The unrealistic standards of societal beauty are increasing day by day. Women are raised to live up to false beauty ideals imposed by society from an early age. Social media, magazines, newspapers, and even television tend to set unrealistically grand expectations. Even if you have tried to mold yourself to please society, you must look a specific way for people to recognize your “beautiful.” Even then, there is always some level of criticism. The temptation to keep up with what we see online has turned into a morbid cycle that is robbing people of their lives one click at a time. People have struggled with identity issues because of the unattainable beauty standards set by what they see on social media.
Impact on Mental Health
Many people have acquired major mental health problems, identity troubles, and even body dysmorphia to meet unrealistic beauty standards. We are immersed in another universe from the moment we first open our eyes. Thousands of celebrities, influencers, models, and corporations utilize social media to sell themselves by constructing an image of perfection, just like most of us do. While we may assume we are lazily scrolling through such stuff, our subconscious is soaking it all in, and before we know it, those perfectly shaped bodies have become the barometer by which we measure everything else. Within this fictitious realm of idealism, there appears to be a problem.
Celebrites & Models
Thousands of celebrities and models share their training routines, eating habits, and other aspects of their lifestyle that contribute to their appearance on social media. There is only one issue with this industry: it is entirely made up. According to a NEDA article titled “Body Image and Eating Disorders,” 40-60% of elementary school-aged girls are self-conscious about their weight. This issue begins at an early age and continues throughout a woman’s life. Body standards that are unrealistic might lead to eating disorders and mental health issues.
The Modelling Industry and its Effects
For assorted reasons, several firms do not allow specific models to participate in their campaigns. The scandal surrounding Victoria’s Secret in 2018 is an example of this. While the firm did include models of various races in their show, according to the Cosmopolitan article, none of the 52 models included was plus-sized. This is a highly watched show, and women want to see someone on film that looks like them, not how they “should” look.
However, today’s youth are growing up in a more welcoming and inclusive atmosphere. As a result, the media’s portrayal of all diverse types of people who symbolize our variety has a bright future for today’s children. But it must be kept in mind that such changes are not very prominent yet as societal beauty standards are still prominently portrayed on social media. There has been an increase in the number of girls who use their platform to become “Instagram models.”
These young ladies met all of the societal beauty standards for attractiveness. The majority of these “models” are tanned and extremely thin, with flawless skin and facial features. Due to these circumstances, the rates of plastic surgery have also gone up. The only way this will change is if society begins to accept diverse sorts of beauty beyond the ones that are expected. Social acceptance should be extended to all colors, body types, haircuts, and stretch marks. It is critical to move forward and away from obsolete beauty standards. This will offer all women the self-assurance they require to be themselves without fear of being judged. The future is bright, but in order to accomplish the necessary progress, we must expand our horizons and be welcoming of all people.
About the author
Seerat Irfan is an aspiring writer who is currently pursuing a degree in English Literature. Aside from writing, she is also an avid poet who has some of her poetry published. She is hoping to establish a career as an author and is currently a content writer.