Idea 4 ; Beauty standards

Throughout time the meaning of beauty and what is considered beautiful has changed a lot all around the world, and as that does what stays consistently the same is women’s attitudes and their desire to reach that beauty standard. Before the colonisation of most of the world. Different societies had entirely different meanings of beauty and although they still do keep some of their traditions most of society do still follow European Beauty standards. In Africa different tribes had different styles such as body modifications.

Around the 1960s women had curvier bodies and that was the body type that was embraced as it was seen as very feminine and womanly, Women with bigger hips and breast were very appealing to men as it inferred they could have a lot of children. Women such as Marilyn Monroe became a sex icon for having this body type and having what was considered a pin up look. Gradually this began to change in the 1990s when the modelling industry spiked in popularity and catwalk models were the new in. When extremely thin women started the grace the catwalks it sparked a new era … many people say that models had to have this body type so that the designers could save money, because more fabric equals more money. Another interpretation was because the designers wanted the women to be almost like coat hangers and not have the audiences attention drawn to their bodies instead of their clothing. And another more shocking interpretation was because a frail thin body is more appealing to paedophiles as it is similar to a child’s body. Around the 21st century (2010) the ideal body type entirely changed. Especially in Black communities, Bodies like big boobs, small waists, big bums and thighs first become very popular on social media. In African communities this figure was always popular and a lot of black women naturally where very curvy. But, when social media platforms such as Instagram and YouTube started showcasing those figures women started wanting to emulate it. As a result products such as butt pads etc. were created in order so that women could try to achieve that body type. For some women it is impossible to achieve that body type, so they have to go to other methods like surgery. Due to this surgeries like (BBL) Brazilian Butt lift became very popular. This also had affect on certain industries and jobs like music industry and the sex industry, as most man are attracted to women who are very curvy, so in order for the women to make money they had to have surgery. This had the same affect for strippers as well. Unfortunately surgery costs a lot of money and many women had to go towards the Black market, or for cheaper unreliable sources. Having bad injections or butt pads can cause botched jobs, and many women have died or have severe health issues due to their surgery’s.

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Feminism has changed the beauty industry a lot and sometimes in a negative way. They have done some good things like made society introduce a weight law for models, so that they have to be within a healthy weight range to get work. Also they have widened what people consider as beautiful for example different races and hair types. However the feminists agenda has also introduced a very unhealthy standard of beauty obesity, where now they have women who they consider plus size being models. What I find ironic is how many Feminists rant about how beauty and looks is not important but then try to change and convince people that they are, only then proving that beauty is very important, because if it was not then why would so many women be trying their to prove that they are beautiful and change themselves to be more appealing. The media(Fashion industry main purpose is to market of off women insecurity, in commercials they present the opposite of what they are selling and portray it in a negative way so that women will want to but they products in order to achiever there ideal.Their was recently an incident where Victoria secret said that they ‘would not allow transgender women or plus size women to be angels’.This made a lot of people upset because transgender and plus size women are a majority of their customers, similar situations to this have happened before in the fashion industry and in certain beauty brands. Their are brands specifically for plus size women that exclude petite women’s sizes which is slightly ironic. They complain that Victoria secrets is not inclusive however they provide in my opinion a good size range going from for bras AA to DDD and for clothing sizes XS to XL they also do alterations as well. So how much larger do they want the range to be opened, anything larger would be unhealthy. Not every platform has to be inclusive to everyone, Victoria secrets takes their shows very seriously and their models stay on strict schedules and regimes to keep their physiques.

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On August 2018 Tess Holiday graces the cover of Cosmopolitan girl causing both admiration and outrage. She posed on the cover wearing a green swimsuit to promote plus size beauty. Tess Holiday mentioned how important the cover was to her and will be to other people , and that if she saw something like this when she was younger it would have changed her life but how so ? She is knows for being very upfront when spreading her messages of body positivity but is starting to add a new topic to the subject mental health, In today’s very beauty obsessed society its easy to see how women who do not reach those standards can start to think less of themselves. Many people are often bullied for weight or looks, whether they have a are seemingly unattractive or have a certain facial deformity or mark which makes them stand out or other people do not like. A survey found that only 1 in 5 (39%) of young people felt confident about their appearance. Where as 1 in 10 felt depressed about their looks. More than half of young woman are bullied at school because of their appearance. Girls in England and Waled aged between 15 to 22, 56% were abused verbally, physically or online because of their weight, height or hair colour. In all societies one way or another there is an obsession with looks and some societies judge more harshly then others.



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