Tag Archives: beauty

Society’s Perception of Beauty

Featured Image: ‘Face 10‘ from Flickr by Paul Xhrouet is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0. Link to license deed.

Do not base your worth on a social construct that varies so broadly dependent on time and place. I beg you.

For people to love themselves and be happy with their own appearance, comparing individuals in terms of how “hot” or how “beautiful” they are needs to stop. Who is to say that one human is more beautiful than another? We all posses our own unique qualities, which shape our individuality. Subjective views on beauty arise from different people who are simply looking for different qualities.

We are being so heavily influenced by the environment we are in, which has created this idea of beauty—which is nothing more than an ephemeral social construct dependent on place and time. That beauty is an outcome of social conditioning should always be remembered. By falsely believing that current media crazes provide a fixed definition of beauty, we create a malicious and judgemental environment that breeds insecurity amongst individuals who are questioning their self worth. Self worth should never be based on physical appearance, yet we are such an appearance-obsessed society, with people constantly comparing themselves to others and feeling as though they are somehow inferior or inadequate.

However, all it takes is a look around the world and a history lesson on beauty standards to see that we can each find a number of our physical characteristics (likely ones that, according to current standards, make us feel insecure) reflected as the ideal at some stage of existence or in some society.

This poem addresses beauty as an ever-changing social construct and the negative impacts that modern day influencers, celebrities, television and the media can have on the younger generation, as well as the vicious cycle of unhappiness that inspires insecurity and self hatred as these children grow up feeling uncomfortable in their own skin. This dangerous mindset can lead to people taking potentially harmful health risks out of desperation to look a certain way because of the stigma surrounding beauty and the qualities that are perceived as “beautiful”.

A strive for perfection

a need for protection,

characterised by unrealistic expectation

the selfish desires of a nation

so it’s approval you seek

without beauty you’re weak

a disease of insecurity

infecting the population

the product of an appearance driven society

media influence and magazines inciting

the sadistic nature of conformity

an unspoken rule to look a certain way

deeply disturbing superficial hearsay

with a devastating effect on intellect

a social construct driven into young minds

little girls using anything they can find

to change themselves, to tear themselves down

aged 15 waiting in line for a cosmetic procedure,

a growing self hatred taking control like a seizure

wearing degrading clothing and a nature defying frown

values upheld through social media, in every city, every town,

a vanity desk crowded with makeup and new faces

lotions and potions reinforcing the devotion

to removing identity, to becoming a clone

spending all day looking up diets, eyes glued to a phone

self absorbed celebrities posting modified bodies,

captions reading  “be yourself” coupled with unnatural people

this is an outrage, shocking hypocrisy

steroids and protein shakes,

a requirement to be a certain weight

for your hair to sit a certain way

for your nose to be a certain shape

qualities we were born with

are judged and scrutinised

we are told to make a health compromise

to fit in with normality, in order to be loved

and those born “beautiful” don’t understand the fuss,

but that’s my issue,

your warped vision does not determine my worth,

my self value,

so who are you to tell me what beautiful is

to tell me it’s not desirable for my hair to have frizz

that my arse is great, but my legs are too big

because my purpose is not to please you,

10 year olds are starving themselves

and maybe you are too.

Social expectations and a company’s wealth

put before my mental health

and those 10 year olds become 40 year olds

hating themselves

because faces like theirs aren’t sold

aren’t publicised on television

aren’t featured in magazines

an infinite cycle that needs to be broken,

so forget what you know,

forget destructive taught values that you hold

corrupt ideas, social necessities you’re told

instead make individuality

your new sense of normality

to stop this nation wide health, happiness and identity

catastrophe