What Are Beauty Standards and Where Do They Come From


  “Beauty is about enhancing what you have. Let yourself shine through.”

                             - Janelle Monae

Beauty standard is simple, to look attractive and beautiful in the eyes of one’s self or others. The standard of beauty is, to be attractive on the feminine beauty ideals that are presented by the culture and society.

Society defines women as subjects like beautiful women have a small waist, flawless skin, very fair colour, shining hair and a slim body. Similarly, men are judged by muscle, body and other masculine features that determine today’s beauty.

Women these days are forced to live up to the expectations of society. And one of the expectation is that they need to fulfil certain “beauty standards” given by society. Unfortunately, many people judge women’s beauty from their physical appearance.

For example - In many countries, beauty is defined by fair complexion and a lean body. Thus, if the women are lean and have a bright skin tone, she is defined as beautiful.

Today’s beauty standard expect women to wear makeup every time they go out, workout often at the gym to look skinny with the right curves in the right places and to be young. 

Where Do Beauty Standards Come From

1. Our Ideal Beauty Is Influenced by Celebrities -

The ideal body shape of today’s generation is like an hourglass, large butts and breasts and a thin waist. Beauty icons like Kylie Jenner, Kendall Jenner, Bella Hadid and many more impacted the ideal beauty type significantly.

2. Photoshop Changed How We Look at Ourselves -     

The invention of Photoshop made it possible to achieve the perfect body by editing. Over the years, Photoshop technology has become so advanced that sometimes it’s even hard to tell whether the image is photoshopped or not, creating unrealistic standards for women.

3. Makeup - 

Makeup has now become something which is used by almost every women even the girls below 14 years. There’s a lot of pressure on people on how perfect our idols look. 

We have a wide range of makeup products today that promises to cover up and remove our scars, blemishes, stretch marks and skin “imperfections” like a birthmark. It is slowly making women lose their own identity and hide their realness.

“Different is Unique”, no matter how much people say that they are wrong! Society has already set a beauty standard, with the help of media and celebrities, that makes people question themselves, their beauty, their looks which is unacceptable. 

No one on this planet is the same. Everyone is different in their beautiful way, but people still feel the need to meet this standard. 

There are always two sides of everyone, the one says, “you are perfect just the way you are” and the other side says, “No! I have to change, I have to fit in” you decide which side of yours you want to shine out.

Social Media Impact

The self-esteem of women is almost shattered with embarrassments like fat-shaming, pimples, colourism and cellulite. Social media impacts the mindset and plays a major role in making women feel insecure about their bodies. 

We are so lost in the social media world that we try so hard to fit in them that we often forget who we are. Editing photos, using makeup all these unnatural features has put immense pressure on women everywhere and has made them insecure about their bodies.

There is no such concept as “perfect “. But social media has made us believe that we can look perfect, we can have a perfectly toned body, a perfect scar-free face; which is a lie. 

No one or not everyone is posting their “collapses or failures” on social media. No one or not many is posting those “without filter” selfies. 

So, we have to stop believing everything we see on social media, stop comparing ourselves with others and getting insecure about ourselves instead start focusing on our real self and not the just the outer beauty.

Beauty Within Yourself

Real beauty comes from within and not how we look. People with a good heart are the most beautiful people in the entire world. Your outer beauty may help you grab attention from people but that attention won’t last long. 

But it’s your inner beauty, the way you treat people, the way you respect people, the way you help people which can give you nothing in return is what matters. Appearances aren’t everything. Skills, values, character are the attributes which one must seek to develop. 

Don’t try to be someone else. Be authentic. Be you. That’s what will make you stand out. No one in this entire world is perfect the whole concept of being perfect is flawed in itself. Your identity should never be swayed by any social conventions or any beauty standard set by society. 

Your self-esteem should never depend on your out beauty but by your inner beauty. If you feel confident, if you feel good and happy about yourself on the inside then, no matter what others say, you are beautiful!

“Accept your body the way it is. You’re unique and beautiful and don’t need to be a certain way to be beautiful. When you're happy with yourself, you are beautiful. Be Yourself.”

Written by - Harshita Negi

Edited by - Ivanova

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