Society's Unrealistic Beauty Standards
I have been inspired to write a piece about beauty and what it is perceived to be. I have grown up around many people who tend to judge others based on their physical features. I also know what it feels like to be judged because of my appearance. Growing up in my generation (90s babies) is not an easy thing and I am sure many other generations feel the same. Growing up, in general, is not easy. The issue I have noticed immensely with my generation is the over-bearing, delusional, over-represented idea of what the media, and everyone else, believes what can and cannot be considered beautiful in our world. I tend to ease drop on conversations when I am alone in a public place because I am always fascinated with the conversations people are having on a daily basis. Sometimes, what I hear sickens me. It appalls me to the point that I am now here writing to attempt and express the horrible belief that people have accepted only a small amount of physical qualities to be deemed as suitable for society’s standards.
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When I am sitting by myself in a public place I tend to eavesdrop on peoples conversations. I do not mean to be rude, but if I am sitting somewhere quietly studying and there is a loud conversation going on next to me, it is difficult not to pick up on what is being discussed. Through my eavesdropping escapades there are various topics I have heard more than once. One of the most common topics I hear, especially with teenagers, is the amount of “likes” someone has got on their photos that they upload onto social media. The first time I ever heard this topic being discussed the sentence from the speaker went just like this, “Oh my God, she has had their photo up for two hours, and she has only gotten three likes on it.” It is as if people can judge the worth of somebody’s appearance just from the amount of likes they have received. How is it okay to put a person down just because their picture on Instagram or Facebook does not have the proper amount of likes to be considered a beautiful person? Has our world really come to this type of social judicial system?
The other topic I pick up on frequently is one that the social media generation has called “creeping.” Creeping consists of looking at someone’s social media page and going through their photos that they have uploaded and checking out their status updates to see what they are up to. It is basically a way to get into someone else’s life without them even realizing it. Now, the concept of creeping itself is not harmful to anyone. It is the reality of what comes with creeping that begins to turn the gears of judgement in a negative direction. When I have listened to people “creep” others, they tend to say some vulgar things about the persons appearance. People click through the hundreds of photos someone has uploaded and nit-pick their appearance for what they think is ugly. “Creepers” will think of absolutely anything to say about whoever’s photos they are looking at. From a person’s hair, to their facial features, to their body size, all the way down to a somebodies two feet and toes. I have heard these types of sentences many times:
“That is such an ugly picture, why would she upload that?”
“Her hair looks really bad in this photo.”
“Why wouldn’t she put a filter on this?”
“Look at how much she photo shopped her picture.”
“Why is she standing like that? She looks retarded.”
Unfortunately, I cannot lie and say that these are just made up quotes. These quotes are literal quotes that I have heard, more than once, in my everyday life.
The question I want answered is why? Why do people treat others this way? Why is no one ever good enough to just be called a beautiful person? My personal theory on the issue is that people judge others on their appearance when they are jealous of the physical traits another person has. However, I could be wrong, maybe people are just that cruel.
My belief behind the reasons that all of this happens is the ideas that the media puts into our heads from what they display in advertisements. People see these perfect models being shown as the image of beauty, but people do not understand how photo shopped advertisements truly are. Even major celebrities who are icons for being sexy get photo shopped in their covers on magazines. If the most sexy, elite status people in society even get photo shopped, then where does that leave the rest of us? Doomed to an unbearable fate of forever believing we are ugly.
A study has been shown that people see roughly 5,000 advertisements in a single day. By seeing that many ads a day, we are bound to have them stick into our minds. Girls as young as eight years old are now struggling with confidence about their looks because of advertisements and what is perceived to be beautiful. Who decided that the media gets a say in who and what is attractive and what is not. Confidence is an extremely hard part of our lives to build and when it is being crushed at the young age of eight years, then how can these girls ever regain it? So why are people making these rude comments about each other on social media?
Kristen Cullen in a Youtube video about this issue claimed, “Because of this issue, more and more people feel the need to get plastic surgery to feel confident and accepted by others. I think that is really unfortunate that, that is how people are feeling. Maybe I am living in a dream world here people, but I don’t understand why we have to be such assholes to each other.”
People, especially the media, need to realize that no one on this planet is absolutely perfect. No one is going to have all of the traits that is seen as the most beautiful of all noses, or eyes, or hair. No one can acquire all of these traits naturally. Everyone has at least one flaw no matter what it is and we need to learn to just accept that everyone is beautiful in their own unique ways.
My Final Thoughts
I took the liberty to ask close friends of mine about any flaws they have been pointed out for while growing up. These friends of mine are people I have always found to be strikingly beautiful. Comments they received ranged from the paleness of their skin, to their weight, to diseases they cannot help, all the way to “having too small of a behind.”
The way people ridicule others astounds me. Why is it anyone’s concern about what someone’s appearance is? There are only so many times I can say to people that we are all meant to be different. I could not imagine living in a world where everyone looks exactly the same. It is time that people realize that beauty comes in a wide range of colours, sizes, and brands. I, for one, am tired of hearing that my differences are imperfections that should be changed. Instead, let’s demonstrate how people’s differences are really just unique to everyone’s bodies and how it is exciting to live in a planet where every single living being has their own exclusive qualities and features. That is a planet that I would much rather spend my days alive on. Everyone is beautiful.