Have you ever wondered “What makes a person beautiful?”. Or, to be more specific “What is beauty?”. Beauty is relative and it depends on each individual. If you ask me, this goes without saying, but what about those beauty standards we see everywhere? We try so hard to look good and to fit in those standards, that it becomes toxic and unhealthy.
I’m here to tell you that it’s not your fault! Society changes its beauty standards all the time and I will prove how drastic they are from decade to decade:
In Ancient Greece, the “beautiful” woman was curvy and had fair skin. But, as you may know already, men were ideal during those times. They were held to a higher standard and, since women were different from men, people perceived them as “disfigured”. But, if women were curvy, that was a very good thing, because it was a symbol of wealth.
The Han Dynasty
During those times, the ideal woman had small feet. And they achieved that by doing monstrous things. For example, when they were young, they had their feet wrapped in very tight binding, which they used to prevent growth. Sadly, this awful procedure left them disfigured. The practice is illegal now, but there are alive women who have this thing done. They have had traumatic experiences. Read more about this procedure here.
We all know that this was the time when corsets’ popularity rose. Women were so obsessed with having a tiny waist, so they started wearing corsets. Corsets also made their breasts look bigger, so it was a win-win situation.
The Roaring 20s
This is completely unrelated to the Victorian England standard. Women started wearing bras that flattened their chest, and they had short hair. Curves were no longer “in style”. Women even wore clothing that made them seem smaller!
The Golden Age of Hollywood
The icon of this period of time was Marilyn Monroe (obviously). So you understand what I mean. From the slim, boyish figure of the 1920s, the standard during these times was the complete opposite: curves, hourglass figure, slim waist.
But then, the 80s came along…
Do you remember those leggings and training suits? Well, that’s because, from what we remember, everyone was obsessed with working out. The goal was being skinny while being athletic as well.
Could these beauty standards get even worse?
Sadly, they did. The 90s brought the skinniest beauty standard in history. Obviously, women went to great lengths to achieve this look: pale, extremely thin with dark circles under their eyes, you name it. Do I think this is okay? No! Many women were starving themselves or doing drugs in order to be this thin (hence the name “heroin chic”).
What about nowadays?
It seems that curves are back. But not any type of curves! Women are expected to be skinny, but not too skinny! They’re expected to have a big butt and a flat stomach. And more and more women want to get plastic surgery in order to look like that, but, with the wrong “specialists”, this can go horribly wrong.
See? It’s madness! They change a lot! “Be fat, be skinny, be athletic, be curvy!” Even the fact that when you look up “beauty standards” and it only mentions women is unfortunate. The most important thing is that everyone is beautiful in their own way, and it doesn’t matter if you don’t fit society’s standards. Society doesn’t fit its beauty standards anyways, so why should you?