Beauty may be in the eye of the beholder, but our idea of beauty over the past few decades has been programmed into us like never before. We grow up bombarded by marketing campaigns targeted at our insecurities and telling us what is beautiful. Our children grow up striving to achieve that particular look, and are made to feel “ugly” if they do not fit the accepted model of what our corporations have defined as beautiful. As a result, our youth don’t address their feelings and emotions because they’re being taught to look outside of themselves instead of within for the answers.
“If tomorrow, women woke up and decided they really liked their bodies, just think about how many industries would go out of business.”
As if all that weren’t bad enough, this programmed idea of beauty isn’t even real. What we see all around us every day through mass marketing campaigns are photoshopped images that are not even realistically obtainable. It would serve all of us well if we could accept and let go of our perceptions that have been programmed into us of what we think real beauty is. While it’s clear we are in the process of doing so, it’s not easy to rewire your brain when it has been bombarded with the idea of “what is” since childhood, so we as a collective need to start demanding better representation in the media.
“When you start to look at people’s heart instead of their face or body, life becomes clear.”
The idea of what a woman should look like has usually come from a place of authority. Women, their bodies, and their rights have been suppressed for thousands of years, and both genders have been subjected to programming for a long time. Our roles have been defined for us by various authorities, but the truth is, we are all just human, free to do and be as we please.
“This control is such a deep part of our culture that we hardly ever realize how cruel it is and how it restricts our personal choice. I don’t believe it’s enough to discuss exclusively the issues that affect a specific group of women. We also need to talk about racism, homophobia, transphobia, classicism, xenophobia and ableism. The fight for equality and respect is very wide and should be inclusive.”
– Carol Rossetti
In the video below, a cast of models come together to portray what the different ideal body types have been throughout various historical periods. While we’re all fairly familiar with clothing trends from different eras, we might not know that different body types were idealized along with those clothes.
The video shows how our interpretation of female beauty in relation to body type has changed over time, revealing that beauty is subjective, not fixed. I believe, however, that the next period of beauty will be defined by looking within and being true to oneself. As we move away from the material and into the immaterial, as we shift our collective consciousness, our idea of beauty is going to shift, too — something that is necessary if we are to change our world and the direction we are heading.
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