We live in a sparkly Hollywood-ified, beauty idealized world where photoshop muddles around with our idea of beauty to the point where we’re continuously told we are supposed to be unhappy with ourselves. Day in and day out we’re beaten over the head with ads, movies, and images that encourage us to reach a little higher and try a little harder.
We are constantly fed media full of of overly photoshopped bodies that have been hand selected to look a certain way then airbrushed until they are perfect. We continuously see images of women, and men likely, that could literally not exist naturally. This has become such a normative look that we don’t second guess the perfect skin, skinny waist, thigh gap, or slender little arms.
Over the years, whether we like it or not, we’ve been conditioned to see beauty as a finite, and now, unattainable thing. The expectations we are living up to only exists with computer programming, great lighting, and a predisposition to a certain body type.
What happens next is people try to achieve this look. We dye our hair, buy makeup, some people get surgery, a new nose, larger breasts, fat sucked from their body in aggressive ways, or a long list of other surgeries I’m not yet aware of.
Then we collectively we condemn the men and women who take measures to try and look like they belonged in a magazine. ‘How shallow’ we say, ‘they look awful’ we jest, ‘they’re definitely fake, and way too big’ we whisper.
Let’s stop for a moment and consider their motivation. They are likely motivated and feel pressured to fit that mould. They want to attain the unattainable standard we’ve set and the only way they can do that, is to modify their bodies.
I started pondering this a while back when I thought to myself, the people who get drastic plastic surgery must know that they don’t look natural after the fact. And knowing that, they must be ok with it. That must, in some sense, be acceptable. This got me thinking that because the beauty standard on billboards, runways, fashion magazines isn’t real, you would need to then look unreal if you wanted to look like them.
So we have men and women reaching for a standard set out by society that we can agree is not attainable, then telling them they are shallow for giving into the pressure. We are blaming and shaming individuals for feeding into a society worth of peer pressure.
This is absurd. It’s like having the world tell you that you will be happier and better liked if you have a pure bred puppy then shaming someone for buying one.
How dare we tell the individual that they are a worse human being for caving to a pressure that tells them they will be of greater value if they look a certain way. Perhaps we need to start demanding more realistic images of bodies and less photoshop. So don’t scoff at the next pair of giant fake boobs you see, that woman knows what society is about and she complied. Scoff at society for being such a dick.