Health & Education Top Stories

False Beauty Standards : Navneet Kaur

“A boy/man must look handsome with perfect hair and face, huge, tall and muscular body.”
“A girl/woman must look pretty with white skin tone, flowing hairs, big eyes and cherry lips to name a few.”
From our childhood, we are imposed with lot of stereotyping like these. Beauty standards are set by our society and most of the people try to fit into those standards. In childhood, a person is exposed to false standards of beauty through fairy tales. In fairy tales, beauty is one of the main and most common aspects of both men and women figures. One of the most common stereotype in fairy tales is that beautiful girl is kind-hearted and a girl who doesn’t look beautiful is bad or evil. Another stereotype is that, if you are a beautiful woman, you get a chance to get marry with a handsome man who is rich, powerful, strong and good. In short, the woman who is beautiful and good is rewarded by happiness and the man who is handsome, good, strong and rich is rewarded by a beautiful life partner.
As we all know, adolescents’ bodies change during puberty. Adolescence is the first time event, when an individual thinks a lot about his/her identity and looks. Teenagers start comparisons with others and they search for what an ideal body looks like. Sometimes, they try to look like their favourite person or actors. For instance, when an actress made her first appearance in a size zero figure in the movie. Fans went crazy over her body figure and girls did anything or everything to achieve the same. Youngsters chase trend blindly without knowing the side-effects. Teens change their appearance, try new activities or pursue new interests to try on different identities to see what works for them. Their identities are shaped by lots of factors such as family, friends, cultural, society expectations and experiences in school to name a few.
Beauty standards are an unrealistic image that our society has set for us to live up to. Throughout the years, beauty standards frequently change and we are expected to change ourselves to fit the image if we want to be perceived as attractive. Actually, each country has their own standards of beauty. But fair complexion is generally preferred in many countries or societies. And we, Indians are very obsessed with white skin tone and do discrimination on the basis of skin colour, it is bitter but truth.
If you’re thinking, does false beauty standards for boys exist? Then, the answer is “yes”. Unrealistic expectations and false beauty standards are not always imposed on women. Our society promotes the idea of perfect person regardless of gender and perfection is defined by a never ending list of requirements. Boys also feel pressure to have good height, muscles, abs, jawline and more.
Nowadays, most of the people spend most of their time on social media platforms and these platforms promote the idea of attractive and perfect physical traits. “An individual should look like that.” “An individual must have to look like a perfect barbie or a perfect prince.” People hardly post non-filtered photographs on their social media accounts. People use different types of apps to filter and edit their pictures. Everyone just only want to look attractive and beautiful/handsome. What do you think? Is it right to hide natural self behind makeup or filters all the time? For me, “a big no”, because when an individual hide his/her natural self all the time, he/she may start feeling uncomfortable in his/her real self.
Unrealistic expectations and false beauty standards can be physically and mentally harassing and can ruin someone’s life. When an individual’s realistic body and their ideal body images do not match, this can lead to mental health issues such as eating disorders, mood disorders, anxiety disorder as well as identity issues, low self-esteem and lack of confidence.
Remember, our natural physical traits make us special and unique. We should live a healthy lifestyle without worrying about false beauty standards.
“Take care of your mental health and peace.”

Navneet Kaur
(cp.navneetkaur@gmail.com)

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