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KP TIMES

The student news site of Kingwood Park High School

KP TIMES

The student news site of Kingwood Park High School

KP TIMES

Unrealistic beauty standards destroy true meaning of beauty

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Sydney Ortiz
A vanity is filled with makeup.

In today’s world, beauty standards have become increasingly unrealistic and pervasive. The idea of being beautiful today will imply having prominent cheekbones, a well-defined jawline, low facial robusticity, bilateral symmetry, an even skin tone, a slim nose, flawless skin, voluminous hair, androgynous traits and numerous other qualities that the majority of people don’t possess. The concept of beauty has been egregiously distorted and idealized to standards that are unattainable, effectively insulting what it truly means. In large part, this situation has been perpetuated by the majority, who, despite being subject to the same unrealistic standards, often criticize and condemn those who choose to embrace their authentic selves and display their natural features that do not necessarily align with the so-called ideal of beauty, how ironic.

The truth is, even though we as people have failed by upholding and propagating these harmful images of beauty, the problem stems from two places: social media and the fashion industry. 

Beauty today is equated with perfection and flawlessness perpetuated by social media and the fashion industry. They keep feeding us ill perceptions of beauty and we keep buying It. From airbrushed models to filtered selfies, everything has fooled us into thinking that if we aren’t nearly as flawless as that, we are far from being considered beautiful. What’s even trending now is AI generated models, so realistic that you wouldn’t be able to tell at first glance that they aren’t actually real people. That’s what our society; you and I have subconsciously decided is going to represent us, given that the word model means a system used as an example to follow and/or imitate. 

I watched the movie “I Feel Pretty” starring Amy Schumer sometime ago. Her character Renee Barrette underwent a transformation in the perception of herself after experiencing a head injury that leaves her believing she is undeniably beautiful. Despite not actually conforming to the socially accepted beauty standards, her newfound confidence and self-assurance made her radiant and attractive in the eyes of everybody and one could say she literally became the talk of the town. 

Think of beauty like a book, for most people, the graphic of a book’s cover is what attracts them to it. One can make a hypothesis on whether or not the book is interesting, but it all boils down to one thing, what is inside the book? Attractiveness only defines 20% of beauty because if you eventually open the book and it’s blank, it will either go in the trash or on the shelves as decoration. But imagine if the role were reversed, imagine if you opened a book with a blank cover and read it, and at that moment it was the best book you’ve ever read. I don’t think you will care about the cover. 

When the Bible said that we were beautifully and wonderfully made, I believe it meant it but I don’t believe it was necessarily talking about the physical aspect of it. The truth is, if God wanted all of us to be the same, he would have done it in the blink of an eye but he didn’t. In a world of over eight billion people, each one of us is a singular creation, designed specially and uniquely. No one on this earth, in past time and the one to come can ever be you–not even a doppelganger or a twin, meaning that you are the only version of yourself in the entire world, the man, the myth and the legend. Your quirks, imperfections, distinctive features and idiosyncrasies make you irreplaceable. Your scars tell stories, your stretch marks and cellulite show your strength and adaptability, your hair is your crown and your body is yours. Every facet of what today’s world might define as flaws is beautiful in its own right. Beauty is being human and if you haven’t noticed, being human is anything but being perfect. 

For far too long, men and women have been subjected to the choking grasp of unattainable beauty and body standards. It’s time we reclaim our self worth and truly define what it means to be beautiful. When you look in the mirror and see that one feature you don’t like about yourself, exaggerate it even more till you fall in love with it, something similar to what street caricaturists create. Societal beauty standards are evolutionary, one that comes in time and changes in time but true beauty is not, it can’t be altered. True beauty is on the inside, and no, that’s not what an ugly person would say.

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    Doehring NancyApr 14, 2024 at 8:22 pm

    Enjoyed reading your article. You are a gifted writer!

    Reply