For generations, the global beauty industry has operated on a strictly-exclusive cultural norm. Runways were paved with supermodels who all looked almost exactly alike (if not exactly alike), and brands stood and adhered to a very compounding ethos. Striking men and women of thin calibres and defined angles were the pick of the litter, and anyone who did not fit the expectation found it difficult, if not impossible, to make it in the industry. With such a limited representation of people to look for on runways and in high fashion shows, people all over the world began to alter their lifestyles, habits, and their very bodies to fit into the mould of what they were taught to believe was the epitome of beauty embodied. It was not healthy, but it was a reality. And unfortunately, in many instances, it still is today. Thankfully, however, there is a growing movement to embrace bodies of all types. In recent years, there has been an outroar of outspoken celebrities, influencers, and industry professionals of all types who have been advocating for the love and appreciation of all body types, not just the ones that built the beauty standards we have all become so accustomed to.
We live in a world where social media reigns and we compare ourselves to the images online, putting ourselves down and raising the people in the images on social media up on an impossible pedestal. The supermodels of our time, for example, still have the stereotypical industry-renowned figures, for the most part. Thankfully, however, solutions are on the way. Now, we are seeing more and more models come out of the woodwork that embrace their curves, their dimples, their cellulite, and everything that makes their body truly and unapologetically unique. The lack of biodiversity in the beauty industry has been, up until this point, stifling, and we are finally seeing a strong push for change. In a world where all we want is to feel valued and loved and appreciated, having a beauty standard that does not relate to our own bodies is not only unfortunate, but potentially devastatingly damaging. The culture surrounding beauty standards has historically proven to be quite toxic, and there is need for radical redefinition.
Redefining beauty standards has always been important, but it has never been as important as it is right now. Our impression of the definition of beauty has shifted over time, but it has never been wholly inclusive. Our cultural perception of what beauty truly is today, is something that has taken far too long to achieve. And even then, it is still not nearly good enough. When little girls and boys are growing up with a set beauty standard and trying to force themselves into a mould they were not created for, potentially irreparable fractures can and do occur. The culture must change. and it looks like, at long last, solutions are actively being pursued consistently, honestly, and openly. And this is the key. This is how we establish and maintain a healthy beauty culture the world over. We want the change. Current and future generations need the change. The world demands the change. And so, what else is there to do but instil the change, to ensure its success?
Beauty standards are finally shifting to a more inclusively healthy ideal, but the road is long. Everyone wants to feel beautiful, and while the societal expectation of what beauty means has changed time and again over time, the one constant is that there has never been a globally inclusive beauty standard. Until now, that is. Thankfully, the tides are finally changing, and the culture surrounding beauty standards is becoming healthier by the day. As people in positions of power (i.e. celebrities, influencers, athletes, business owners) promote a wholly inclusive self-love approach, then the consumers begin to buy into it. There is something inherently definitive about taking control of a culture and spinning it into something positive when it was initially negative. This is of course especially true when that culture has such a profound impact on the people of the world and their sense of their own self-worth. The beauty standards that we have become so familiar with are not necessarily healthy, but at long last they are finally changing. It is about time, too.
For generations, the beauty standards around the world were built on the expectations that to be beautiful was to be tiny, thin, tall, angled. Of course, these body types are as beautiful today as they were then, but the key difference between then and now is that there is a growing tidal shift towards embracing every body type, and not just the ones that we have been taught to covet, to love, to cherish. The worldwide culture surrounding beauty is one that is finally moving in the direct of positive absolution and wholly inclusive approaches. And it is one that people are fighting tooth and nail for. We all deserve to feel beautiful, and cherished, and loved. And being part of the surging force barrelling towards inclusive beauty standards is not only the solution, but a decidedly active key component in ensuring our own self-worth. The time for change was yesteryear, but it is never too late to instil positive, lasting change.