on aesthetic while bullet journaling was draining, there are still benefits to it. Here's another example: taking notes. While taking notes, colors and drawings can be incredibly beneficial to effective note-taking by pointing out the important details. They can draw your attention to the things that matter and help you understand things better.

However, I've noticed that some of my peers have the goal of making their notes pretty rather than actually making them effective. Those colors may make the paper more vibrant, but if they're not actually pointing out important things and don't have a purpose rather than aesthetic, they're kind of worthless. If everything is bright and highlighted, how do you know what actually matters most?

Instead of choosing to highlight all the important things in random different colors, I like to make keys at the top of my notes so that the colors are purposeful. Maybe pink indicates important dates. Then, I know that the pink highlights all indicate that when I flip through my notes. This note-taking, while it can also end up looking super pretty, isn't done based on how I can make my notes look more aesthetically pleasing, but rather, how I can make it more comprehensive.

Aesthetic should not be your top priority. 

My point is that aesthetically pleasing things can be good, in fact, they can even benefit you. However, when setting out on a task, it's better not to have aesthetic as a top priority. Like bullet journaling and note-taking, it's best to have the purpose, which isn't aesthetic, to be of utmost importance. The purpose of bullet journaling: organization. The purpose of note-taking: effective learning. While aesthetic can be part of those, it's not the main priority.

Aesthetic is not everything because if it was, it would be kind of draining. It's tiring to have to look put together all the time. Not to mention, it can be expensive too. That rainbow grilled cheese may look pretty for Instagram, but it probably tastes exactly the same as that plain grilled cheese and will definitely be more expensive. Focusing on aesthetic can be emotionally draining, like it was with bullet journaling, and it can also distract you from your task's purpose, like with note-taking. But it can also be so expensive.

The other day, my friend mentioned that she bought a $38 agenda. While organization is totally important, $38 is kind of ridiculous. The agenda she bought was pretty and very visually appealing, but on the inside, it was pretty much like any other agenda. Buying the prettier things can be expensive.

You need to find balance with aesthetic. 

But I get that, sometimes you do want some prettier things, I know I do. That's why you need balance. You need to be able to put your need for more aesthetically pleasing things aside if they're not actually going to be useful. Although a cactus pencil holder might be cute, it's just not really something that I need. I can instead opt for a simple pencil holder which is half the price.

Not only financially, but with everything you do, you need to find a good balance between striving for beauty and going about your daily tasks. With note-taking, I can still get that pretty look with my color-coding, but it also serves a purpose. It's a nice balance between getting that bonus style into my notes and also making them as effective to me as possible.

Aesthetic is not everything. It is supplemental to everything else. But you can still have a balance. Sometimes you have to let it go and maybe opt for a simpler path, even if it's not nearly as visually appealing. But it's also okay to care about aesthetic, as long as it isn't your top priority.

Why Aesthetic is Not Everything

No comments: