Why The Gendered Beauty Standard Must Be Demolished
Start writing a post
Lifestyle

Why The Gendered Beauty Standard Must Be Demolished

This is just how harmful the feminine beauty ideal is.

75
Why The Gendered Beauty Standard Must Be Demolished
Push Back the Dark

What does being “beautiful” entail for women?

According to Google Images, it means being taller than average, an athletic yet curvy physique, long and flowing hair, perfectly smooth skin, an unblemished smile. It means being flawlessly masked by surgery and photoshop. It means falsifying or concealing herself to be portrayed superficially. Social media’s interpretation of female beauty is toxic. It is a ridiculously complex and categorized definition bolstered by cruel and unrealistic standards. It relentlessly carves away at the health and perceptions of young girls and women across the country. It is incredibly demanding for a woman to try to fit herself into today’s imposed definitions of beauty. Women must fight themselves physically and mentally to be perceived as something they already are.

The issue doesn't just exist in the United States. Dove, a personal care company, conducted a 2016 study that involved 10,500 women from 13 countries. An overwhelming 71% of women and 67% of girls challenged social media to more accurately represent the diversity and differences of women across the globe. Around 85% of women and 79% of girls stated that they elect to avoid important activities and life events simply because they feel that they do not look good enough. Because society will dim its light upon them. In an age of online filters, effortless photoshop capabilities, and plastic surgery, there are increasingly enormous and global pressures for women to alter or enhance their appearance.

With growing pressures to conform to society’s projected image, many younger and older women sacrifice their health and well-being to avoid online abuse, stereotypes, and various forms of prejudice. In the multinational Dove study, nearly 90% of women claimed that they will not eat or will risk their health to appear differently. This statistic shocked me when I read it. The percentages of young women, not just in the U.S. but across the globe, who suffer with mental illnesses like dysphoria and depression and eating disorders like bulimia and anorexia are growing at an alarming rate. But this is not surprising, given the stigmatization and abuse inflicted by men and various forms of media.

Too often women’s appearances are attributed to personality flaws and unlikeable characteristics. The way different women are perceived drastically opposes the way overweight, disheveled, or older men are perceived. Women are frequently subject to grotesque looks, rash and insensitive jokes, ravaging taunts and insults, and constant criticism in public. Yet if a man doesn’t shower, wears unclean clothes, or has an unkempt or haggard appearance, he is commonly given a free pass.

Look not to the top to solve this divide. To our president, the pillar of American integrity, our ambassador to the world, women are no more than objects. They are toy things that should be valued solely by their physical appearance. In a 1991 interview, Donald Trump said, “It doesn’t really matter… as long as you’ve got a young and beautiful piece of a**.” In a conversation in 2005, he said, “Grab ‘em by the p**y. You can do anything.” And much, much more has come from his mouth. I felt nauseous sifting through Trump’s pile of degrading and disgusting attacks on women. Young girls are abusing and torturing themselves because they believe they are worthless or cannot fit in. And yet this is our president.

This is not “locker room” talk. Male friends of mine do not casually ravage and berate women because of something meaningless and uncontrollable. They do not objectify and ridicule women because of something society deems necessary. Our world is hyper-focused on what is seen from the outside and it is unacceptable. By accepting themselves, girls are threatened by the double standard that is alive and well in our country. When girls are confident in themselves and their appearance, they are too frequently subject to catcalling, groping, and other forms of verbal and physical harassment.

Whether it be in a mall, on the street, or anywhere in public, these comments and actions have become a male cultural norm in the U.S. and elsewhere. In order to combat this degenerative social order, men must take action themselves. Men must initiate cultural transformation and take action when witnessing sexist slurs and actions in public. Because men, even if we are not acting inappropriately, we are still bystanders.

Dove Study Data: http://www.cosmopolitan.com/style-beauty/beauty/news/a60373/womens-body-confidence-declining/

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
Health and Wellness

5 Simple Ways To Give Yourself Grace, Especially When Life Gets Hard

Grace begins with a simple awareness of who we are and who we are becoming.

