Enough! Of Beauty Standard Stereotypes

Jun 17 , 2023
By Kidist Yidnekachew

I recently assisted a friend who was getting ready for an event. It took two days to contemplate her attire, makeup and hairstyle with last-minute shopping that was incredibly stressful. Considering the limited time and energy, we ultimately decided on a dress and shoes.

By the time I arrived home, it was late and I was completely worn out. The process made me envious of those who can effortlessly choose an outfit and be ready in a matter of minutes.

Women are resorting to temporary or permanent physical modifications in the name of self-care, equated with eyelashes and nails extension. Although everyone is entitled to their preference, I believe that accepting and nurturing oneself should be enough care rather than seeking transformation.

After the event, I caught up with my friend ready to hear the details and asked if she had a good time. She looked stunning. However, she expressed feeling underdressed and how seeing others all dolled up made her feel lesser. To make matters worse, an old acquaintance commented on her weight gain, leaving her insecure throughout the occasion.

I felt her emotions. It is an experience of many who compare themselves to others. It got me thinking about how subdued it would be to attend events without emphasising on looks but a mere cleanliness with minimum effort.

Society has often stereotyped women as lesser if they do not meet the threshold of beauty standards set by the media and fashion industry. The standard of beauty has become limited to a petite waist and an hourglass figure. This has led to a culture of body shaming and low self-esteem.

Challenging the stereotypes and promoting body positivity, acceptance and diversity is pertinent, as internalised beliefs are passed on to young girls.

What drives most people to look a certain way is recognition. Everyone has their own insecurities and worries which is understandable. However, staying true to self and not compromising values to fit in is salient. Being authentic and genuine should be more satisfactory than seeking validation from others.

It is crucial to prioritise well-being and happiness over conforming to societal beauty standards. We should celebrate and embrace our uniqueness, as beauty comes in all shapes, sizes and forms. Let us strive to love and accept ourselves for who we are, rather than seeking validation from others.

We can create a more inclusive and equitable society for all by accepting women as they are. It is substantial to remember that true beauty comes from within, and taking care of their mental health and well-being is just as important as physical appearance. It is up to each individual to prioritise what is important to them and find a balance between self-care and self-love.

It is time to break free from the pressure of always looking perfect and embrace our unique features. Let us embrace natural beauty without societal standards dictating our feelings. We should feel confident and beautiful, with or without additional features. We ought to empower each other to love ourselves the way we are.

PUBLISHED ON Jun 17,2023 [ VOL 24 , NO 1207]

Kidist Yidnekachew is interested in art, human nature and behaviour. She has studied psychology, journalism and communications and can be reached at (kaymina21@gmail.com)

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