Beauty Standards vs Beauty: What Are Both?
It is undeniable that we have blended ourselves in the entangled standards of beauty. Only some could make out of its deadly pit. As wide as it may seem, beauty standards are still hollow, detoxing a person of all the natural beauty. The standards revealed by the industries are nearly impossible to achieve. They play a massive role in putting ideas into our minds through advertisements, television, or social media and deciding how we should perceive the word “beauty”.
Implanting different beauty standards in our minds, industries are growing, and so are mental and physical illnesses. Both men and women are increasingly dissatisfied with their body image yet expect the other gender to follow these standards.
An Insight of Standards of Beauty
Beauty standards also depend upon cultures, but they are still standards restricting one from being themselves. The ideal feminine body is considered to be faultless, flawless, impossibly proportioned. The image we get when we think of the “ideal body,” the one that is hourglass-shaped yet very thin, is the unachievable standard.
Wide eyes, thick and long eyelashes, enhanced eyebrows, spotless with no hair follicles on the skin, skinny legs, curved breasts and hips with an industrially decided size, overloaded fairness with fuller pink cheeks, blonde or smooth and straight black hair, plump and thick lips, athletic bodies, golden or brown complexion, long neck. This is an unending list. Even girls as small as five or six are trying to attain this. And that is just horrifying and sad.
Not just women but men too are a victim of the beauty canon. Men with sharp physical attributes with solid curves are classified as more handsome than men with smooth, rounded features close to feminine characteristics. High forehead, strong, connected eyebrows, sharp and rigid jaw features, V-shaped body, being tall with a muscular build, healthy teeth for a beautiful smile, skin hygiene, and maintained hair and beard are some of the physical traits that men are asked to possess to look “perfect” and be able to achieve the beauty standards.
How Do People Try To Achieve These Standards?
Each day we look into the mirror, thinking that we could collectively change more things if we really could, sometimes our complexion, tummy bump, stretch marks, scars, body hair, or even the shape of the nose or lips. We pick out flaws after flaws that aren’t even there and generate them. We use beauty and fashion results to hide or end what we naturally have.
Beauty standards cage not only mental health but also affect physical health. People usually get lost in the competition to reach the highest bar of the beauty standard measures. Botox to hide wrinkles, fat transfer surgery, injections for beautiful lips or muscular body, laser treatments, artificial tan, or fairness creams are just some misleading acts to obtain the “ideal” beauty. Clothing items like push-up bras, busters, pantyhose, stockings, and corsets are what fashion industries are throwing at us to meet up the standards.
SEE ALSO: How Instagram Can Sink Your Self-Esteem?
How Are Beauty Standards Impacting Us Overall?
Our body and mind cry for help when we put them through the pain caused by external factors that are unattainable. Studies show industries promoting beauty standards cause harmful effects on a person’s mood, body, self-esteem, mental and physical health, eating habits, and much more, including an increase in expectations from certain products or items claiming to provide effective results in no time. When we begin trusting them, we start feeling disappointed in our own skin. Slowly identity issues and self-body shaming begins. We suffer from psychological disorders such as depression, stress, and anxiety.
Low self-esteem leads to negative thinking about food. And a sudden desire to reduce appetite and lose weight results in eating disorders. Mainly adolescent girls are triggered by the portrayal of beauty by these industries and end up applying methods like smoking that are not only harmful to their body and mind but also cause death.
Eating disorders can lead to body image issues such as dysmorphia, anorexia nervosa, or bulimia nervosa. Not only are those suffering at increased risk of suicide, but the chronic malnutrition they undergo takes a serious count on the body. An eating disorder can lead to many diseases. Heart and other organ failures, low blood pressure, low heart rate, severe fluid, and electrolyte imbalance, seizures, and many other problems.
Does Beauty Really Need a Standard?
When you follow beauty standards, you authorize someone else to run your mind and body. However, you think you are a free bird. By the time you become aware of the truth, you are miles under the pile of these aesthetic norms.
Beauty neither has a true definition nor a level or standard. All colors are beautiful and significant. Each body is alluring and carries more than just your own life, and all minds are magnificent and hold a bigger power than any norm. Every human being is wonderfully unique in their own way.
So, No. Beauty does not need a measure. Break the stereotyped industries. When we let these industries feed on our insecurities, we let them grow and make us feel even worse about ourselves. “We let them trade our true self by replacing it with plasticity.”
When the recognition of beauty begins interfering with your well-being, affecting your physical and mental health, you should know that this beauty is not worth it. You have simply entered a false world of idealism. Many influencers and models document their diet, daily routine, and workout routines. They pretend usage of many products that claim to provide the desired; promoting that all this is contributing to a beautiful and, mentally and physically healthy lifestyle for them. What’s amusing is that they consider it part of the self-love they give themselves when it’s all fake.
Don’t Become A Victim Of These Standards
Indeed, exclusion is a big aspect because nobody wants to be left out. And to blend in, we let ourselves go through anything and everything. When anyone is excluded from a group or a team, the world and society make them feel like they don’t belong.
- Self-love and acceptance may be hard to achieve. But they are always the best medicine for your body, mind, and soul. As important as our skin is as an organ, it is our own. And it is protecting our entire body by being a shield with no protection of its own. The moment it becomes a forced concept by the external world, it becomes unreal.
- Stop comparing yourself with others. If you are trying to be like someone else, ask yourself, will that be enough; will it actually make you happy; will it make you feel complete; will it make you, YOU? Because all you will be is a replica of somebody, and there is no originality in that.
- Be kind to yourself and your body. When you put anything through pain, the result is never love. Similarly, be kind to others. Don’t point out flaws or body shame. You are affecting someone’s mental health.
I Have Been A Victim Of Beauty Standards
I turned around And there you were Igniting my eyes With those imperfections of yours So easily I had fallen For those scars and that tanned skin I didn't realize How perfectly you defined the words 'the one' to me ~ mirror-mirror on the wall - Kopal Vijay
When I was a victim of this industry, self-love and acceptance were my keys. I still have wavy hair, dull skin, scars, chapped lips, and bulges, but I am happy and healthy, which counts to me. No matter how many people recommend doctors and remedies to me, I am mentally satisfied with my body. No lies, but it took me years to understand this.
I still fall, and become insecure sometimes, feeling I should isolate myself to avoid people pointing out my flaws. However, I no longer use unnecessary products or scroll to pray for something unattainable. Instead, I look into my mirror, letting my eyes caress my body while I express my gratitude to it for keeping me happy, healthy, and alive. I accepted myself the way I am, which did wonders for my mental and physical health. I no longer stay in the bubble of beauty standards, just within the aura of self-love and acceptance.
You are not alone. Like you and I, there are many suffering, but the change begins with us.