Western unrealistic beauty standards are toxic and dangerous



Reece Ingram, Editor-in-Chief

The phrase “beauty is in the eye of the beholder” is very true and in many ways, we are living that. Meaning, that people are held to unrealistic beauty standards that can negatively affect themselves just to please “the beholder”, or society.  Beauty is an ever-evolving thing due to the constant desire to look like the “ideal person”. 

What is the “ideal person”? In today’s day and age, someone who is toned, very slim, scarless, acne-free, accentuated features is the “ideal person”. In reality, this is almost unachievable without excessive cosmetic procedures and extreme diets and extreme exercise. However, the main culprit of any body is genetics. It is definitely unfair that people feel like they would only be classified as “beautiful” if they looked a particular way. Everyone and every body is beautiful, society is just cruel and judgmental. 

Due to the misogynistic society of the modern world, some women are identified and valued based on their appearance, unlike men who are admired for their professional success and wealth. Since the mid 1900s, women have been portrayed in magazines, television shows, movies, and etcetera that they are supposed to completely serve their husbands. This “ideal woman” is still stuck in some men’s minds. This is very offensive and dehumanizing–women are not subjects of property.

Women and girls have been objectified and sexualized by the media and modern beauty standards from a young age, especially when they are the most impressionable. Girls are told to shave their bodies and dress a certain way just to get the slightest approval and validation from men. Men can also experience objectification as well, mostly when it comes to outward appearance. 

The glorification and romanticization of unhealthy slimness  is also dangerous for young people. This can trigger eating disorders, body dysmorphia, and other mental health issues. As impressionable as young people are, this thought of wanting to look almost unhealthily thin can seriously cause damage to self esteem and self image.

Today’s society has really impacted beauty standards due to the unlimited access to social media and the internet. The Kardashians are well known for the way they look and what they promote—an unhealthy body image on social media. They have personal professional trainers, dietitians, and plastic surgeons. Their platform goes after young teenage girls, claiming that the girls can look like them by purchasing their products. The products they promote all over their social media accounts are supposed to help someone get a Kardashian-like figure. Realistically, this is not what actually happens. They have had many numerous surgeries to get their hourglass figures, and a detox tea was not a helping factor. Not to mention, their pictures are photoshopped. If you have the money to get plastic surgery, that is good for you. However, if you are claiming that it is all natural and the products you are getting paid to promote were aiding you in getting the “ideal body type”, you are a fraud and are promoting an unhealthy relationship with self image. 

The toxic, fatal beauty standards of today’s society put everyone at risk, especially teenagers. Modern society is unfair to all bodies, which manifests into self-esteem problems. Body positivity and self-care are very important and promote a good relationship with one’s self. Society’s standards do not define anyone.