What is beauty? If you were to really know if you’re beautiful; it’d be more meaningful if you knew what it actually meant. The English dictionary defines beauty as: a combination of qualities, such as shape, colour, or form, that pleases the aesthetic senses, especially the sight.
But what are these qualities? What does the general public perceive as beauty in a human? There’s a term ‘Feminine Beauty Ideal’ now, what this means is essentially; the socially constructed notion that physical attractiveness is one of women’s most important assets, and something all women should strive to achieve and maintain”
Also; put into consideration that the word ‘beauty’ also applies to men.
The mainstream media has so much affected how the general public perceives beauty; for example, for women; slim and slender, straight and small nose, light skin, Silky hair, a ‘nice’ shape, full lips etc. And for men it would be, say; Tall, Muscular and slender, straight small nose, strong chin, high cheekbones, facial-hair etc.
Now, how has this beauty standards/ideals been forced into our heads? Take, for instance, movies; the majority of movie characters(especially the important ones) apparently have these features. But do they? Do they really? Try to consider that on every stage, there’s always makeup, in every cinematic portrayal; there are tons of edits. Even your Instagram models don’t actually look the way they look in the pictures. It’s all down to camera angle, and smart edits.
But, do these beauty standards have any bone? Are they sensible? I’d say no. Did you know that in Mauritania people perceive what we would consider as ‘fat’ as extremely attractive? So, they would force-feed their young girls with fattening milk and other things to get their weight up, now imagine a skinny European model walking into that country; will she feel beautiful?
We need to understand that beauty isn’t just physical attractiveness, ‘beauty’ is a concept, a construct, it’s an idea; that differs which each individual. Now, while knowing this, we should also understand that when we look in the mirror; we usually judge our features a lot more harshly than we’d do to others; and this is all down to simple psychology; when we stare at our face, we perceive the ‘not so pleasant features’ a lot more than the actual ‘pleasant’ features. And we don’t do this when we look at others. Did you know that the average human is very likely to perceive him/her self to be 20% less attractive than other people would? It’s a very interesting fact and a comforting one too; next time you look in the mirror consider that you are actually 20% more attractive than you choose to see.
With all that has been shared; it’d be fair to say that beauty is a very fragile concept. And beauty standards are not only rare but non-existent. Understand that physical attractiveness isn’t everything; being kind and loving is extremely attractive, and a man/woman is more likely to pick a good wife/husband than a model.