Throughout human evolution, a number of physical traits are set by society for a person to be considered attractive in any given culture. These standardised physical traits are engraved into a person’s mind from a very young age for them to be desirable and feel beautiful.
The concept of beauty standards is erratic; they are constantly changing. Beauty standards today are heavily affected by social media and the glamour industry, commercial world.
Social media play a vital role in today’s fast changing beauty standards that I find hard to keep up with. Every day we are bombarded with unrealistic images of body shape, beauty and success on social media. What we forget is that the creator hand picks what they want to show in order for them to project their “perfect life and body”. This adversely has an impact on our self-esteem and mental health. We are forced to erase our “flaws” to fit into society.
Capitalism goes hand in hand with social media in setting unrealistic beauty standards among today’s generation. Commercialisation of beauty by advertising products that claim to be “whitening”, “anti-ageing” and “brightening” give people with these features the ability to utilise their physical appearance as symbolic assets in society. Capitalism and beauty products combine to create an increasingly inescapable beauty standard for women.
However, the scene is changing. Brands are becoming more inclusive about body shape while using models, foundations come in a wide range of shades, models from diverse backgrounds are being used in advertising campaigns and so on. “Fair and Lovely” being a huge part of 90’s and early 2000’s South Asian beauty culture, recently changed their name to “Glow and Lovely”. This is a great move but the product is still marketed as “skin lightening cosmetic product”.
Nattu Shah Buttowski
Audio Engineer & Singer
Beauty standards for me are marketing schemes the companies create to leech money off people continuously. Why would anyone make you feel unworthy for looking a certain way? It’s cruel and vicious.
While growing up in a village together with my sister, we wanted to look beautiful. Somehow, we wanted to be noticed by people. Maybe in the same way how we notice actors, actresses and models. Innocently from trying face masks and make up to tailoring dresses worn by actresses, we were heavily influenced by movies and magazines. They projected clear skin, beautiful hair, glamorous outfit and perfect body shape as typical beauty standards. And we used to do a lot to look pretty.
Now as mature women, our definition of beauty has changed. I think beauty is not all about our appearance it’s all about having inner beauty, confidence, personality and how we behave with each other. This doesn’t mean our appearance, doesn’t matter. As a makeup artist, my responsibility is to make beautiful people more confident.
Fashion Choreographer, Influencer & Event Organiser
A standard point where you become you and feel confident doesn’t have to be confined to words. I personally feel that defining someone’s beauty within a certain set of words or confining it in the definition is not inter-sectional.
Beauty comes from within yourself as how you would be you, how you would accept the flaws that have been standardised by the world in words. Beauty is being your neutral self and having that sass and confidence and being vocal about it.