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Beauty Standards in Society

By Emily Carruthers

Beauty standards have always been around throughout history. Whether it’s having the 50s silhouette called the “Wasps waist” or being the all 80s fresh-faced “all American girl” with a wholesome figure, the standards have always changed through the years. The standards are invariably changing non-stop, new trends, new expectations and new versions of beauty. But this doesn’t only apply to women but as well as males who have struggled with the perfect muscular body.

This has caused many problems for adolescents growing up and being told how to look in every way possible. This has led many people from the influence of body image to have physical and mental health problems such as body insecurities, eating disorders etc. The influence of beauty standards has been impacted throughout many different places. Today, social media is one of the most important factors contributing to these issues. It has increased the number of toxic beauty standards for everyone through advertising, videos, and the general use of it. 

Because of the use of technology in our generation, more and more children are being surrounded by social media and being shown these toxic ideas of how you should look, which is unhealthy both physically and mentally for young children. This goes for everyone sadly, where many have to live up to these unrealistic standards, of the most famous celebrities who people idolize and dream to look like. Many types of videos on social media use the power of photoshop, fake promoting products, other beauty apps to make the person look more appealing, and in the same way that brings others’ self-esteem down to make them feel insecure and crave the lifestyle and body of influencers, celebrities, models etc. about how society has shaped only one unrealistic perfect body that every person should have.

This picture is designed by Jan Burzynski, which is shown as a ‘makeup mask’. It is to show how make up became a day to day standard, which was imposed to wear for many women. The idealised faces which are imposed by social media and by other influencers and celebrities. The pixels simulate a clear understanding and influence of technology and how it can be used to manipulate others into thinking this is pure perfection, and by covering their face with endless amounts of makeup to fit the criteria in this constructed world of expectancies.

Arguably, the ideal beauty standards for women today say that women are supposed to wear everyday makeup, workout in the gym, stay skinny with a tall hourglass shape, defined jawline, small nose, big lips, flawless skin, no signs of acne or ageing, etc. 

For males the standards are separate from women which normally involve being masculine, having a fit or toned body, muscular, defined jawline, glowing skin and teeth, tall height etc. These standards, unfortunately, shape our society and for a lot of people how you live your everyday lives.

any beauty standards are to do with looking one idealistic way in the modern world when it comes to your body. Many cultures, races and tribes look at beauty in many different ways which is what has made the standards for everyone different. But this has changed over time as more and more people want to look one idealistic way in modern times. Along with that has come discrimination for cultures who believe otherwise and unfortunately a lot of racism. One example of major racial expectations they had to struggle with throughout history is Asians. 

This piece of artwork was designed by Xi Huang, representing how young Asian girls strive to be. While being exposed to the media, trends of beauty standards have gotten more popular and one of the big expectations for Asians is being more white instead of expressing their beautiful ethnicities. Now that the eurocentric standards are more popular and famous, this has brought a lot of both male and female Asians to use products and surgeries and things like that to get the more caucasian look. Sadly, this doesn’t only involve Asians but as well as many other races who, because of the toxicity of the media, have become more insecure of their own skin and bodies, who have now been influenced to varieties of different functions to try and change themselves in every way, to the point where you become unrecognizable and are able to ‘fit’ into what society wants you to fit into.

Society has always been very brutal when it comes to unrealistic beauty standards and getting on the newest trends. These trends will always change and no one is ever going to be perfect enough in these modern times, which includes any gender who faces these toxic expectations through social media, everyday life, television etc. with your own body. 

Although it is hard for people who struggle with keeping the beauty standards, there is a way of helping them. We need to raise awareness of the dangers of unrealistic qualities and how everyone needs to stop being compared to society’s version of the perfect bodies. We need to educate the younger generations and others who think this is the lifestyle to live with because it shouldn’t have to be for anyone.

As this problem continues for all ages across the globe being shown on social media, there is always a way to help. The best way is to help others understand the toxicity of these ideas and bring awareness to these problems for all genders and races. Everyone is beautiful in their own way and society shouldn’t define us on the inside or outside.


High School News February 2021