By Anna Rocco
Beauty is a term that has been tampered with for centuries. It has constantly been redefined to try to keep up with the current trends, but unfortunately, the kind of redefining we have been trying to do for years is not the redefining that is meant to be paired with the term beauty.
For example, during the Renaissance era, the most beautiful women were curvy. As time continued and the Victorian age approached, women were expected to wear a corset to have the illusion of a small waist, which was the representation of beauty at that time.
As we entered the 20th century, every decade called for a new size of women to be beautiful until the ’60s.
Since the ’60s, we as a society have been promoting smaller and smaller women. What this has done is allowed the media and big corporations to move in and promote a thin ideal to unattainable proportions in order to create a sense of discomfort within oneself.
This discomfort will drive individuals to buy products that will attempt to have them look more like what is considered beautiful, which in turn, will feed the corporations to push to even more extreme measures of the criteria for beauty. It is a never-ending cycle that revolves around money.
The Huffington Post reported on Lady Gaga releasing a statement regarding Photoshop. She advised young people to “fight back against the forces that make them feel like they’re not beautiful” and went on to explain how excessive Photoshop is offensive.
“It is fair to write about the change in your magazines. But what I want to see is the change on your covers … When the covers change, that’s when culture changes.”
The truth of the matter is that a majority of the head of magazines morally do not believe in all the fad diets and pictures of women they are publishing, but it sells so they do not move to change the problem. What needs to be recognized is not the flaws that the media have currently installed into our heads, but instead the pattern of redefining beauty. It is true that beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
It is inevitable that there will come a plateau in the future regarding the thin ideal where society cannot go any thinner, and a new more radical beauty ideal will emerge.
However, if we look at the past, the reason why this way of redefining beauty never works and constantly needs to change is because there cannot be one standardized model of beauty.
We literally cannot redefine beauty by changing physical appearances because beauty is not meant to be standardized or physically changed. Beauty is not definable. It is different for each person, society and culture. Beauty is not objective; there are many definitions. It is the way that one expresses how they are through their passions, or the way that someone can smile or laugh and light up an entire room. It is the way that a person’s eyes can shine when they get excited, or the way a body can make beautiful movements.
If we, as a society, can focus on all the things that we are blessed with in regard to our body and how perfectly it is created, then I believe each and every one of us will find peace and content, which we can currently imagine. This is what true beauty looks like, and this is how we are supposed to redefine beauty, by bringing it back to the true form, which is open for every single person’s individual beauty.