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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at St Olaf chapter.

Beauty stereotypes and expectations exist worldwide and are especially prevalent on college campuses. Women (and men and genderqueer people) are often expected to perform up to par (or above it) in terms of body image, fashion and overall physical appearance in combination with grades, extracurricular participation and a decently flourishing social life. It is time to break down the beauty stereotypes, at least starting in your own head. Self-talk can be some of the most harmful forms of disapproval, especially when it involves comparing oneself to others. Reaffirm yourself in the mirror every morning about something you like about yourself, whether it’s an external physical characteristic or not, it is likely that any form of self-affirmation will increase a person’s confidence throughout the day. Try not to hold yourself or others* up to society’s unachievable beauty ideals.  

*When you read the word “others,” you probably think of your peers, classmates, professors or whoever is walking past you on campus. Don’t stop there. Imagine a world where we don’t call certain animals ugly. Please only take me as seriously as you want to and acknowledge that there is beauty in every face and species on this earth. Below you will find some animals that you may despise, but you should reconsider your distaste, which is largely based on physical appearance. True beauty exists beyond the opinions of society.  


Fun fact: Bats are the only flying mammal, so you should probably give them a chance. 

Sphynx Cats

The only type of cat that will ever need a bath or a sweater. How unique! 


Body positivity is a huge part of breaking down beauty expectations. Love the wrinkles and the rolls of the pug and you are on your way to embracing a body-positive mindset.  

Blob Fish 

The blob fish has no muscles. Love it anyway.  

Bats, Bats again, Sphynx Cat, Sphynx Cat with Sweater, Pug, This Pug Loves You, Blob Fish