A beauty ideal has always fascinated women, yet it remains an unachievable standard. Women have always been celebrated because of their bodies. Today’s woman is not like generations past, where her only value is her beauty, however. Despite the movement to give women back their independence, society still values their looks above all else. The trickle-down effect has made it so that women also start valuing their looks as the most critical part of their contribution to society. As The Guardian notes, some women wear beauty products to attract others while others see it as self-empowerment. Yet do these beauty ideals really reflect the modern woman?
The Caricature Of the Perfect Woman
When we look at what constitutes modern beauty standards, the bar women set for themselves is usually far different from what men set for women. In fact, Allure mentions that only 59% of women are satisfied with their looks compared with 74% of men. The beauty industry is partially to blame by funneling this idea of perfection to women as a marketing plan. The world around us seems to value appearances more than anything else. With this mentality, many women encounter situations where their appearance comes into play. Even as professionals climbing the business ladder and breaking through glass ceilings, women are expected to “look the part.” Yet with the picture that women have of what constitutes perfection, no woman alive could achieve those lofty ambitions.
Failure and Beauty
Unfortunately, over time, the focus on women’s beauty has become more of a constant worry. It has driven many women to believe that the only way they could approach the standards of beauty set by society is to have surgery done. The concern is always about being fitter, thinner, rounder, etc., without regard for personal health. You can fake being healthy with the right makeup, after all. Women who decide that they aren’t playing the game are seen as failures because they’ve “let themselves go.” Yet this sort of mentality doesn’t help women at all. If anything, it hurts their self-image.
Technology Plays a Part
Beauty technology has also helped to offer women temporary fixes that can help them be more attractive. Advancements such as Botox have led to women achieving the perfect pout for their lips. Even apps like Snapchat and Instagram offer us a glimpse of what we could look like if we were just beautiful. The filters they provide aren’t helping the situation. Instead, they offer a vision of reality that prompts women to find a way to make it happen. With media and society bombarding women to look and act a certain way, it’s no wonder that so many women feel as though they’re being pressured into being something they’re not.
The Worth of a Woman
Self-worth seems to be taking a backseat to the growth and expansion of the beauty industry. Yet self-empowerment relies on this vital metric. Unfortunately, a woman who’s self-empowered and understands her worth might not want to spend hundreds of dollars on cosmetics to make herself more presentable. It’s a fine line to walk between making yourself look good and feeling good about who you are naturally. Finding that happy balance should be the most vital thing for women. With this balance comes happiness, peace, and self-acceptance.