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The Problem With FSU’s Unrealistic Beauty Standards

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 FSU chapter.

Florida State University is esteemed for its astounding ranking, impressive public education, lengthy academic resources, distinguished sports teams, and pretty girls. Florida State is always in the running for every list that ranks the college with the most “beautiful girls.” According to University PrimeTime, Florida State is number two in the “Top 10 Colleges in the USA With the Most Beautiful Girls.” For various other lists, they are always in the top running.

This is problematic because when most people think of Florida State women, they think of Western beauty standards. FSU, being a large and predominantly white public university, upholds this false beauty standard of what is “conventionally pretty” and attractive. These beauty standards suggest that women are more attractive if they have a fair complexion, more symmetrical facial features, full lips, little to no fat, long legs, and so on. These standards not only contribute to the misleading notion that a woman’s worth is directly proportional to her physical appearance but are also extremely unrealistic.  

The standard Florida State woman is white, slim, and conventionally attractive by European beauty standards that are reinforced through social media. This is an unrealistic expectation for the vast majority of female students on campus. With every scroll on Instagram, girls find themselves faced with an overwhelming number of people who meet a standard they feel they never can meet. Social media platforms often showcase idealized versions of beauty that are not representative of the realistic diversity on campus. Students may feel pressured to conform to these standards, which can lead to self-esteem issues and body image concerns.

Western beauty standards are prevalent in all elements of our lives, from media portrayals to the fashion and beauty industries. They are most noticeable for college-aged women in state college campuses such as Florida State, where hookup culture and body dissatisfaction are pervasive. The way we behave in social situations, how we interact with others, and how we view ourselves as women can all be influenced by these kinds of accepted norms for beauty. These physical dissatisfactions typically have an internal manifestation that can lead to deeper issues such as eating disorders, low self-esteem, body dysmorphia, anxiety, depression, and perhaps worse.

There must first be a change in groupthink before confronting the beauty standards that are embedded in Florida State’s culture. Female students must engage in conversations about their personal experiences as women who have grappled with these negative self-perceptions and unrealistic comparisons. Confronting social media’s impact and the male gaze on women worldwide requires allies of all genders. Furthermore, as college students, we can advocate for social change within the university we attend. By recognizing the cultural roots that beauty standards stem from, it is within FSU’s power to resist them, as has been demonstrated by numerous individuals in the past. 

Each of us possesses unique qualities that define our individuality. These distinct attributes are what set us apart and truly make us remarkable. At this moment, we are all sharing a collective experience, one that we will forever hold close to us one day as we navigate life at FSU. Rather than conforming to these perceived expectations of appearance imposed by others, let us instead celebrate our capacity for growth and adaptation.

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Jillian is currently attending Florida State University and majoring in editing, writing, and media. Her interests include reading, movies/tv shows, music, cooking, writing, and more! She loves Taylor Swift and Ben Platt, and of course Her Campus. Contact: Instagram: jilliankaplann Snapchat: jilliankaplan7