We are in the middle of the fight for a healthy body image, and a love for our natural shape vs. the creation of the perfect self. More and more people are encouraged to show what their bodies actually look like, but at the same time celebrities are followed 24/7, and expected to look flawless at any given time.
Since beauty products and fashion is easily attainable these days, we have been made to feel like there is no excuse, and that we to have to conform. But, what is the modern beauty ideal, and is it realistic?
The theory is, that the beauty ideal is formed by the main fashion trends, the main fashion trends are inspired by, or a reaction to events in the society we live. Our society happens to be consumed with fame and sex...
Ok! So we have established that to qualify as an "ideal" in 2013, you have to be famous and sexy. To be famous you can do pretty much anything, as long as it gets you noticed. To be perceived as sexy you have to dress the part, and to fit the part you can choose between the accepted body type options provided to you, through the following "It girl" trends.
For example, 1. You can be a thin and youthful like Kate Moss, Cara Delevingne, or Emma Stone, 2. A classic hourglass with all female curves and a tiny waist like Christina Hendricks, Dita Von Teese, or Kim Kardashian, 3. An athletic wholesome fitness goddess like Maria Sharapova or another tennis player/model. 4. Thin and chesty like Katy Perry and Angelina Jolie, 5. Curvy and bootylicious like Beyonce and J'Lo. 6. Thin, tall and long legged like Gisele Bundchen and Heidi Klum.
Another factor is that most things today are very loud, so one has to scream even louder for attention (e.g. Lady Gaga is to modern society what Madonna was to the 80's), and the key word is extremes. What these body types all have in common is that they are all extreme, and hard to attain. Any "successful" person has to be sexy, youthful and fit. Athletes, actresses and pop stars are expected to be trend setters, role models, super models and sex symbols. So, those who don't have the "It figure", diet and exercise like crazy and buy spanks (hold in/shape wear), to dress as if they have it (Actually, those who "have it" also wear spanks, because they don't have it enough).
In the face department, we are expected to look beautiful without makeup, have a natural glowing skin, full and silky hair, be symmetrical but interesting. Minor features that set you apart from the crowd (that are also hard to attain) can make you the new "it girl". Some of the latest trends has involved unusual combinations of hair, skin and eye-color, gap teeth, full eyebrows, and the rarest hair color of all, red. If you don't have any or all of these elements, natural beauty can be bought with plastic surgery, botox, skill-full application of quality makeup, and a whole bunch of creams and other products. Almost everyone is "lying" about their appearance, and most of us are feeling inadequate.
No matter how you flip it, the ideal silhouette today is either slim or curvy, but must be above all firm, or a form of skinny-strong. You're expected to look incredibly healthy and fit (if not, you lazy right?). To sum it up, our bodies are supposed to appear superhuman.
I realize this text is filled with bad advice on how to look good, but this is meant to be informative, not inspirational (and read in the most sarcastic of tones).
There are so many really attractive people out there, that somehow got it into their heads that they just don't fit the modern ideal of beauty. But the mould is changing, and only people can change it. (Wait, can I squeeze one more "change" in there?) So be the change you want to see.
Actually, there is one good advice in here, being different is "in". So use it!
Also, one should try to remember that not appreciating yourself is just wasteful living.
SOME CONTEMPORARY BEAUTY ICONS
Rihanna, Beyonce, Lady Gaga Christina Hendricks, Gisele Bundchen, Anglina Jolie, Emma Stone, Coco Rocha, Cara Delevingne, Nicki Minaj, Adriana Lima, Chrystal Ren, Lara Stone, Dita Von Teese, Solange, Victoria Beckham, Katy Perry, Megan Fox, Jennifer Aniston, Taylor Swift, Kim Kardashian, and Maria Sharapova.
The next post is: BEAUTY IDEAL OVER THE DECADES part 3 : THE 2000's
Information collected from several sources including Wikipedia, Thefashionspot.com and diet-blog.com, historicalideals.tumblr.com, http://comn4725blog.wordpress.com, dailymail.co.uk,
uni-regensburg.de/Fakultaeten/phil_Fak_II/Psychologie/Psy_II/beautycheck/english/figur/figur.htm, The documentary "Miss representation")