What does it mean to be beautiful? Everyone defines "beauty" differently and in their own way. Nevertheless, our society seems to have constructed some basic standards that have become unwritten rules to define being beautiful. But is this mindset about our body image doing us more harm than good? Let me explain:
The societal beauty standards have evolved from ten, twenty, even thirty years ago. What I'm referring to are the rapid changes in fashion (skinny jeans anyone?), and what is considered as visually appealing (i.e "thigh gaps" and tiny waistlines) or socially acceptable. Yet, the bar seems to constantly be set higher and higher, thus causing adverse effects and undue pressure upon our youth when it comes to our appearance and (ultimately) our acceptance.
Photo-shopped images, fad diets, fashion trends, and the like all contribute to this societal pressure put upon teens to look or be a certain way. Young people are bombarded daily by social media, advertisements, and magazine articles all depicting how they should look, and what they can do to improve their appearance. However, there are psychological effects (and consequences) that go hand-in-hand with these standards, ranging from social anxiety to anorexia; especially for women. Now, body image and acceptance has always been a struggle of mine, as for many I know, and it got me wondering why we (as young people) struggle so much with how we look.
So, with that being said, over the next few weeks I'm going to explore the subject of beauty standards, what they are doing to our self-worth, and what the Bible says about how we should be perceiving ourselves. How do they differ? How should we really be thinking? And what can we do to make a difference? Hopefully, this self-exploratory venture will shed some light on the concept of body image and, ultimately, beauty itself. In the meantime: