‘Beauty is in the eye of the beholder ’, the age-old derivation that never fades or becomes old. However, with society’s times’ immemorial obsession with ‘perfect’ body types and ‘proper’ body images, the age-old phrase might not hold value anymore. Conditioned beauty standards around the world tend to shape people’s mindsets about themselves or others in this current world of not-so-beautiful phobic.
This phobia of people calling other people out based on their appearance, and constantly criticizing various body types in reality that one needs to cherish, is beyond the jaws of problematic.
What is a perfect body image?
People mock others if they look too fat. At the same time, people laugh if someone does not have any fat over their body. Again, one puts others to shame for having too much body hair over their body. While one is also looked down on for lack of hair on their body surfaces.
It seems that society has already made standards or check bars for people to fit into those. From which they have no escape. Consequently, those who do not fit into these criteria, are quite conveniently termed the opposite to beautiful. Everyone is efficiently quick to form perceptions about people. Based on their look, their dress, their appearance, because in this current world, there isn’t any room for empathy.
The importance of empathy and understanding
In a fast-forward world like the current one, people don’t think twice before their apparent raise of standards. People find it comparatively difficult to fit themselves into situations where people judge them for the size of their body structures. Everywhere we look, the kind of body that seems worthy enough of worshiping has no spots, stretch marks, fat, and belly fat.
There can be innumerable reasons for a person to look the way they do. It can be due to hormonal issues, health issues, accidental issues, genetic issues, but people fail to understand their struggle. At every point, they have their worth put into the baggage of invalidation. The prime reason for it being none other than- their appearance.
The problem does not only lay with the people and their mentality. There are a lot of contributors in this entire scenario of bizarre obsession with perfect body images. These contributors range from media platforms, modeling houses to film industries.
Why is it that only a fair-skinned model will get the front page of every magazine cover? Why do celebrities still endorse skin-care products that make you fair? And, why does one have to fit under a certain weight measurement to bag the lead role? These questions might pop up in everybody’s minds now and then, but there are no answers to them.
Gendered Body Image Issues
Although it might not be wrong to say that women are more, under pressure for appearing their best at every possible time, that does not mean that men don’t have to go through body image issues. Society has made different degrees of ‘being beautiful’ for men and women separate.
For a woman to appear more feminine, she must have fair skin, no marks, and belly fat. Whereas for a man, he has to have a muscular body, enough amount of body hair and, a good physique to enable others to call him, ‘manly’. It is strange to see that the reason for which a woman is mocked, are the same reasons for which a man is praised, and vice-versa. This clearly indicates the fact that not only are societal beauty standards regressive and laid-back, but gendered societal beauty standards are further conservative.
Although, some people might state that with an increased amount of social media attention, driven towards body positivity movements, things might have changed. However, the sad truth is nothing has changed. People still feel like hating their bodies, they still feel uncomfortable around ‘perfectly’ shaped bodies, they still don’t know how to love it at all.
It is time that the laid-back society we live in, tries to learn what it means to accept every body type and realizes that, ‘beauty genuinely lies in the eyes of the beholder ’.