Why do standards of beauty exist? Who and when was it decided that there is only one type of “beautiful”? It’s complete and utter bull crap. I have been victim of believing that I wasn’t beautiful enough because I didn’t look like the next woman. I’m learning to move past that and acknowledge that beauty isn’t linear. There are a multitude of beautiful people that bare no similarities to the next and that ranges across cultures.
In America, we’re frequently bombarded on television, social media, and in magazines with what is considered the standard of beauty. Prior to the 1960s and 1970s, the standard woman’s body was curvaceous with wide hips to be admired. I remember learning who Twiggy was in elementary school. I’ve personally always been one with thighs and a belly, so as you can imagine, I’ve always compared those aspects of myself to others. Twiggy’s body type won’t ever be mine. Societal standards of beauty will have you not loving yourself.
People perceived as “perfect” likely find imperfections in themselves. Beauty was once stated to be in the eye of the beholder. That doesn’t prove true anymore. Beauty, now, seems to be what society says it is. That couldn’t be further from the truth either. The ideal woman is under 5’4, long hair, big breasts and butt, tiny waist, and 125 pounds. Does that sound like you? No? If it doesn’t, please don’t be bummed. It’s an unrealistic expectation that all women look like this. I won’t even begin to include pigmentation.
Let’s talk about hair within the black community for a moment. I specifically see this when discussing hair. I remember when I stopped getting relaxers in 2010. It was so looked down upon with frequently having to defend my hair to people, especially family. There was no regard to my feelings when my hair would be topic of conversation. The same happened when I chose to get sisterlocks in 2016. I got a lot of “It’s not for me.” which I understand because I feel the same way about some beauty supplies too. But I’m not going to make anyone feel low because of their beauty selections. I let them embrace what they love if it’s their desire. I just don’t want any woman using beauty supplies to cover what she doesn’t feel is enough already. Beauty supplies for embracing, sure but for cover-ups, no thank you.
We, as women, have to look at ourselves and know that we are beautiful even when no one tells us. It’s ok to not feel like everything is perfect about yourself but we have to stop letting what we see in society make us think we’re less than amazing. When you know you’re amazing you wear it well and everyone can see the confidence. I have seen many beautiful women find fault in their beauty because it doesn’t look like the “societal norm”. As women we have to be cognizant of this. I love telling other women that they’re beautiful because I want them to know. We, as women, have to uplift and empower one another all the time. Together we can erase the “societal” ideology of beauty. Right now, it’s more inclusive but what happens when there’s another shift.
In conclusion, know that you’re beautiful even with your imperfections. Perfect doesn’t exist so stop searching for it. And if you see a beautiful woman (or man because they have their own issues too) let them know. Surely, it’ll make their day.