10+ Outdated Beauty Standards That Women Should No Longer Feel Obligated to Follow
Beauty standards have evolved throughout history and across different cultures. Nevertheless, there are some unrealistic ideals that persist in our modern society that can take a toll on people’s mental health, especially that of young kids. As we don’t believe in these narrow definitions of beauty, in this article, we wanted to name 11 that should stay in the past.
1. Wearing makeup
While wearing makeup should be every woman’s choice, being able to not wear it, even to important events, should be acceptable too. Some years ago, singer Alicia Keys received backlash after not wearing any makeup to the VMAs. However, Keys responded with a social media post, writing, “Y’all, me choosing to be makeup free doesn’t mean I’m anti-makeup. Do you!”
2. Removing armpit hair
As time passes by, more women are getting comfortable with their body hair, to the point where some of them don’t shave their armpits anymore. As the hair on our bodies naturally grows every time we stop shaving, it shouldn’t be frowned upon by society. Thankfully, more people are embracing their natural beauty.
3. Covering stretch marks
There are many causes for stretch marks, but something that it’s important to clarify is that they are normal and around 50% to 90% of women have them. These marks are not harmful to your health and nothing will happen to you if you choose to keep them.
Actress Jameela Jamil, in an emotional post, shared on social media some thoughts she had on the matter. Jamil said, “Stretch marks are a normal, beautiful thing. I have stretch marks all over my body, and I hereby rename them all babe marks.”
4. Removing facial hair
Just like armpit hair, facial hair has been the topic of conversation in recent years, as having a unibrow was not considered pretty, according to society’s standards. Thankfully, there are people who are fighting back against the idea that body hair is ugly.
Actress Yara Shahidi is one of them, since she decided to let her unibrow grow, saying, “Growing out my unibrow was also a turning point for me. I remember coming out of the pool and seeing the black streaks on my arms. I naturally had a lot of hair and felt really insecure about that in that moment.”
5. Feeling bad for being too tall or too short.
Actress Gwendoline Christie said in an interview, “I’d been told, just simply because I was a tall woman with somewhat unusual looks, that I would probably never work on-screen,” Luckily, Christie didn’t listen to the negative comments and landed her first big role as Brienne of Tarth in Game of Thrones.
6. Not having any wrinkles
Wrinkles are dreaded by many because it’s one of the most obvious signs of aging. There are many factors that can contribute to their appearance, like, for example, facial expressions.
Hollywood star Emilia Clarke has been known for her expressive eyebrows and facial muscles. And when talking about plastic surgery and injectables, she said, “I’m not someone who’s ever going to want to go in and get serious stuff done on my skin.”
7. Having a small nose
Another beauty trend that we think is perpetuating impossible beauty standards is wanting to have a small nose. Some people opt for using makeup and contour techniques to achieve a slimmer nose, but there are some folks that are willing to get surgery to have a nose that fits these standards.
Lady Gaga remembered one time at the beginning of her career when someone suggested she get a nose job. The singer and actress perfectly responded, “No. I love my Italian nose.” At the end of the day, if someone wants to have cosmetic surgery, it’s up to that person to decide what’s best for them, and we should also be able to embrace our differences.
8. Covering postpartum stretch marks
According to a health article, between 50% and 90% of people who are pregnant develop stretch marks. This happens because the body has to rapidly stretch to fit the baby, and it can happen to anyone. A couple of years ago, actress Katie Holmes posted a pic proudly showing her stretch marks, and some of her fans thanked her for being authentic.
9. Hiding armpit rolls
Armpit rolls are a common bodily feature that can be found in people of all shapes and sizes, although they have often been seen as a cosmetic flaw, subjected to shame. So it’s time to accept and embrace different kinds of bodies because diversity makes life more interesting.
10. Having a curvy body
As actress Elizabeth Banks remembers, there was a time when she was asked to get implants to boost her career. Now, Banks is grateful for the fact that she didn’t have the money back then to follow the terrible advice someone gave her. Women come in all shapes and sizes, and no one should tell us how to look or what to change.
11. Having slim cheeks
Recently, there’s been a lot of talk about slim cheeks and what celebrities might do to achieve that kind of look. This can make people that want to look like famous stars endure risky cosmetic procedures. Treating our bodies like fashion trends can take a toll on them later on, and before committing to a treatment or surgical procedure, we should assess the risks that come with it.