Lately, I’ve been spending a LOT of time watching documentaries about different beauty standards from different countries. Some countries engage in using illegal body bleaching products to whiten their skin than their natural skin color, taking over-the-counter pills that were already banned, spending hours in the tanning salon, having a plastic surgery-even at an early age, and so much more. Why are women doing this? Basic answer: “To become beautiful.” Some would say, “To attract men.”, “I am doing this for myself.” and many more reasons.
Today, the sales of cosmetics and beauty products are increasingly high compared to its sales 10 years ago. Make-up products have evolved, from the usual beige-skin-toned concealer to green-orange-red concealers that can conceal every imperfection that you have. From the usual papaya soap that most Filipina use to whiten their skin, now comes whitening products in injectible forms and so many more evolution of beauty products.
Aside from that, women nowadays – I guess even before – were ranked based on their sexiness and appeal. Some would agree that the one who won “The Sexiest Woman” is really the sexiest, some would not. We all have different perspective towards this matter and I respect that. Some people say that being sexy means having a BOMB-ASS body. Toned legs and a Kardashian-like butt and boobs. Some say that being sexy is being fit, but still have that BIG boobs and butt. Some prefer women who are #THICC, you know, the usual Instagram women that gains tons of followers by just posting a Kylie Jenner-inspired mirror selfie (plus the butt ofc).
But let’s be honest here, its already 2017 and we are still arguing over these “beauty standards”. Why are we still conforming to the society’s idea of beauty? What are even today’s society idea of beauty?
Maybe the rise of Social Media is one of the factors why we are still conforming to the society’s idea of beauty. Every time we post a selfie, we gain likes and reacts. We validate our beauty on the number of likes and reacts that we get. Why? Because we get the attention that we wanted to have. Have you noticed yourself, that whenever you post a picture, you’ll constantly check the number of likes and reacts that you get. These numbers are feeding the attention-seeker in us and makes us want to post more and more. There are also some cases that we consider someone as beautiful, just because of the numbers of like and reacts that they have. But guess what, those likes and reacts are just numbers and take note that those numbers even build insecurities instead of enhancing yourself. YOU ARE MORE THAN THOSE NUMBERS. WE ARE MORE THAN THOSE NUMBERS.
Aside from the rise of Social Media, I think another factor could be the nature of women’s beauty to attract men. But we’re not in the Adam and Eve setting anymore. We are in that era where being “BEAUTIFUL catches the prize.” It’s like what they always say, “You can get anything because you’re beautiful.” This could be the reason why we are into beautifying ourselves even more – and its okay, but sometimes we are going beyond the line. Some girls are becoming rude to some guys because they think their beauty is too much for them. Some girls change their attitude just because they improved how they look. But I guess its human nature after all. It’s human nature that we use our beauty to attract men but beauty changes. Years from now, you’ll have those fine lines and wrinkles, you will look a way lot different from your youth days. So ladies, if we are thinking that our beauty will keep our man around our arms, then its not. It’s their love and choice to stay or to go away. Sometimes beauty isn’t enough to keep them at bay. Yes, they might get attracted but what will make them stay is our attitude (I guess) AND their choice of not being tempted to fall for another woman who’s way more prettier “than” you.
I think it was last year when I felt that I am becoming one of the generation that’s been constantly checking the number of likes and reacts that they get on their pictures. I would constantly switch from Facebook to Instagram just to check how many likes do I get from this platform compared to this another platform. And to be honest, I got tired of it. I also used to wear tons of heavy make-up just to cover up my blemishes and acne (before I realized that I have a hormonal imbalance) BUT know what, IT made me feel pretty on the outside but empty on the inside (cliche I know). I felt sad when someone doesn’t noticed that I applied a mascara, or had my eyebrows done. Yes, I get some attention but not the attention of the guy that I wanted to notice me (heartbreak alert). Those ridiculous things made me think that I am only beautifying myself for others – for others to praise me (yes, I’m such an attention-seeker but the lowkey kind lol). I even came up to the point that even if I’m at home, I’ll put some make-up on. Its like I’ve been uncomfortable with myself. So I learned to change my thinking. If others notice some changes in me, then great. If not, its still okay. I realized that real beauty is not just what’s on the outside and my/our beauty is not meant to please people.
As what they say, “The only way to get out is to get in.” I believe the same thing goes for beauty. If you don’t feel confident, happy and at peace on the inside, no matter how good your brows are done, no matter white you’ve become from drinking those whitening pills, you will feel just empty and dull. Aside from that, I realized that being beautiful is not enough to keep a man, sometimes even if you’re the prettiest, you’ll still get cheated on, you’ll still get left behind. The right man will appreciate you for who you are, even without those airbrushed make-up and even if you’re just wearing a large tee and pajamas. The right person will make you feel at home and at ease.
On defining beauty standards, it should not just limit to who you are on the outside but also who you are on the inside. If you’re truly happy, at peace, in love everything will radiate from you. You’ll find yourself expressing who you are at ease and others will find it beautiful. Also, I believe that being beautiful is made up of being healthy, physically, emotionally, spiritually and being mindful of who you are and of others.
Ladies, don’t let this judgmental society define your beauty, instead define your own beauty. Radiate your real beauty from the inside and out.