Sisterhood Agenda

Beauty Standards and Body Dysmorphia

Sisterhood Agenda beauty standards and body dysmorphia

Beauty standards have always been prevalent throughout human history and body dysmorphia is a relatively new phenomenon.

Today, beauty standards and body dysmorphia drastically affect everyday interaction, in large part due to the media and the commercial world.

Beauty standards define what is “beautiful.”  From body shape to facial proportions, to height and weight, beauty standards start when girls are young.

According to many experts, beauty standards can have negative effects on people, especially young girls. Young girls often feel social pressure to change just to fit society’s standards (Source:  manifoldapp).

Today’s standards are women with small waists, long hair, and flawless skin. Girls are required to be this ‘’perfect image’’ when nobody is perfect.  (Source:  Miami High News)

What does this mean for women with curves or women that prefer short hair rather than long hair? Does this mean that they are not beautiful or does it mean that they’re not society’s beautiful?

Beauty standards can be toxic this could lead to a disorder called body dysmorphia.

Body dysmorphic disorder is a mental health condition in which you can’t stop thinking about one or more perceived defects or flaws in your appearance — a flaw that appears minor or can’t be seen by others. (Source:  mayoclinic.com)

You may feel so embarrassed, ashamed, and anxious that you may avoid many social situations.

Many things can cause BDD ( body dysmorphic disorder), for example, abuse or bullying, low self-esteem, fear of being alone or isolated, perfectionism or competing with others, genetics, depression, anxiety, and OCD(obsessive-compulsive disorder).

But society’s beauty standards can also cause this.

According to Science Daily, as these images become the norm, people’s perceptions of beauty worldwide change, too.  This change can take a toll on a person’s self-esteem and can trigger body dysmorphic disorder (BDD), researchers argue.

Due to unrealistic beauty standards, women are at a higher risk of suffering from the most common low self-esteem to complex problems like eating disorders, depression, and other negative effects on their mental and physical well-being. This can also lead to more problems in other areas of their life.

Today, it looks like things are starting to change for the better. Beauty standards and body dysmorphia are now more well-known and understood.  As a result, people are more open minded and inclusive.

Beauty standards have been around for centuries. “Beautiful” people are perceived as being healthier, wealthier, more socially dominant, and more trustworthy (Source:  Holmesplace).

As women, we can work to empower other women to feel good about how they look, even if society may say something different.

Photo credit:  Shutterstock

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