Perfect perfect perfect. Why is it always perfect? Throughout all of the articles I have written, I have looked at and learned all about beauty and beauty standards. The world is broken after doing all this research I have honestly never felt so disappointed about what our world has become. What has become of our beautiful world? Will we ever be able to fix it? Happiness is one of the most important things you can have. How can you be happy though when everyone is telling you what you are supposed to look like and how you are supposed to dress and act? Tell me how you can be happy with standards like today's ones.
Let's take a deeper look into people and what their opinions are on beauty and how it affects their daily lives. I decided to do a survey and ask people around my school these questions about beauty standards and learn how it affects other people. I came up with ten questions to ask each person.
First I asked how have beauty standards affected you. Secondly, I asked how beauty standards affect what you wear. How does it affect your self-esteem? Do you ever feel like you simply aren't enough? How does it affect what you eat? What has a negative body image done to you and how do you feel about yourself? Do people have unrealistic standards for you? How often do you compare yourself to others? Have you gone to extreme measures to change how you look? Do you feel like you don't measure up to other people? How does mental health affect beauty and confidence? After all these questions I got my results, and they are shocking, you never know how much people are suffering with beauty standards until you ask them. Institutes develop at a young age for many girls and it only gets worse from there. The first time I ever looked in the mirror and thought that I wasn't pretty enough was in the 5th grade. In the 5th grade, I was only in elementary and I was already feeling like I wasn't as good as others, and since that day that feeling has not gone away. As I talked to others I realized that this is a problem for many girls, it develops at a young age and it only gets worse as you get older and your insecurities grow.
Going shopping and getting new clothes is always a ton of fun, but as you grow up you see clothes that you might like but you think someone else won't like them or will judge you for wearing them so you don't get them. It is hard having confidence in yourself when no one else does. When you go clothes shopping it is hard not to buy the clothes that you know others will like. It's easier to dress to fit in than to dress to stand out. Beauty has a huge impact on self-esteem and how you feel about yourself. When you see others who look good and look "perfect," it takes a big toll on your self-esteem, this can be in person or on social media and it can be hard to feel good about yourself when you are looking at others who look so much better. Gaining confidence always feels like an uphill climb. Beauty doesn't only affect your self-esteem but it can affect your habits, like your eating habits. Low self-esteem affects people in many different ways but one of those ways is in eating habits, sometimes you start to feel like you eat too much or people judge what you eat and you feel like you can't eat what you want to. When you feel like you eat too much food and it would probably best to skip a meal, feeling bloated or like you don't look good in your clothes makes it hard to wear what you want and eat what you want. Sometimes when you look in the mirror you don't feel like you are enough, sometimes it's hard to not feel like you aren't enough for others. Like you aren't enough as a friend, a spouse, and a child, feeling like you are always on the edge of falling, and if you fall feeling like others will think less of you. Having a negative body image can be really hard, it makes it hard to get up in the morning and it's hard to have the energy to do anything, Having no get-up-and-go, puts a step back on your confidence. A huge problem for beauty in teens is that we always compare ourselves to others, in person, on social media, and on TV.
There are always other people with whom we compare ourselves, and society has told us that we should compare ourselves to others. Sometimes it's hard not to go to extreme measures to change how you look, but just because you think you have to look differently does not mean there is something that you have to change about yourself. There is always a feeling that makes you feel like you don't measure up to others, and feeling like you always have to change something about yourself. Just feeling like others are "better than you," which isn't true, there's always a feeling like you aren't measuring up to others' standards. Mental health and beauty can have a huge impact on each other and affect one another, when your mental health is bad then your self-image is bad and it just continues in a circle like that.
After doing these interviews and talking to different people about the same topic I really realize how huge of a problem beauty standards are and how much they affect so many people's lives and yet they will never go away and they will just get worse and worse through the next couple of years people will keep finding new things to call "beautiful," and if you don't fall into that category you just feel like you are not beautiful. This is not true but for some reason, we will never be able to let go of the standards that we have set in our brains already. Beauty is not only found on the outside but for some reason that is the only beauty we care about and notice. Everyone is beautiful and everyone is different which means beauty isn't only one thing and one look. It comes in all kinds of different forms.
Grace VerCauteren is a junior at Poudre High School, 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. If you like this article you can view more of Grace's work here!