Mainstream Beauty vs. Everybody Else

Since the beginning of time, society has always had a critical opinion of everything a woman should have and be in order to be considered beautiful.

 Unfortunately, women from all over the world fall victim to the pressure of following the unwritten guidelines of mainstream beauty. Most women have been criticized at some point in their life on something about their personal appearance, whether it’s been their hair, weight, color of their skin, or even the size of their breasts.

 Even if a woman hasn't endured direct criticism from an individual, they see deceiving images of other women daily in the media that they are constantly compared to.

One of the many problems with mainstream standards of beauty are that many of these standards are unrealistic. For example, if you’re looking at an image of a woman on social media or in an ad in a magazine, nine times out of 10, that image was photoshopped or retouched in some way, shape or form.

The woman you’re looking at isn’t even the woman you’re looking at. In addition to impractical images constantly seen on social media, there are many women on your television that have their face beat to the Gods every time you see them, or they have undergone some type of cosmetic surgery or surgeries. 

My point is that today’s mainstream standard of beauty seems to be, “Be everything but your true self.” Enduring this type of pressure daily can be mentally and physically dangerous to anyone, even people who come off as confident. 

Even women who are on the screens of your phones, televisions and computers that you may look up to also battle the pressures of mainstream beauty. For example, the R&B singer K. Michelle, who denied for years that she had any type of surgery to enhance the size of her butt, finally came clean about butt injections she had to have removed because they were starting to cause damaging to her health.

Have you ever heard of the legendary Lil Kim? Well she is a black woman who had a huge, groundbreaking impact on the hip-hop industry. Lil Kim had fame, fortune, and things that many people dream to have.

Although she seemed to have it all, she also fell victim to the pressure to look a certain way. Lil Kim was a beautiful brown- skinned woman but for some reason she felt the need to undergo several surgeries on her body and her face. The one “enhancement” that stood out to many of her fans was the dramatic bleaching she did to her skin over time that almost made her unrecognizable.

 I have always wondered what it was that made her want to change everything about her physical appearance, and why she didn't find beauty in how she looked before.

Who said that you must have a slim nose, long hair, big butt, big breast, small waist, lighter skin, or anything else that is different from who you already are to be beautiful?

Well it doesn't matter who said it, what matters is that you learn to love you for you. One thing I’ve learned is that you can’t and shouldn't try to please everyone.

“You’re so skinny you should eat a little more.”

“You’re getting a little chunky, eat a little less.”

“Don’t wear makeup; guys prefer a girl that’s more natural.”

“Maybe you should try a little makeup to look more put together.”

“Stay out of the sun, you don’t want to get too dark.”

“Looking a little pale; you could use a tan”

“Leave something to the imagination; you’re showing too much skin.”

“Let your hair down, show a little skin.”

These are all examples of suggestions and opinions we don’t ask for. If you try to please everyone, you would probably end up miserable.

Now don’t get me wrong, if you desire to have something different so be it, you should do what makes you happy, but you shouldn't have to feel like you need to change who you are to be accepted or sought after.

I know that may be easier said than done; many people have something about their appearance they’re insecure about. But instead of being ashamed or discouraged by your insecurities, learn to embrace them.

Whether you like to beat your face to the Gods every day, do some lashes and brows here and there, rock your 26-inch bundles or you just love being au naturale, DO YOU.

Only you can be you, that is your power.