Sophomore Maab Karrar reminds us that we are all normal human beings with imperfections.
Beauty standards are the qualifications implicated by society that women are expected to meet in order to embody the “feminine beauty ideal”. These qualifications are constantly communicated to us through film, television, literature, magazines, advertisements, and social media. Too fat, too thin, too short, too tall, too fair, too dusky; social standards imply that beauty lies in being anything except you! But you know what? People have flaws and it’s normal. You shouldn't blame yourself for acne, the gap between your teeth, freckles on your face or any other features that make you special. As long as you’re happy with your own body, no one else’s opinion matters.
Beauty standards are the gnarled and rotten roots of all that’s wrong with the world. They are tools of oppression that reinforce sexism, racism, colorism, classism, ableism, ageism, and gender norms. They are built into our societies and embedded into our brains. They contribute to mental health problems like anxiety, depression, eating disorders, self-harm, and low self-esteem.
My body type is not perfect or anything near that. I’ve spent years blaming myself and trying to get a “perfect body”. I suffered from anxiety and low self-esteem while trying so hard to be accepted by society. That’s when I realized that a “perfect body” never existed. Your beauty can be determined by only one person - and that person is YOU. I was so inspired by beautiful women like Winnie Harlow who didn’t let her vitiligo stop her from slaying the modeling scene, and Alicia Keys who announced back in 2016 that she would no longer wear makeup to hide her natural beauty. These are just a few examples of empowering women who appreciate their shapes and looks which are not really perceived by our society.
Coco Chanel once said, “a girl should be two things, who and what she wants.” If you are proud of the person that you are and feel healthy, you don't need to change anything. When trying to please someone else, it can be hard to find self love within yourself. The people around you should reflect who you want to be, no matter what you look like. You shouldn't change anything for anyone. People won't appreciate that. Toxic people will ask for more and more until you lose yourself. Just be yourself and do what makes you happy.
Teen Vogue. “How White Supremacy and Capitalism Influence Beauty Standards.” Teen Vogue, https://www.teenvogue.com/story/standard-issues-white-supremacy-capitalism-influence-beauty. Published 19 October 2020