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The detrimental consequences of beauty standards

The+detrimental+consequences+of+beauty+standards

Beauty standards have been lurking around in society for thousands of years. They pressure young individuals to fit a certain criteria of physical traits in order to be deemed “attractive”. Although society has improved in many other ways, it hasn’t moved on from these consequential expectations related to appearance. The Guardian reports that three out of four children as young as 12 are unsatisfied with their bodies and feel ashamed of their physical appearance. But, how are these results so extreme? Adolescents today often have such a negative relationship with beauty due to social media influences, the entertainment industry and peer pressure. 

Some of the most prevalent beauty standards in our society today for women are a thin figure, a small waist with curves and a small nose. For men, a muscular build and sharp jawline are considered desirable. In general, clear skin and a symmetrical face are also considered to be attractive.

Almost all teenagers today have access to some form of social media. Social media platforms such as Instagram or Tiktok are just some of the apps where teenagers are confronted with beauty standards and exchange their views on them. Many influencers popular on social media fit into the beauty standard. This gives teens the belief that they should also look like these influencers, and that the way they look is not necessarily beautiful. Filters and editing are extremely popular on social media as well, with some of the most popular celebrities using them. Filters that clear up skin, remove eye bags and even apply makeup on are all used very often. This sends out the message that all these features are unattractive and should be fixed, despite the fact that features like acne or eye bags are completely natural. 

When adolescents are exposed to content like this every day, it begins to alter how they judge and act toward others in real life. Many children use the excuse of a person’s looks in order to bully and make fun of them. In fact, the Anti-Bullying Alliance reports that approximately 55% of children have been bullied about their visual appearance in England. This number is unacceptable and poses serious threats for the current and upcoming generations. The pressure to have specific features and be attractive has become so significant that children are tormenting other kids for it. This can lead to insecurities that can last for years and even cause dangerous health issues.

The pressures of these beauty standards can cause long-term health issues such as depression, eating disorders, anxiety disorders and more. To prevent this, there are many things that can be done to help. Although it may be a bit difficult, social media breaks are essential. Taking social media breaks and focusing on other aspects of life can make an immense change, especially with insecurities because it allows individuals to be exposed to people in real life and not the glamorized online personas of people. Keeping a journal with positive affirmations about one’s life and traits can also make a significant difference since it is a reminder of things one should be grateful for. Most importantly, it is crucial to surround oneself with positive peers. At a time when individuals are still developing, it is key that they are surrounded by the right people who appreciate them and compliment them the way they are. All the above can aid with a more positive body image, limit comparison to other individuals and create a more positive perspective on body image. 

At the end of the day, physical attractiveness is only one aspect of what makes up an individual. There is so much more to someone than the way they look such as morals, personality, beliefs, hobbies and talents. The way people are perceived online is different from how they are in reality, which is something to always keep in mind when scrolling through social media. Every individual’s features are unique and people should be valued just the way they are.



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About the Contributor
Sabiha Sufian, Contributor
Sabiha Sufian is a contributor for the Kingsley Voice. She has been a part of the team since 2024.

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    Aleesha QureshiApr 16, 2024 at 10:23 am

    Oh wow this article is so good! Super relevant! Amazing job! I am Sabihas #1 fan!!!!

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