How Do Beauty Standards Affect Society?
Beauty standards have existed for many centuries. The saddest part is that instead of seeing a decline in them with each passing year, beauty standards keep increasing, or at least, get revised. Even though the conditions may change from time to time, the essence stays put: to make money off men’s and women’s insecurities.
There are a million things wrong with setting beauty standards, but for starters, here are some that are noticeably affecting the minds of our society.
The Obsession to Attain “Beauty”
When public figures with flawless skin, full pout, luscious hair, an hourglass body, or the thinnest nose are made prominent on media over and over again, common people start looking up to them. And while some may be influenced for good, others make it their mission to look exactly like them.
They dream of the same body, a similar feature, or perfect looking skin. What they tend to forget is that the celebrity’s perfection is probably curated – maybe through a generous helping of makeup, photo retouching, or surgery. No one is perfect – if they seem to be, then there is more to it than meets the eye.
Wasting Money on the “Next Big Thing”
Continuing the point above, the obsession to look the way a celebrity or an influencer looks may lead to recklessness. People resort to extreme measures to attain the thing they are so desperate for, not to mention the wastage of money it calls for. That includes treatments, surgery, and weight-loss quick fixes.
Over the years, the beauty industry has also made a huge business out of selling people clothes, makeup and skincare products that promise to take away their woes. Trends come and go like a cool breeze – here in a moment, gone in the next. Hence, these trends promote a spending culture unlike any other. After all, we are conditioned to stay up to date with the “next big thing” to feel accepted within our circles.
Compromised Mental Health
No matter how mindful, self-loving, or wise you are – there is no denying the fact that at least once in your life, you have been insecure about yourself. I’m not only talking about the average-looking majority – even those who are considered beautiful or attractive have fallen prey to this feeling.
We may be perfectly fine and at peace with the way we look, but the world keeps reminding us of our shortcomings. It feeds us lies about how much better we would’ve looked or felt if certain parts of us were not the way they naturally are.
All of it takes a toll on our mental well-being – making us anxious about our appearance, and depressed due to our so-called flaws. It makes us hate ourselves at times. All of which sucks.
Conclusion: Do Not Normalize the Rare
The perfect appearance is a rare commodity that is naturally gifted to some or artificially curated by others. We cannot view it as the norm, because not only is it utterly unfair, it is also unachievable. The media will never make us feel complete and beautiful in our natural state, only we can.
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