Unrealistic Beauty Standards

I am not the prettiest girl you’ll meet. And I’m ok with that.

Now.

Growing up I dubbed myself the funny one.

Growing up we think outward beauty is the rule, not the exception. As we age we learn that it is in fact the exception, not the rule. I have an uncommon combination of rather unique features. And a half lazy eye. So there’s that.

As a kid my hair was longer but I never really knew what to do with it. It was bone straight and only held a curl under the weight of an entire can of Aqua Net. I wanted blonde hair but mine was nearly dark as night. I wanted blue eyes like my mom. My eyes are small so options for dramatic shadow was nil. Mascara was pointless. My glasses buried all of it anyway.

My mother always said makeup is to enhance your natural beauty and not much is really needed. But I always wanted to look “done up”. It’s just that my face wasn’t made for it. But that’s what “pretty” was. The girls on TV, in my magazines, at school. They all had gobs of make-up and beautiful hair. I wanted that. My body type has always been the unusual inverted triangle with broad shoulders and narrow hips. Clothes fit oddly most times. I wanted to be taller with legs that went for days. I wanted to be thinner. I was a dancer who genetically amassed muscle easily so I clocked in at 145 and 5 foot tall. As a teenager you don’t understand that muscle weighs more than fat, you just want to see a number on the scale. I became a cheerleader in High School because I didn’t want to dance anymore. But also because I knew my looks weren’t going to win people over, it would have to be my energy and wit. I wanted to be sure I wasn’t the kid that other kids made fun of. I got contacts in High School even though I couldn’t see well out of them. I got them because I wanted to be pretty. I continued searching for “pretty” year after year after year…

It takes a lot of self-reflection and focus on the inside to be able to look in the mirror and think you look good. I think my insides are beautiful. I think that the key to me seeing the outer beauty was to align my appearance with my personality and with my success in the corporate world. Once they were in sync everything felt better. I stopped focusing on my face and focused on my overall appearance. I leveraged my wardrobe. I felt confident.

I didn’t appreciate my features until well into adulthood. And by “well into” I mean about 30 years old. My uncommon combination of rather unique features are that of two very beautiful souls who created me out of love. I look like both of them. I have my mother’s eye shape with the color of my fathers. My nose is his but the crease in the center of it mirrors hers. My hair is my fathers, as is the dimple in my chin. My broad shoulders are that of my mothers and they hold firm under the weight of motherhood.

Evolution is inevitable. High school beauty only lasts so long. And boy, folks really try to hang on to it. I rather have what I have today then to have been the pretty one in school.

I think we, as a society, need to lay off the makeup. All of this contouring and layers upon layers of foundation leaving women unrecognizable when bare faced. I’m not entirely sure we are sending the best message to our youthful girls.

We continue to create unrealistic beauty standards knowing the harm it does.

A video of a woman contouring her cleavage, throat and collarbone came across my newsfeed the other day and I just watched in awe. I am flabbergasted at just how much we have developed a hate for our natural selves.

These unrealistic beauty standards are killing self-confidence before it even has a chance to grow.

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28 thoughts on “Unrealistic Beauty Standards

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  1. Love that picture and love this post. I agree. I wear make-up but not so much that I look totally different without it. I agree with your mom. it’s to enhance your features, not create new ones. The whole contouring thing kinda blows my mind. I’ve never tried it, but I’ve watched several videos on how to do it. I think it’s a combination of fascinating and really kind of sad. The sad part comes in because the majority of the videos are shot by young, beautiful girls that feel the need to do this. 😦

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you! And you’re right, all of them are stunning enough, there is just no need to pile it on. I’ve not met anyone in person who does the contouring, I’d like to see what it looks like up close. I know my makeup, at times, settles in the wrinkles because of my facial expressions during the day and it looks awful. I just wonder if it looks like that? People have to move their faces!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Sommer I love you and I also am so very proud of you that was an awesome insight and I am sure it will not only effect others, it will also help them. Greatly said and well done.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Lovely article! You are a beautiful writer. You have read the heart and minds of almost every girl navigating their way into womanhood. I still remember the disappointment I felt when I learned that my own classmates viewed me as the class clown and not prettiest eyes, nicest smile or best figure. It wasn’t until I was much older that I realized looks are temporary and superficial. They will only depreciate over time but, I will always have my bright personality and sunny disposition to fall back on. I love to jokingly announce that I’m only getting funnier. I have hope for my daughter and all of our daughters that they recognize their internal beauty has more value than anything on the outside. Sommers you are truly a class act.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Oh my! I can relate to you! I don’t have the classics All-American looks so popular in magazines… At least back in my day! Cheryl Tieggs and Farrah Fawcett were the role models for physical beauty, so as a thick-lipped, full-faced girl who only grew her boobs later, I was at a disadvantage in my high school years! The comments I received from people even in later years makes me. I was told I wasn’t beautiful.

    Down the road beauty ideals expanded to include more exotic looking women, women with thick lips, flatter chests, and fuller faces. My looks were then considered nice, yet the damage had been done! I still felt ugly!

    Yup, we need to get beyond seeing only certain types as beautiful, we need to stop equating a person’s looks with who they are as a person!

    So glad to see you’ve left those outdated and untrue standards behind you!

    Peace,
    Tamara

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Great post! I don’t use a ton of makeup (practically nothing) but it just helps me feel a little more put together. I think it can help people feel more put together without completely masking the person wearing it, which like you said, is the problem. But then I wish sometimes that makeup WASN’T the norm. That we could all just be naturally as we are and learn to see this as beauty. Until then, it’s minimal, easy makeup for me 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Pretty sick, isn’t it? Sometimes I look around and imagine how stunning all those women would look like without all the stuff they did to themselves. Unfortunately they don’t see themselves that way. It’s something that bothers me seeing my daughter grow up. I hope that she will not stop believing in how pretty she naturally is and that some lines in your face are not destroying the picture. I hope that she will know that beauty is not only about looks but also about what you send out and the way you simply are with people. This gets ignored in our society. Fantastic post. Thanks for this!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It is! And I hope for the same for my daughter. She’s only 8 and the struggle is already there, she wants to imitate what she takes in through media and I’m always reminding her of her beauty and her age.

      I do the same, look around and think these women would be so much prettier without all that makeup.

      Liked by 1 person

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