We can stop buying into outdated beauty stereotypes using Sisterhood Agenda’s multicultural beauty principles. Beauty is abundant in all of us and I encourage you all to let your unique beauty shine brightly!
Overcoming beauty stereotypes
For too long, women have been conditioned to believe in unrealistic beauty standards set by society. Unfortunately, some women’s self-worth is often decided by others’ perceptions of them. Do you remember a relative or a friend telling you that you have become fat or too skinny after years of not seeing them? Sometimes, they even have the audacity to suggest that you do something about it because it doesn’t look good.
Do you know anyone who told you that you look boyish for choosing a short haircut? Have you ever felt obliged to straighten your hair because it’s more acceptable or more “beautiful” than your natural hair? Maybe you realize how popular whitening soaps have become in some parts of the world. These things happen because of outdated beauty standards that were set a long time ago.
Today, we set our own standards and define beauty for ourselves.
There is no such thing as a perfect body or a perfect face. The concept of perfection is flawed, so don’t try to emulate someone else’s looks or personality.
You have to be authentic to stand out from the crowd.
Real beauty comes from within and the most beautiful people are those who are confident about themselves and those who have a good heart.
READ MORE: Multicultural Fashion & Beauty
Here are some beauty stereotypes that we need to shatter right now.
1. Only slim women are beautiful.
A lot of women were made to believe that in order for them to look attractive, they need to have a certain body size. When women believe this myth, they dive into fad and crash diets that could sometimes harm their health and lead to problematic eating disorders.
Being slim should never be considered the standard of beauty because every body type and shape is different with its own balance.
You are more than your physical appearance. Your weight (including your body curves), personality, and confidence can make you more beautiful than anyone featured on the covers of popular magazines.
2. Long hair is feminine and short hair is boyish.
When you cut your hair short, people usually think of three things: either you are a tomboy, you just experienced heartbreak, or you are a lesbian. Even in this day and age of feminine celebrities with short hair, short hair has long been associated with men and long hair with women. This is one of the silliest beauty stereotypes.
Of course, girls can look feminine in boy cuts.
Times are changing-men are wearing hair buns and women are wearing shorter hair. I don’t see anything wrong with that, do you?
3. You need to have light skin to be considered beautiful.
Fair skin is often regarded as a beauty ideal in many parts of the world and, conversely, dark skin has been associated with unattractiveness. This explains why a lot of women and even men use skin-lightening products and procedures without thinking of the adverse effects it may have on their bodies and minds.
The world is huge with many different counties, cultures, and ethnic groups.
It’s common sense that there should not be any single standard of beauty because we are all different.
We should all debunk this idea and I am glad that some companies are either eliminating or updating their branding to avoid promoting light skin as the beauty ideal.
4. Specs are for nerds.
For a moment, can you close your eyes and try to visualize what a nerd looks like to you? (Pause for 3-5 seconds.) I wouldn’t be surprised if you have envisioned someone wearing glasses. This “four eyes” stereotype has roots in the not-so-distant past when contact lenses weren’t the best option and laser eye surgery was still non-existent. Back then, people who needed to correct their vision had no choice but to wear eyeglasses.
Having eye issues doesn’t equate to being a nerd.
However, several studies show that people with higher IQ and higher levels of education actually do have poor eyesight. That means, there was a time that a room full of nerds would also mean a lot more glasses. This is no longer the case now because of technology but the specs-nerd stereotyping has remained. The bad thing is: studies show that people who wear glasses are generally considered less attractive than others with normal eyesight. Children hold the most negative views of those who wear glasses and it can even be a factor in how they select their friends.
This is where adults like us need to step in and explain how beauty is not defined by physical appearance and definitely not by wearing or not wearing eyeglasses. We could easily eliminate these kind of beauty stereotypes.
5. Women should not have facial hair.
While it’s totally normal to have facial hair on your chin, upper lip, or between your brows, some women still opt to get rid of them and that is because it is not socially approved. Facial hairs are perceived to be just for men.
Around 40% of women naturally have some sort of hair on their faces. In other words, what you have is “normal.” Women who have facial hair spend a lot of time eliminating it.
Ladies, you are beautiful as you are and there is no shame in fully accepting and embracing yourself.
Stay beautiful, sisters!
Always remember that you are amazing, you are beautiful, and you are a work of art.
If you have any other stereotypes you usually encounter, leave them in the comment section below so we can debunk them together.
Feature photo credit: Khaled Ghareeb