Beauty is Pain?

The American beauty standard is a societal construct and while most women try to follow the American rules of beauty, the “perfect” look is completely subjective. 

In America, beauty pushes beyond just cleanliness and good grooming. It is a lifestyle. Showering is an expected activity. It is frowned upon if women have body hair or body fat. The media portrays models to be thin, with full lips and smooth skin. Photoshop is often used to emphasize or delete certain parts of the body in order to depict this “ideal” look of “beauty." American culture makes it so that pretty women are the ones that tend to go the farthest in society. However, there are many chores a girl has to undergo to even have a chance at being selected as “pretty” or “beautiful”.

Take body hair as an example. Society has declared that women should not grow armpit hair, leg hair, arm hair, and that any hair out of place should be removed. Girls go to the salon and they get waxed from their heads down to their toes. Literally!

Shave your legs. Wax your eyebrows. Get rid of your pubic hair. 

These are steps toward the ideal beauty that American society has deemed so important. If you think about it, if these things were not brought to your attention, you probably would not have bothered to change them in the first place.

Unfortunately, because of my genetics, I was born a hairy person. I have been told by many people that I looked like a monkey when I came out of the womb. Growing up, I was covered in thick black body hair. However, my body hair did not bother me until other people started pointing it out. The reason I started hair removal so early is because of the kids at school that would notice. And then as I got older, boys would notice. I had a crush on this boy in high school who told me that he did not like that there was hair on my arms. Granted, as I got older, it got lighter, so it was not as intense as it was when I was little, but it still made me very insecure. I started shaving my legs in fifth grade. I started getting my eyebrows waxed in sixth grade. I tweeze and pluck and shave almost every day. It is a hassle and a chore. But if I do it, I’m accepted in society.

Beauty is subjective. I’ll say it again and again. 

Where being overweight in America is frowned upon, being overweight in Africa is taken as a sign of wealth and beauty. 

And just as beauty is subjective, beauty is also whatever you want it to be. Although society does dictate what we do and why, lately, women have been “beautifying” for themselves. If you want to do hair removal, do it. If going to the gym makes you feel good, do it. If you want to wear makeup, do it. If you want to tie your hair up and just lounge around, do it. 

Beauty is subjective. Not just in society, but to everyone. Everybody has their own different definition of beauty. Do what makes you feel beautiful. 

P.S. Please shower every day.