The beauty imperative of today’s society

How many times have you felt insecure and not good enough because you feel like you can’t live up to the media’s and society’s expectation of a perfect woman? Thousand, I bet. No matter how much time passes, somehow, those expectations are always there, and no matter how much we fight it, there’s always a new image and new version you have to achieve.

mirror, beauty, and quotes image quotes, perfect, and Angelina Jolie image

Is it media or is it society who builds those expectations? It’s a question as old as chicken vs the egg, but the media is definitely the channel that sends the message and shows us how we are supposed to look.
Newspapers and magazines are full of articles with titles like ’The most beautiful girl of 2018’, ’How to have a perfect body like....’, ’Men have decided: this is how the perfect woman looks like’ etc. They are always suggesting that we are not good enough the way we look now. The worst thing is that we are competing against photoshopped bodies, rich celebrities who can afford personal trainers, plastic surgery, expensive make-up, clothes, and hair-dressers. Young girls and teenagers are growing up constantly trying to please someone, trying to look as much as possible as reality stars, actresses and singers. For example, Kylie Jenner has made a fortune from her makeup line, but we will never have lips like she does just because we use her lipsticks. Not even Kylie has that kind of lips. Let’s not forget that she used to say how people and media made her feel insecure - so insecure that she had to have plastic surgery at such a young age. But also, let’s not forget that the message she is sending to young girls is basically the same – you have to change your physical appearance by surgery or a lot of makeup to look perfect. I don’t blame her, she is just a victim of our vanity ridden society and it’s much harder to fight that the younger you are.

girl, aesthetic, and sun image

Also, it’s easy to notice that the standards are much higher for women. It’s not enough to just be beautiful. You also have to be young, if possible, forever. Men with wrinkles are seen as wise and desirable, it kinda adds to that ’manly’, even ’bad-boy look’. Not many male celebrities use botox, but there are countless female celebrities who fell under the youth pressure and now are unrecognizable from so much botox. Aging with grace and accepting the time, and experience that comes with it has become less important than having the ever glowing exterior. The priorities of today’s society are money, fame and look. Our values are now so superficial, that having depth, working on your growth and knowledge is marginal.

Temporarily removed

The question is: why do we let the media, society and everybody else decide for us how should we look? Why do we follow those standards and why do we spend so much effort and money to look the way others expect us to? Instead of promoting hard work, showing the coming generations that what will make them stand out is intelligence, wit and hunger for knowledge, we are showing them that even if they have all of that, what counts the most is having long and perfect hair, big breasts, flawless skin and whatever the body type they find perfect today. Looking pretty is great, but it takes so much more to build your character, to work on your accomplishments, to feed your mind and that’s what should be on first pages of newspapers and magazines. That’s what the society values should be. What matters it’s what we carry inside of us, not the image that will always fade, even when we fight it.

This article was written by @FireBomb93 on the We Heart It Writers Team.