I don’t like to write about common knowledge, that’s not my mission, what I am attempting to do, is inform people. For some of you reading this, these things might come as natural intuitive knowledge from seeing all the corruption in the world. A lot of us including myself are not really surprised when it comes to seeing tragedies on the news, because as depressing as the thought is we are used to that.
Societies Unrealistic Standard
We witness so much hatred in our lives, on social media, in person, between family, friends etc.
We all see this and know it’s not ok but we allow it to continue happening, why?
What initially sparked my creativity was seeing this post about Nike beginning to make clothes for plus sized people, and I thought wow what an inclusive and beautiful thing, but then of course not to my surprise I see in the other slides of that post, people commenting about how they should not be encouraging “lumps” to be happy with a lifestyle that includes sickness. I thought to myself how tired I am of hearing so much hatred and ignorant banter in this world. The reality is we may not know what Nike was actually trying to accomplish, but we can assume that it’s not sickness because fat or skinny or whatever, why would they do that? Even if they were encouraging being overweight what’s wrong with that? I hate even saying that word because it implies that certain people are above the stereotypically accepted body type. If Nike was actually doing this that would be amazing, the media is such a huge part of how people and youth most importantly base their beauty standards off of.
Nike doing this would present a huge milestone considering that it would be inclusive to all body types.
The Media told us what BEAUTY is
And for anyone who thinks I’m “encouraging sickness” and it’s disgusting like those people who commented on the post I referenced, what I’m encouraging goes way beyond that. I’m encouraging body inclusive standards that don’t discriminate, standards that make everyone love and feel better about themselves. Before anyone points out the obvious I know I won’t lie, I have shamed people for their bodies in the past but not over a social platform. We all have and even have done it to ourselves, we’ve internalized what we saw in beauty commercials and ads that told us that there is a size that we are supposed to be. But I for one want to put an end to this, beauty should not be a cut and dry image, because it has so many shapes, sizes, and colors. I am tired of seeing such beautiful people feel insecure because they don’t fit some societal standard. I’m not encouraging any sickness I’m simply telling people they shouldn’t shame people blatantly for not fitting the status quo, because the status quo is wrong. If you’ve seen fashion catalogues or fashion shows you know skinny tall girls are usually glorified, curvy/heavier Women are seen as unappealing. This even supersedes Women, all genders should feel comfortable with their bodies.
Whether aware of it or not, beauty catalogues/media have promoted self hate, when we should be promoting self love in every sense of the word.
Self Hatred is promoted in multiple forms
The humorous part of it all is that when I googled what is considered plus sized, I found out a size eight is considered “plus size” in Women’s modeling, but in reality size sixteen would be considered it outside of fashion catalogues. The fact that the internet has a definition for what is considered plus sized in itself is mind boggling. I also googled what size are most Women in America and got this, “Today, the average American woman is 5’4″, has a waist size of 34-35 inches and weighs between 140-150 lbs, with a dress size of 12-14. Fifty years ago, the average woman was 5’3-4″ with a waist size of approximately 24-25″, she weighed about 120 lbs and wore a size 8.” Put in simple terms, the fashion industry is excluding most Women from the standard of beauty, which is detrimental to both Young Women and just Women in general. Most Women feel like they aren’t beautiful because they feel they need to strive for a beauty standard that most of them just don’t fit. This is detrimental to the fabric of our society because it goes beyond Women, people are ashamed because they aren’t beautiful according to the status quo. But as anyone who has social media would know, shaming goes on towards so many different groups of women but the media has oriented the idea of being skinny as being healthy, when that isn’t necessarily true in every case. A size eight is definitely not threatening to your health, even for Women who are above that may not show threatening side effects of that.
UGLY has a broader spectrum than BEAUTIFUL
It’s not exactly ok if you have shamed someone for not fitting some sort of beauty standard, but it’s not your fault either, we’re doing what is subconsciously inserted to our brains. Most of the time we see things or hear them and don’t think much of them, but overtime those ads on the train about getting breast implants or about clear skin and plenty more, are detrimental. We start to associate all of those standards of beauty with how we view people, and then sometimes we judge them for it either to their faces or behind their backs. Even things like skin color, teeth, height, hair type, body type etc. With makeup we’ve seen so many trends come out because people are trying to imitate what is seen as beautiful. I support makeup one hundred percent, if wearing it makes a person feel beautiful than great, but filling in your lips or contouring are all things that tinker your natural beauty. They also reflect the features of Women seen in beauty catalogues. People feel the need to change themselves to conform to a standard of beauty, that they don’t fit naturally. It’s so much more than it seems because you judge yourself for all of these things when you look in the mirror. Social media has had tags such as #lightskingirlswinning, darkskingirlswinning, #skinnygirlswinning, #thickgirlswinning. It shouldn’t matter everyone should be winning because being you unapologetically is beautiful. Loving yourself is beautiful, all of these hashtags have made certain people feel ostracized from thinking they are beautiful. Media has given beauty such a Eurocentric standard, when all colors, hair types, and body types should be celebrated.
Make a Change
We have to initiate the change ourselves because fashion catalogues will continue force feeding us conventional images of beauty. Try to fight the internalized automatic reactions your mind has, it will be hard because from birth this image has been planted in our brains. Empower people and make them feel good about themselves instead of telling them they don’t fit the standard. It won’t be easy at all as I’ve learned this myself, but just making a conscious effort will help. Even as men we need to stop telling certain Women or other Men that they need to change because they aren’t good enough.
We’ve all been Judged
But wait, I’m not finished because this sickening hatred goes much deeper than even one’s appearance, this world has gotten so bad that even one’s identity which they cannot control is critiqued by a standard. There has been a rise in hate crimes toward Jewish people , LGBT+, Immigrants etc. What I always ask myself is why people judge or make an effort to hate others? We’ve all been judged at some point in our life and even maybe currently we don’t fit the standard of conventional beauty, simply because it is unrealistic. If you know how it feels to be judged why would you want that for someone else? It goes way beyond that though, on a psychological level. According to google people judge because, “Judging others is a normal reaction, notes Psychology Today. This is because human beings have a natural instinct for survival, which makes them defensive and judgmental when they feel threatened. People also judge when they don’t understand the reason for the behavior of others.” But this doesn’t make it anymore justified, we have natural reactions that we suppress because they have been expressed to be culturally immoral. We don’t pass gas in public right? Because it’s seen as disgusting, So why would we think it’s ok to do something that we have the power to suppress? Unfortunately with 45, the President who empowers people to hate and feel they can do it blatantly, the problem is only getting graver. I didn’t even want to say this mans name because he is disgusting and acknowledging his existence makes me too cynical to go on. We have slowly been progressing over the course of when America first overcame racial discrimination, although we still feel the legacies today, this man literally embodies the hatred this country has barely overcame.
Attempt to Understand rather than Judge
To sum up this article next time you get the urge to judge someone, whether based on the conventional standard of beauty, or based on identity, think about what they go through and instead aim to empower. We all want to feel beautiful and we should all have the right too.
We will never move forward as a nation until we see each other as fellow humans, instead of acknowledging all the labels or differences that set us apart.
A Poem All Women Should Read: