Forget About Society’s Beauty Standards
By Chianne Green, LMSW
What is your definition of beauty? They say beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but does this remain true today? We live in a world full of beauty standards defined by external factors like “society”. Both men and women can fall into the trap of defining beauty by society’s standards. According to society’s standards, men need to be at least six feet tall, with broad shoulders, and a six pack. Women are told to be supermodel thin, with a slim waist, and curves. Both are black and white messages with little room for a grey area. These messages can make you feel insecure or inadequate, especially if you compare yourself to others or society’s beauty standard. Keep in mind neither of these standards are written in stone or words to live by.
It can be difficult, but forget how society wants you to look. Be confident in who you are and what you bring to the table. Be body positive. Body positivity is a social media movement rooted in acceptance and loving your body as is. Disregarding the ideal body shapes and body types can be difficult in the digital age. The more social media has consumed our lives, the harder it can be to live by your individual definition of beauty and not feel compelled to conform to society’s standard. Through social media, we’ve become self-absorbed and have let our social media presence define us via Instagram accounts or online dating profiles. But it does not have to.
Instead of focusing on your body’s physical appearance, think about all the things your body is able to do. There’s another movement known as body neutrality, this movement focuses on acknowledging what your body does and not how it appears. How your body allows you to try new experiences, travel, get to work, or home. Body neutrality focuses on appreciating your body, completely disregarding society’s beauty standards.
If you’re constantly chasing a beauty standard, you’ll never be happy with who you are. You’ll constantly work to conform to whatever the standard is. Take the time to focus on your strengths: What do you like about yourself? What are your attractive qualities? What do you bring to the table? If it helps, write these things down. When you feel like you’re fighting against beauty standards, take a look at the list of strengths and qualities you’ve identified. Beauty does not solely define who you are.
Love your body for all it has to offer regardless of how it appears and how society thinks it should be.