Toxicity of Beauty Standards

As a young girl, I was told to be something I wasn’t. I remember a ridiculous moment at the age of 9 where I started crying because I wasn’t as fair skinned as my sisters and didn’t have light hair like them. Now I think to myself “how was I able to overlook the features that I have”. It is incredible how beauty standards were able to shape how I looked at my body and complexion. To any little girl or woman, I want to say:

“You are beautiful and comparing yourself to other girls and women isn’t worth your time. Beauty isn’t a set thing, it is a unique concept and construct that deprives us of happiness. So love yourself because you are perfectly imperfect, which makes you more than beautiful.” 

I want to talk about how beauty, as a word, is hard to define. The word in this day and age tends to be linked to male standards. The thing that women need to understand is that we are more than just a being that needs to meet the standards that men create for us. We are powerful and capable of surviving on our own, and that having a partner is secondary to that. Women compare themselves to an illusion that was created by the male gaze. Beauty in reality is patriarchal and a social construct used to oppress women, so why should we try so hard to meet a standard that’s been created by the opposite sex to put us down? 

“The beauty myth is always actually prescribing behaviour and not appearance.” – Naomi Wolf – The Beauty myth

In conclusion I want this post to open the minds of women and girls who feel out of place in the spectrum of beauty. Stop comparing yourself to other women and putting yourself down, in order to truly be happy you must realise that beauty isn’t a priority and when you come to this conclusion your confidence will outshine any beauty standard. Be a woman and not a sexual object, you are better than that because you are you. 

By Karla Louise Hallett

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