Beauty is defined as a combination of qualities, such as shape, colour, or form, that pleases the aesthetic senses, especially the sight. But is there a certain quality you have to have in order to be considered beautiful? For instance why do colorful eyes seem more attractive than brown eyes or why are skinny people more pleasurable to the eye?
The standards of being beautiful have changed throughout the years and countries. Let us take body image to the hand. People are never going to have the “perfect” body and here is why: through the years of 1400 and 1700 which were the renaissance times a full, curvy figure was on the trend. If you were curvy it was because you had food on the table, you were wealthy and healthy. It was being considered that only poor people could be skinny. In the 1920’s a youthful boyish body was the perfect one. Women would hide their curves in order to look better in the dresses. In the 1950’s the hourglass shape came into our lives. Small waist and bigger hips and breasts were the important things. but then again in the 1990’s perfect body meant being super skinny and thin that would look like they are starving. Lastly, in the mid ‘90’s and 2000’s the definition of perfection was bodies like models; big breasts but no fat whatsoever on the body and of course long legs.
These were times when there was no internet, no social media and so forth. Everything was more simple then. However, today mainly because of social media being curvy and having a big butt is important. Still, beauty standards may vary according to countries.
For example, beauty standards in Iran are having thick brows and nose jobs. The band aid in your nose is a status symbol. In Japan it is thought that the skin is the key to beauty, that’s why people from Japan cover their skin in summer. Other than that, skin tone determines your social class. If you have dark skin you are considered from the working class. People from New Zealand wear face tattoos. With this being a cultural thing sometimes it’s for covering the flaws in their face. Kenya Maasai Tribes, they have been using the body modification process of ear stretching. This shows status and beauty. South Korea for example, is the city of plastic surgery as you may call it. It is so common that parents give them as a gift to their 16 year old children. It is again because of status. And lastly, Mauritania. The women there are forced to eat 16.000 calories a day. The idea behind this is so they will seem desirable to men and will be able to get married. In this country having an overweight wife is a status symbol and shows that the men can provide food to their family. Also having stretch marks and thick ankles is popular. Then the most popular standard is having curves but being fit, having full lips if you don’t have one well there are always lip fillers. The same thing counts for the cheek bones, if they are not high enough the fillers are the saviors.
However, can’t we be beautiful without any of those, can’t we feel beautiful as we are? Many things are being said on the internet about how to love ourselves, feel beautiful or how nowadays beauty standards are all a lie. Well, of course it is nice and comforting to watch, listen or read about them. I’m sorry but except for a few people it will be the same because of the media and the unrealistic toxic standards it brings with it. Social media unfortunately controls our perception of beauty, no matter how hard we try not to abide with it. It is a fact.