Sunday, February 12, 2023

Some Thoughts on Beauty Standards

They say beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Just what makes a person beautiful? What traits, qualities, and characteristics does a person have to possess to be called beautiful? While I agree that it depends on the person looking to define what is beautiful to him or her, we cannot deny that these days, there is such a thing as “beauty standards” that we must take into consideration.

Image by sym from Pixabay

These beauty standards, what the majority think or agree to be beautiful, are things that I wonder about sometimes. Is it truly what the majority thinks? Or is it something dictated by the powers that be, by the so-called people of influence, that we the public have come to learn to be that standard to follow?

Could it be a cultural thing? Could it be something that depends on the history of a country or a community that molds what people think is beautiful? Is it truly made up of just physical characteristics or do other factors come into play that affects what we think is beautiful?

In an earlier episode of the Fandesals Podcast, my friend Judith and I talked about the Most Beautiful Filipino Celebrities. Filipinos whom we consider to be the most beautiful in our eyes. If there is one thing that I realized from that episode, it’s that there are indeed beauty standards that we follow or acknowledge in our culture. Most of the people we named were not only of the white/mestizo variety, but the ones who were darker skinned still had those mestizo features. The obsession with people who are white (or whiter than most) has always been considered beautiful. It’s something that I think we do not even think about anymore because it is embedded in our psyche to think that way. 

Still, I appreciate that while there is a generalized definition of beauty, we all still have specific types of people who we also consider beautiful that may not necessarily fall under that umbrella of beauty standards. Mostly because these are people who have a certain appeal, or I guess what they call the x-factor that makes them look special. That one thing that is hard to define but you can’t deny. 

Another thing we discussed in the podcast was how someone’s personality can also affect how we can consider a person as beautiful. I think that something about a person’s attitude and the kind of person that he or she is on the inside affects the way we see a person and whether we think he or she is beautiful. This may be more psychological, but I think that one’s personality can affect how people see them. Because no matter how beautiful a person is, if that person has a bad personality, it affects the way we see them physically. This is the same with how some people may not necessarily be beautiful by certain standards but the goodness and light in them shine through and that is what makes them beautiful to others. 

While I think having these beauty standards in our culture never goes away, it often changes over time. It is because of that reason that I hope that people would not be swayed into going through drastic measures just to fit into these standards, especially these days when you can take all sorts of pills or undergo all these procedures to shape yourself into a person that falls under those standards. 

Before we go through anything drastic, I feel that it is important to first learn to love ourselves and appreciate ourselves as people, not just in terms of what our bodies or our faces look like. Loving ourselves and taking care of ourselves should be the first step. If someone feels that there are still “changes” that need to be done after that, I think everyone has the right to do so but it must be done the right way. 

To anyone who wants to make changes to be more beautiful, my advice would be this: Check with your doctor. Do your research. Make sure you do it with legitimate professionals who have had success with other people. Don’t rush and let the pressure of living up to these standards dictate what you do to yourself. 

Most importantly, always remember that we are all beautiful in our way. There is always someone out there who thinks you are beautiful. You just have to believe in that yourself. 

Here’s the episode from the Fandesals Podcast that I mentioned earlier in this post. Happy viewing!


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