Criticisms and complaints against the cosmetic and beauty industries remain ever-audible. Accusations attack the creators and promoters due to unrealistic beauty standards and self-image issues associated with these very markets and worlds. Indeed, sometimes this adherence to what society deems beautiful is a result of extremely unhealthy lifestyles and debilitating mental states: but is this ugliness the only side present to “beauty”?
For ages that extend further than official and documented records do, humans have cared about their appearance. Whether it’s through the usage of ornaments to adorn themselves, or the best clothes of the times to wrap their bodies, or even the usage of natural pigments and materials to accentuate and illustrate their features, men and women alike love looking good. And why shouldn’t we? The uniqueness we all share in our individual features and characteristics is something well worth celebrating. The confidence and freedom experienced upon looking how you perceive yourself is overwhelmingly positive. Being yourself was always in fashion, even if not quite so overtly.
Although social stereotypes and standards can be harmful and marginalising, they don’t need to have such power. The extension of judgement and conventions comes down to each one of us, and it’s entirely a choice whether or not to subject people to such constructs that weren’t made to fit them in the first place. The celebration of difference, of the alternative has never been grander than it is in today’s media: and we can work towards making it even better.
As individuals with various physical characteristics put in effort to look their best and feature their own bodies, it’s undue to dismiss their work and the positive vibes that they spread by using a narrow perspective on what exterior appearances and beauty entails. Looking your best involves much more than the “superficiality” a huge portion of the population loves to reduce it to, and the effort put into the same says much more about someone as a person than credited for. By treating the situation as something multi-faceted, these positive sides could be highlighted and emphasized to make society in general a better place to be.