Her Campus Logo Her Campus Logo
Wellness > Health

Body Standards: Are people actually focusing more on health than looks?

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Casper Libero chapter.

The growing appreciation for a healthy lifestyle is an expanding topic, especially in the media. The impact of this discourse has been taking a significant place in our daily lives, compelling us, even intrinsically, to have a healthy appearance and bodies that follow a certain standard. 

Surprisingly, this trend has caught on and is beneficial for those who choose to follow it. However, an old discussion and a paradox about this topic resurface: the relationship between health and aesthetics – where the pursuit of looks often disguises itself as a concern for health.

Health Became Fashionable

Lifestyle, running, healthy eating, physical activities, fitness life and routines have taken over social media and young people’s lives. Throughout the last half century (at least) it has been common sense for dissatisfaction with the body and/or health problems to be the main motivation for a lifestyle change. However, nowadays, young people have opted for these changes often due to an influence loaded with a life standard filled with high levels of comparison.

Whether for aesthetics or health, it is a fact that people are focusing more on well-being. But with what motivation?

The benefits of regular physical activity for all ages are widely publicized and recommended. Due to the greater amount of information available today and digital media influence, people, in general, have been focusing more on health. The media, despite establishing an ideal body beauty standard, also clearly express the importance of practicing some physical activity.

Beauty vs Health

In 1946, the World Health Organization (WHO) defined health as a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity. According to the Ministry of Health, this definition also has many points in common with the perception of the concept of quality of life. Thus, it is necessary to analyze the body, mind, and even the social context in which the individual is inserted to better define the state of health.

The practice of sports is a form of leisure and a way to restore health from the harmful effects caused by daily stresses and studies. Regular physical activity helps improve strength, muscle tone, and flexibility, as well as strengthen bones. Alongside these benefits, there is also the acceleration of the development of physical, cognitive, affective, social, and environmental skills, leading to a state of well-being.

Therefore, it is possible to be healthy without following society’s aesthetic standards, just as it is possible to follow the body standards and not be, necessarily, healthy. The “perfect” and standard body should be, in fact,one that is healthy in every way. It is the body of a person who is synonymous with physical, inner, and mental health.

Focus on You

It is very important to take care of yourself. But doing so by comparing yourself to someone who has a completely different reality from yours will not take you to the same place as them. Know your strengths, in what you are good at and find easy. But seek to understand your limitations, the things you have difficulty with, and what you can improve. 

Be healthy and respect your limits. Eat what is good for your body but also for your mind. Exercise! Go out to practice physical activities outdoors, but also go out with your friends to do what you enjoy.

It is extremely important to emphasize that the guidance of a qualified health professional and an intentional and balanced approach to health is what truly makes a difference. A balanced life is not a burden for anyone. It is possible to lead a light and healthy lifestyle while still doing what makes you happy. True well-being is more than just appearance!

👯‍♀️ Related: “Por que tão cedo?” Como as rotinas matinais do TikTok criam metas irreais para pessoas reais

The article above was edited by Camila Lutfi.

Liked this type of content? Check Her Campus Cásper Líbero home page for more!

Gabriela Belchior

Casper Libero '26

Hi! I’m Gabi, journalism student at Casper Libero University. Welcome to the purest essence of me: communication.