Its late on a Tuesday night and I’m sitting here working on a current assignment about the social issue of unrealistic beauty standards. Do you fit into today’s beauty standards? Are they realistic? How much do they mean to you?
Despite years of body positivity messaging from brands over the last 10 years targeted at young women, these young women are still feeling like they don’t live up to the beauty standards presented in mainstream and social media.
Low body confidence is a key issue for men and women of all ages, however the number of young women who are putting themselves through risky and extreme diets, surgical procedures and face-tuning has increased over the past 10 years.
So does this mean that the harder we try, the worse it gets?
Its easy to say “spend less time on social media and to practise self-love” however social media is a now vital part of today’s lifestyle. its used regularly throughout each day to share and communicate with friends and followers. We hate to admit this but social media is difficult to live without. This is exactly why this is a social issue, we need people to change and people don’t like change.
You can see from the image above that the ideal female figure changes dramatically over time. In the 1920’s women were slim and shapeless, then in the 1950’s women were curvy with a small waist, the 1990’s saw a similar look to the 1920’s and now the ‘ideal’ female figure is curvy with a small waist again – a la Kim Kardashian.
The ideal female figure has seen many changes in history and will continue to evolve – also take into account that this is just western society I’m writing about and not every country has the same ideas of what is considered beautiful.
See this video here on YouTube where Taylor R conducted a really interesting experiment asking people from across the world to show her what beautiful looks like …
Me personally, I like fashion and figures from every decade – a huge passion in my life is fashion and beauty, vintage and contemporary. So I find this subject as a whole very interesting.
Recently I’ve seen a movement of new role models emerging who are setting new standards and creating new demands from brands to use models with different bodies from around the world such as Ashley Graham and the famous pop star Lizzo spreads her message of self love at all her events and on social media. This is a good start, but there is still a lot of change that needs to happen. Living in London where the city is very diverse, there is no one single ideal beauty, no one here is trying to follow one look. Instead it is celebrated to be more of an individual and have your own unique style, so I’m lucky to be living in this type of society. But I know that from living in New Zealand and Australia that ideals are different.
Whats that old saying? “Beauty is always in the eye of the beholder”
I’m interested to know what you think. Do you feel like you fit into the beauty standards of today? What do you think the beauty standards are? Do they matter to you?