As women in today’s society, we are being held to high standards that constantly get raised. In the media we are repeatedly introduced to new diets, workout routines, heavily photoshopped photos of unrealistic body types, the newest makeup and the nonstop opinions of others. These beauty standards are constantly contradicting each other making it almost always impossible to keep up with the new definition of “beautiful”. You must stay skinny, but keep the curves in the right places. Don’t wear too much makeup as you would be a “catfish” but make sure your skin tone is even and your eyes stand out. Wearing revealing clothing makes you a slut, but as soon as you cover up you’re “too modest.” This has become our new normal, but why?
Going back all the way somewhere between 24,000-22,000 BCE, one of the earliest ideal women’s body type was extremely curvy. Featuring large breasts, large hips and a healthy stomach, it’s clear that a good body equaled one that could bear many children. Back then they weren’t worried about how long they could get their eyelashes or the new diet Kim Kardashian promoted. They just focused on the health of the body – isn’t that sweet? In the Elizabethan era a full face of makeup was seen to be “an incarnation of satan,” and being tan was a sign of being poor since that meant you were always outside working. The Victorian era was obsessed with “the pale, frail, weak look,” and in the 20s the boyish figure (thin, no curves) was all the fab. The standards were constantly changing. It wasn’t until the 60s we saw the standard we all know and girls strive to be today. It started with the famous hourglass shape that was pressed onto women: skinny in the waist, large in the bust. In the 80s working out was all the rage. Toned arms, flat stomach, and thigh gaps were becoming the new normal. In this era we saw a huge upswing with anorexia, mainly due to the obsession with exercise.
Flash forward to now we see the new standard now being tan, a size 0 with a big bust and tiny waist, toned stomach, arms and legs, smooth flawless skin, plump lips, big eyes, the list goes on and on. Making girls all over the world insecure, why do we make this such a priority?
Us girls need to realize beauty doesn’t come in one form. For example, I think Hunter Schafer (most famous for her role Jules in Euphoria) is absolutely gorgeous but I also think Zendaya (also another well known actress from Euphoria casted as Rue) is just as beautiful and they look absolutely nothing alike.
Girls listen up: just because you don’t look like someone you think is beautiful doesn’t make you any less beautiful. We need to realize beauty is in all of us no matter our shape, size, race, or gender. We are all uniquely beautiful, and need to stop comparing ourselves to others.