There is no one way to be a beautiful woman or man. But with modernism, we see a unification of what it means to be beautiful. We all have to look a certain way.
How do you mean? Kylie Jenner or Kim Kardashian are the prototype of a slay queen or Instagram baddie. Thin waist, wide hips, and a perfect backside, light skinned, with plump lips. Why is this?
If you asked someone 100 years ago who is a beautiful woman their answer would be based on their continent, the country, tribe and their culture.There was no universal definition of who a beautiful woman was.
For those of the Wodaabe tribe in the Northern Chad beauty meant decorating their faces with red like substances, for the Mursi women in Australia wearing plates in their mouths was a symbol of beauty and the Maasais’ of East Africa adorned their necks with different beads and rings.
1. Celebrities and influencers
Popular culture has brought about celebrities and influencers. These are people who others are interested in their lives. People want to look and dress like them.
People have become billionaires based on an image they project that people want to copy. An easy example will be Kylie and Kim.
2. Plastic and cosmetic surgery
Altering one’s body to fit the prevailing beauty is not a new-age practice. In many African societies, the fatter a woman is, the more beautiful she is believed to be, so she is fattened up before her wedding.
The issue nowadays is plastic and cosmetic surgery makes permanent alterations to a person’s body as they try to look like their favourite idols and copy their bodies.
These alterations can be dangerous and in some cases, unnecessary.
Most of the countries in the world except for a few countries dress like those who colonised them and reserve their cultural attire for special occasions.
The world is now a global village. With colonisation came the adoption of the dressing of our colonial masters. Even today, we follow their trends and adopt their standards of beauty.
4. Social media
On social media, we see people posting the most idealised version of themselves and others struggling to copy them.
How can we have diverse expressions of beauty if we have people copying each other? Since most people are seeking online validation and approval, women are more likely to appear like ‘Instagram baddies’ to receive love or receive praise.
5. Filters and face tuning
More people are rejecting how they truly look by tweaking their faces with filters and bodies by using different apps.
There should be no universal standard of beauty. Anything or anyone that evokes love or admiration from you is beautiful, even if they do not measure up to the incredibly high standard set up by social media, pop culture, influencers and movies.