The standard for what is considered "beautiful" have evolved over the years (and by "beautiful", I don't necessarily mean our appearance). But with this gradual evolution of what is accepted and what isn't, there has been an increase in hypocritical thinking. Like what? The following image really outlines my point:
See what I mean? The world can be harsh but to put it plainly, this is ridiculous. Even though this problem isn't necessarily gender specific, women in particular seem to struggle the most. I'm trying to make a point that women today (and I'm especially thinking of the young teen girls out there) are still being manipulated by what society deems 'acceptable'.
Say I'm in school, and it's hot outside, I'm in a tank top and I'm told to cover up because what I'm wearing is 'distracting' to other (oftentimes male) students [to read an actual story like this, click here]. What am I really being told here? That I should be ashamed because of what I am wearing? Or that my looks and/or body is viewed as a problem to others? If I'm removed from the classroom or the school, does that mean I am less important than everyone else? This type of mentality can be damaging, especially to a young girl or lady already fighting her own self-esteem problems. Because, frankly, we have too much pressure already without having to worry if our shoulders are being a "distraction".
I find the evolution of these standards really interesting. It amazes me how much things have changed; that we can go out to the beach in bikinis when it was once unacceptable, or walk around with cut-off jean, and crop-tops when it once wasn't right to show our ankles. Yet, even though society's standards have come far, we're still being told what is and isn't acceptable. Why is this?
The point is, no one (regardless of gender) should be told what they can and cannot wear. Likewise, these 'standards' should continue to evolve in a way that will better society. First impressions should be based on inward qualities, instead of outward appearance. After all, our looks are not what God is assessing when it comes to our Salvation or our livelihoods. It says so in 1 Samuel:
"But the Lord said to Samuel, "Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart." ~ 1 Samuel 16:7 NIV
Over the last month, we've examining these standards and what society deems as 'appropriate'. This is a subject I'll probably return to time and again, because as long as these beauty standards are in place, there will be people who do not fit into the predetermined categories. There will be those who are outcast for their appearance, because they are not cast from the same mold everyone has deemed 'worthy'. This breaks my heart.
Never let anyone tell you what you should look like, or who you should be. Never let them make you feel less than your true value. Never let them pigeonhole you into a category or try to confine you in a box of predetermined ideas. We are meant to be unique and different! It's okay to have flaws and imperfections. Remember:
Want to read the previous posts from this series?Here is the whole list:
- Introducing the Truth about Beauty
- The Truth about Beauty; the Media is Damaging Us
- The Truth about Beauty; Loving Yourself
- The Truth about Beauty; Bullying
- The Truth about Beauty; the Definition of “Pretty”
- The Truth about Beauty; the Definition of “Handsome”
- The Truth about Beauty; the Definition of "Beauty"