Beauty standards vary around the world, but unfortunately, some unfair and unrealistic expectations still exist after centuries. In this age of female empowerment and body positivity, we need to let go of these outdated beauty standards that hold us back. Here are all the narrow ideals we need to let go of in order to embrace the true spectrum of beauty that exists within all of us.
1. No stretch marks
What are we barbie dolls? Stretch marks are 100% normal, whether you’ve had children or lost/gained weight at some point in your life. For many women, these war scars are a sign of growth and strength. Our body has undergone so many changes and allowed us to transform over the years. Whether it’s from weight loss or weight gain, pregnancy or just growing up, these scars are a badge of honor that we should never be ashamed of.
2. Rounded hips
There are tons of workout videos out there that claim you can get rid of hip exercises and get perfectly rounded thighs to get that hourglass figure you want. Realistically, no amount of exercise can fill this gap that exists due to our constitution and genetics. Since these are not things we can change, we suggest you remember that hips are always a sign of female sensuality, no matter what shape or size you are. Here’s to embracing our all-encompassing beauty instead of fixating on the little things.
3. Manicured nails
Women are constantly under pressure to get their nails done, which takes time and money. Also, some just don’t like the feel of anything on their nails. While prioritizing self-care is good, the most important thing is to feel comfortable in your own skin and express yourself the way you want to.
4. Straight, perfect pearly whites
Having a gap or crooked teeth is completely normal. After all, not all human dental anatomy is the same and there is no universal dental standard. A crooked or broken smile can be beautiful – never feel ashamed to hide your smile or keep your mouth closed in photos because you don’t think it’s good enough. It simply perpetuated these harmful societal standards of beauty.
5. Sharp jaw
Facial features such as the jaw line are another beauty standard that people are forced to conform to. While we think a baby face with softer features can be just as stunning and adorable, a strong jawline is often more desirable. Getting surgery to change your chin or cheeks should not be a substitute for self-esteem.
6. Bounce-back culture
This toxic trend refers to the societal expectation that new mothers get back to their pre-baby bodies and looks as quickly as possible. It’s not safe for new moms to prioritize their looks over their emotional and physical health, especially at a time when their bodies are going through so much. Everyone is different and heals differently. Instead, we should celebrate new moms for being as resilient and strong as they are. That in itself is a thing of beauty.
7. No underarm fat
Otherwise known as “armpit swelling”, there are many articles and videos that promise to get rid of it. However, targeted removal of fat spots is not possible and accumulation in the area is often due to genetic, hormonal or other conditions. Society puts a lot of unrealistic pressure on women to have toned bodies, but remember that beauty is in the eye of the beholder and there is no such thing as perfect.
8. Tamed hair
Although frizzy hair is frustrating, it’s something we can’t change without a significant amount of styling and hair products. Unfortunately, frequent straightening can lead to even fluffier and frizzier hair over time. Instead of trying to transform your locks into something they’re not, embrace the natural uniqueness of our hair and let it be a source of confidence for you.
9. Smooth skin
We all suffer from acne and other skin problems from time to time, but women are expected to look flawless and blemish-free in real life. In real life, however, there is no Photoshop, filters or Facetune. Instead, the skin is full of imperfections and textures. This is not a bad thing – they are individual characteristics that make you unique. Instead of comparing yourself to super edited photos, embrace your skin as it is and ignore the critics!