Beauty in our eyes is looking at someone in a desirable way. Someone who makes us glance twice, someone who has no flaws. A piece of art in the form of a person. In our society, we all have a certain look to fit into. That look is called “beauty,” and she comes in one form. Right? Not anymore, our outlook on life and our perception of beauty is changing.
In the article American Beauty Standards “Paling” in Comparison to the White Norm By Kristen Marrian she talks about what beauty is and how it affects different people and in what ways. A study was run on White Americans and their thoughts on beauty. Kristen says “When measuring beauty, it influences one’s opinion of their own attractiveness.” This shows that when we are looking at beauty in ourselves and in one another it is easy to compare yourself to others. Other people's looks make us question our own level of attractiveness just by comparison. Beauty has different looks but in our eyes that look comes in one form and when we aren’t in that form we compare ourselves to people who we believe are better looking and more attractive than ourselves. Which is not a good way to go through life and is definitely not something we should be doing. We hurt our self-esteem when we always compare ourselves to others, believing someone else is better than you only hurts you. This is why we need to stop judging ourselves and start learning to love how unique each and every one of us is.
Looks are not the only factor that is at play when we are thinking about beauty Kristen writes “The controls, age, and sex, are significant.” Not only do we look at others who we find attractive but we also compare ourselves to people who may be younger or older than us and sometimes people of different gender as well. We have begun to not only compare ourselves in one way but in many different ways, we find one way or another to look down on ourselves and on the way that we look or the person that we are. Beauty standards are strict in almost every part of the world, and we have been taught to envy those who fit in the standard and to judge those who don’t. This way of life may have worked for us before but it doesn’t anymore. Times are changing, people are changing, and beauty is changing.
We should no longer have an outlook on one form of beauty. We need to start seeing the beauty that is in every single one of us. We need to see that beauty for ourselves and others. Beauty is something that we see all around us but Kristen says “normal Americans do not and cannot fit the criteria of this standard.” This shows us that these standards have been rising so high to the point that they are impossible to fit into. They are unrealistic and unattainable. Not only are these standards unrealistic for Americans living in their own country but the people who are moving to America now have these standards they must live up to as well. We are all different and we all come from different backgrounds. We can not be expected to look one way, Kristen says “Today, Americans are bombarded with images of the White standard, despite a social movement towards diversification and acceptance.” People have one outlook on life and they believe everyone should have the same outlook as they do. Which is not possible in any way. The world is a beautiful and diverse place. We should be able to love and accept everyone no matter who they are or what they look like, but beauty has prevented us from being able to accept people. We judge we get jealous, we compare, and we never let it go. We need to learn how to let it go. We need to learn to be accepting of all and to have love in our hearts for every kind of beauty that we see in this world. Beauty is already around us, we just haven’t learned how to see it clearly yet, but we will. Eventually.
Marrinan, Kristen, "American Beauty Standards: “Paling” in Comparison to the White Norm" (2019). Sociology Senior Seminar Papers. 22. https://creativematter.skidmore.edu/socio_stu_stu_schol/22
Grace VerCauteren is a Junior at Poudre Highschool, and she is very passionate about beauty and the standards that society has set up for us to live in. Someday these standards will change and we will no longer have to live a life for others but a life for ourselves.