Standardization of Beauty

Standardization of Beauty

 

It is a complaint that is very common, though it mainly comes from those of a feminist bent.  The problem?  That women are displayed in unnatural forms of beauty.  There is no accounting for the true form that a woman’s body takes when you can plaster someone on a billboard or the cover of a magazine with a full airbrush/Photoshop treatment and call them the very picture of feminine beauty.  While beauty can come from artistic alteration, there is nothing natural about it – it is art, not reality.

The main issue I have with this practice, aside from the blatant media and fashion industry control that it demonstrates, is that there are many varieties of beauty in the female form and we are only permitted to see a select few.  The perceived lack-of-demand for natural beauty keeps away the curves, wrinkles and other “imperfections” which define character within a person. This same problem exists in the male world.  Men are expected to look and dress in a certain fashion (albeit a less intensive one) or they do not live up to the “standard.” 

These sorts of stereotypes go beyond just distorting people’s view of reality.  They can actually become 

harmful to society and the mental evolution of mankind (and womankind).  The very presence of standardized beauty paradigms prejudices people against certain skin tones, lifestyles and even the expressions of character within the fashion world.

I understand that the main goal of these proliferators of standardization is to make money and the best way to do that is to convince people that they’re not good enough unless they buy the right products, but these attitudes are ultimately creating a harmful environment to live in.  There can be no self-acceptance in the bright lights of societal pressure.  How are people to grow, adapt and become individuals if they are constantly expected to destroy and alter that individuality?