1844
Photo by Brooke Cagle on Unsplash

If there's one thing I'm absolutely terrible at, it's giving myself grace. I'm easily my own worst critic in almost everything that I do. I'm a raging perfectionist, and I have unrealistic expectations for myself at times. I can remember simple errors I made years ago, and I still hold on to them. The biggest thing I'm trying to work on is giving myself grace. I've realized that when I don't give myself grace, I miss out on being human. Even more so, I've realized that in order to give grace to others, I need to learn how to give grace to myself, too. So often, we let perfection dominate our lives without even realizing it. I've decided to change that in my own life, and I hope you'll consider doing that, too. Grace begins with a simple awareness of who we are and who we're becoming. As you read through these five affirmations and ways to give yourself grace, I hope you'll take them in. Read them. Write them down. Think about them. Most of all, I hope you'll use them to encourage yourself and realize that you are never alone and you always have the power to change your story.

Keep Reading... Show less
Entertainment

Breaking Down The Beginning, Middle, And End of Netflix's Newest 'To All The Boys' Movie

Noah Centineo and Lana Condor are back with the third and final installment of the "To All The Boys I've Loved Before" series

303942
Netflix

Were all teenagers and twenty-somethings bingeing the latest "To All The Boys: Always and Forever" last night with all of their friends on their basement TV? Nope? Just me? Oh, how I doubt that.

I have been excited for this movie ever since I saw the NYC skyline in the trailer that was released earlier this year. I'm a sucker for any movie or TV show that takes place in the Big Apple.

Keep Reading... Show less
Lifestyle

4 Ways To Own Your Story, Because Every Bit Of It Is Worth Celebrating

I hope that you don't let your current chapter stop you from pursuing the rest of your story.

190567
Photo by Manny Moreno on Unsplash

Every single one of us has a story.

I don't say that to be cliché. I don't say that to give you a false sense of encouragement. I say that to be honest. I say that to be real.

Keep Reading... Show less
Politics and Activism

How Young Feminists Can Understand And Subvert The Internalized Male Gaze

Women's self-commodification, applied through oppression and permission, is an elusive yet sexist characteristic of a laissez-faire society, where women solely exist to be consumed. (P.S. justice for Megan Fox)

92732
Paramount Pictures

Within various theories of social science and visual media, academics present the male gaze as a nebulous idea during their headache-inducing meta-discussions. However, the internalized male gaze is a reality, which is present to most people who identify as women. As we mature, we experience realizations of the perpetual male gaze.

Keep Reading... Show less
Lifestyle

It's Important To Remind Yourself To Be Open-Minded And Embrace All Life Has To Offer

Why should you be open-minded when it is so easy to be close-minded?

286102

Open-mindedness. It is something we all need a reminder of some days. Whether it's in regards to politics, religion, everyday life, or rarities in life, it is crucial to be open-minded. I want to encourage everyone to look at something with an unbiased and unfazed point of view. I oftentimes struggle with this myself.

Keep Reading... Show less
Swoon

14 Last Minute Valentine's Day Gifts Your S.O. Will Love

If they love you, they're not going to care if you didn't get them some expensive diamond necklace or Rolex watch; they just want you.

172244

Let me preface this by saying I am not a bad girlfriend.

I am simply a forgetful one.

Keep Reading... Show less
Student Life

10 Helpful Tips For College Students Taking Online Courses This Semester

Here are several ways to easily pass an online course.

114736
Photo by Vlada Karpovich on Pexels

With spring semester starting, many college students are looking to take courses for the semester. With the pandemic still ongoing, many students are likely looking for the option to take online courses.

Online courses at one time may have seemed like a last minute option for many students, but with the pandemic, they have become more necessary. Online courses can be very different from taking an on-campus course. You may be wondering what the best way to successfully complete an online course is. So, here are 10 helpful tips for any student who is planning on taking online courses this semester!

Keep Reading... Show less
Lifestyle

Take A Look At The Extravagant Lane Woods Jewelry Collection For Valentine's Gift Ideas

So if you are currently looking to purchase jewelry for yourself or as a romantic gift for your S.O., you should definitely look at the marvelous and ornately designed Lane Woods Jewelry collection

335093

Just like diamonds are a girl's best friend, so are pearls, rubies, gold, emeralds, and any type of luxurious jewelry you can get your hands on! A woman is incomplete without a piece of jewelry on her and it is a gorgeous accessory required for all occasions. So if you are currently looking to purchase jewelry for yourself or as a romantic gift for your S.O., you should definitely look at the marvelous and ornately designed Lane Woods Jewelry collection.

Keep Reading... Show less
Facebook Comments