We stare in the mirror wishing we could change a part of our physical appearance because we found it to be lacking in some way. Society has created this standard of what perfection should look like with models and celebrities. It’s this perception that continues to be subliminally reiterated every time we turn on the TV or read the latest magazine, glamorizing the fastest baby weight loss and diet fads. We have become obsessed with the idea of physical perfection to the point where we criticize every little detail about ourselves. Social pressure is constantly trying to push us to be as physically beautiful as possible to the rest of the world. Striving for perfection is reflected on what we buy, how we eat, and especially how much we weigh.
Has fat become the new “f-word?” Being ‘fat’ has now become almost taboo; it is not looked upon kindly. But what is the true definition of “fat?” Is it someone who doesn’t fit into an extra small or small? Is it someone who has a naturally fuller figure with hips and curves? What I would like to know is when the perception of size became such a major factor of our lives.
I recently came across an old ad from the 1950’s that advertised a solution to gain 25lbs quickly if you were too skinny to fit into a bathing suit. I was dumbfounded; this was only sixty years ago where people were trying to actually gain weight as opposed to losing as much as possible. Sixty years ago our perception of what fat is today, was their definition of desired beauty. Sixty years ago being thin was unattractive and being fuller was beautiful. Did we enter the twilight zone? Then I started to think about how society in the 1950’s is not so different from our society today: every era has their own pressures to strive for perfection. The definition of perfect just changes.
A devious myth says that women must adhere to certain standards in order to be considered beautiful. It’s no secret that beauty is overrun with impossible-to-attain beliefs of perfection. Everyone has a different perception of beauty and what their version of perfection is. Today, let’s be women who look inward and find happiness within ourselves. We are all different shapes and sizes for a reason, because if everyone looked the same there would be no interesting diversities and no unique figures. We are each beautiful in our cultural ideals and in the fact that we don’t all look exactly the same.
Unconventional beauty is far more compelling than cookie-cutter features. Erase your mind of what society defines as beauty and perfection, and create your own definition. Be your own kind of beautiful because that is what true beauty really lies.
Photograph by Laura Makabresku