Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder
We all have heard this, but do we really believe in it? If we do, then why do we want to find a definition of beauty in someone else’s eyes?
As per psychology, beauty has many more components than just what is visible with our naked eyes. Our brain is wired to certain elements that we consider as beautiful. It can be according to our culture, experiences, or what we see around us.
The world is a hard place to live in, and in the world of social media, there are certain beauty standards all around the world. We see influencers every day trying to figure them out and secretly wishing if we were anything like them. But what we don’t realize is that the self-criticism often has negative effects on both our mind and body.
So in this article, we are going to discuss the psychological effects of beauty standards and how you can deal with it.
What Is Beauty?
Beauty is subjective and perceptive. Every day we look into the mirror, thinking that we could change so many things if we really could. We use several beauty products to hide what we naturally have and what we don’t like. But when we try to fit into someone else’s definition of beauty, do we understand what beauty really is?
Beauty, as the society normalizes it, is having flawless skin, perfect body, and living up to the beauty standards we see in the movies, magazines of beauty pageants. But the truth is the concept of beauty can be different for different people, culture, and society. It basically depends on one’s own perception.
Other major psychological effects of beauty standards are that we try to fit into someone else’s definition rather than realizing our own worth. The most important thing is that beauty comes from within. It should not be a forced concept that the outside world puts on you.
There is no single definition of beauty. Every color is beautiful, every body type is gorgeous, and every face is beautiful. Every human being on this Earth is unique, and hence everyone is beautiful. You should have a beautiful heart and soul to truly define beauty. A beautiful face alone doesn’t cut it.
Forced Beauty And Body Standards
The images of ideal beauty are bombarding us every day. With this, we forget the fact that beauty standards are arbitrary, and they vary from one culture to another. These variations often decide the roles of men and women in society.
For example, for fertile women, broad hips and ample breasts are considered to be beautiful. In Fiji, women with large and chubby bodies are deemed to be attractive. So what is considered overweight in the US is desirable and wanted somewhere else. Therefore beauty standards totally depend on the place you come from.
Beauty industries, however, implant a different type of beauty standards in our mind. A large part of the industry is based on the insecurities we have about our face, skin, and body. This industry feeds on our insecurities and benefits the most from the dissatisfaction with ourselves. It is a shame that these industries spend millions of dollars in promoting something practically impossible to achieve, creating several psychological impacts.
The fashion industry, on the other hand, manufacture products that define the” perfect” body. Push up bras, bustiers, pantyhose, stockings, and corsets all are designed to get that ideal body. The fashion industry, however, is changing according to the changing beauty standards. But how does fashion have to do anything with how we feel about our bodies?
Fashion advertising and fashion in itself can very much shape how we feel about our bodies. This is because most of the fashion products are meant to suit the tall and skinny supermodels making it one of the most prevalent psychological effects of beauty standards. This is something that no average woman can achieve in her daily life.
The beauty standards revealed in the pages of fashion magazines and TV are nearly impossible to achieve. While some say, these models look anorexic, while others find them really attractive.
Beauty And Psychology
Often times, due to media, our brains perceive the psychological effects of beauty standards. Media plays a huge role in the perceptions of these ideas. This is because it is the media where we get the ideas of perfect beauty and body from.
From social media, television, fashion magazines, billboards, and so much more, we carry the idea desirability and appearance. It is because of the media alone that we have body shaming issues, plastic surgeries, and eating disorders. The media industry, however, takes this criticism unrealistically. Still, it is because of them that our attitude towards our own self and others is changed by the perception of beauty standards.
Psychological Effects Of Beauty Standards
The advertisements every day comes with a visual assault, and women are the most targeted audience of this constant barrage. These messages in beauty advertisements often have negative effects on women.
Several studies have found that these advertisements are harmful to a women’s mood, body, expectations, self-esteem, health, eating habits, and so much more. The idea of beauty is circulated across so many media platforms that women carry these ideals as their own, and they start to feel disappointed in their own skin. These unrealistic ideals can be damaging and harmful for their own self.
The concept of ideal feminine beauty is mostly created by society and often depicts physical attractiveness that every woman should possess to be desirable and attractive. These principles are largely based on hetero-normative ideas and often discriminate against women based on social orientation.
Women these days are trying to comply with these beauty ideals and standards, which are leading to several psychological disorders. Studies have shown that such ideals can often lead to psychological issues such as depression, reduced self-esteem, eating disorders, and so much more. Girls from a very early age are subjected to these images of perfection and their exposure extends to adulthood.
The ideal feminine beauty is considered to be a faultless, flawless impossibly-proportioned woman upon who all the other women should base themselves to be desirable and attractive. This ideal, however, is not entirely theoretical. Still, beauty advertisers are cashing in the demand to perfect to market their beauty products.
So when do we know that beauty is the beast? When the perceptions of beauty interfere with your healthy well being, and all it is giving you is stress and depression, then you should know that this beauty is not worth it. It is always recommended to be true to yourself and that nothing is more important than your mental and physical health.
6 Ways To Deal With Psychological Effects due to Beauty Standards
When it comes to psychological disorders, the world still lives in the Stone Age. This is why people with mental disorders find it difficult to come out in public. It is even more difficult when you are really sick on the inside but show the world that you are doing just fine.
Honestly, there is nothing to be ashamed of mental illness. This is because the world that we live in and the pressure of perception it puts on us, it is just normal to have insecurities. Here we are sharing some ways by which you can keep a healthy perspective.
Know what you’re good at
Do not be depressed with your limitations; instead, focus on your strong points. You might have an absolute perception of beauty, but that does not mean that you have to copy someone from head to toe. You can definitely take inspiration and be your own kind of beautiful. So instead of sulking into your depressed state of mind, get up and do what you are good at. If you still don’t know how to deal with your depression, then there are online therapy sessions you can go for or can see a psychologist.
Accept yourself wholly
A lot of us find it really difficult to accept our own selves, but most of the time, it is because we want to fit onto someone else’s expectations. So it is essential to find someone who will accept you for who you are. People have high expectations, but in this whole wide world, you will definitely find a person who will love you for who you are. There are several dating sites and apps these days that work like online therapy for people who are trying to find their perfect match.
Stand up for yourself
Believe in yourself and be confident. Don’t ever let someone bring you down or mistreat you. People can be mean and miserable, but you should know that if you do not stand up for yourself, then no one else will. So never allow anyone to tell you that you are not good enough.
Seek professional help
Another way to deal with psychological disorders is to get treatment. For your sake, never ever step back in admitting that you need help. People who are not able to share their problems often meet fatal consequences. So if you know you are sick, go get help. If you are too hesitant to visit a psychologist in person, then you can also opt for online therapy.
Never push people away. When someone is trying to cheer you up, let them be by your side. Being alone is the worst possible thing you can do when you are trying to deal with psychological issues. Be close to people who like you for what you are and not what you look like. Also, there are several stories on the internet just like yours. Read and watch them instead of some plastic beauty conception. Doing well will work as online therapy to make you love yourself.
Stop trying to be like someone else
Another crucial thing you need to do is to stop comparing yourself with others. Everyone is their own kind of beautiful. So if you are trying to be like someone else, you need to stop it right away. Frankly speaking, it is just going to make you feel lower. To see and do things that will make you love yourself. There is numerous content on the internet on self-love, so you can use them as your personal online therapy sessions to feel good about yourself.
The media and beauty advertisements only portray and unattainable and overly sexualized version of beauty. You should not be harrowing yourself with these ideas and notions in order to look or feel beautiful. Spending your energy and time analyzing perfectionist beauty ideals does more bad than good. Therefore, just love yourself and stay healthy.