How far is too far?
Society is determining what the definition of beauty is. Magazines and television glorify what these media moguls consider the ideal woman. The saddest part is that women are listening to them. The population has a tendency to jump on to whatever is the latest trend. It could be dieting or simply a hair style and women buy whatever it is to achieve that beauty ideal.
What is considered beautiful shifts throughout history. It was only a couple centuries ago that women were purposely, painfully, tightening their waists with corsets. There have been accounts of women passing out from not being able the breath. To some today, that just seems ridiculous. Or is it? Does our society also have outrageous ways to obtain these standards?
For example, being thin has been the goal the past twenty years. Women and teenagers are starving themselves in order to be skinny. When people lose weight, they are praised with compliments. Recently, there has been a push for women to quickly drop weight after having a baby. Hollywood portrays this act the best. Magazines show celebrities back to pre-baby weight two months after giving birth. Headlines read: “She did it. You can too and here’s how!” This is not realistic. Not every women can be a size zero or have their 20-year-old body back right after birth. The cost women are paying is dangerous. Starving or taking part in strict, unhealthy diets is only hurting their bodies.
If being thin is not the goal, tweaking every other body is. Parents pierce their six-month-old baby’s ears so she will look like a cute little girl. Young teenage girls are taught that boys are hairy and that girls shave every inch of their body. Yes, these seem harmless until you take a step back. From the start, girls are taught to listen and conform to these beauty standards. Will I pierce my daughters ears or tell her to shave? Only if she wishes to. These girls grow up and begin dressing themselves as society tells them. They paint on whatever make up is the norm. Some go as far as plastic surgery when they are of age to do so.
This ideal woman does not even exist. She is a product of multiple women in the magazines or on television. Yes these women are beautiful but they are not the only definition of beauty. It is time our society expands this term.
I do see hope in the future. The number of plus size models are rising in the world of fashion. That was unheard of 20 years ago. Beyonce is a leading role model today for being a strong, independent woman. Even the Kardashians can be viewed positively because they are not the cookie-cutter standard. Either the beauty standard is growing or it is shifting. Only time will tell where beauty ideals are headed. We, as women, are the only ones who can make the change happen. We need to stop letting culture define our beauty and realize we are all beautiful.