The notion of beauty is not static and differs from person to person. A supposed ‘ugly’ item may appease you which will not appease the masses. Usually, the person having differing views from the majority is tossed aside. Their opinions are not even taken in consideration for a majority is comfortable with their dominated view. The word ‘beauty’ is defined by Google as, “a combination of qualities, such as shape, colour, or form that pleases the aesthetic senses, especially the sight.” However, how can we define something which is abstract in nature? There should not be a defined meaning attached to it because it demeans what that word holds.
More than dictionaries, our society works best in putting a label on things. The societal standards of beauty have roots in patriarchy and sexism. Beautiful is someone or something that looks appeasing and aesthetic to the eye, externally. For a woman, it is having the figure of set numbers, fair skin, shyness and minimalistic behaviour. It is having a ‘yes sir/madam’ which is considered ‘respectful’ in nature. A man who is masculine, strong in persona, earns the bread and channelizes his opinions onto others. He is a mixture of feisty, crisp in the jaw and with abs as strong as metal makes for the perfect man.
These notions of beauty have been popularised for far too long. Starting from movies where women are shown all dressed and ‘pretty’, subdued by their counterparts. Men are shown with a dominant demeanour. In present day life, instagram and facebook have quickly followed up on the same. Influencers and models on these platforms are shown with a full face of makeup, allegedly comfortable in their outfits and made to pose in front of the camera. These pictures and videos go viral and are ‘body goals’. Rarely do we see these influencers with an ounce of extra flesh, celluloid, stretch marks or acne scars.
Even with the idea of that makeup is only meant for a woman is so problematic. Men are ridiculed for using makeup however, when Ranveer Singh flaunts his flamboyant looks, it rains praises and love. Men have been using make up for a long time hence, it’s not a new phenomenon or a mere ‘trend’.
Criticisms and hate has been normalised on the internet to the extent that people are shamed on a daily basis. Comedian and artist, Supriya is subjected to threats for being ‘ugly’ and putting on makeup whereas, Komal Pandey, a fashion influencer is also trolled for wearing ‘less clothes’ which suit her. It is a cycle which goes around; a person stepping away from the cycle is subjected to trolls and hate.
The filters of social media brew insecurities from a very young age. We begin body shaming and starving ourselves the minute we see these ‘body goals’ on our feeds. The need to be accepted is so high hence, we abide by these norms and hide our true versions. Artists like Jamie Zella have taken to instagram to promote ‘real bodies’ which show the human body in its truest sense. The idea of ‘bikini bodies’ tell us that people with a set body type can only wear a bikini. However, each body can wear a bikini if it wants to negating all these societal norms. These Instagram standards have produced a culture of toxicity which limits our understanding and thought process.
The shackles of patriarchy and sexism have dictated the ways we should be for years now. The numerous coats of foundations may make give few hours of validation but at the end of the day, you are who you who you see in the mirror and that is beautiful and enough.