The Fairviewer

What Defines Beauty?

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In an age of photoshop, thigh gaps, and thick lips, what defines beauty? Is it the natural physical structure unique to every individual? Or is it the perfection that silicone and plastic surgery help all women achieve?

In a recent study done by Dove, only 4% of women around the world consider themselves beautiful while 72% of girls feel tremendous pressure to be beautiful. Clearly, women worldwide feel that there is a beauty ideal that they simply cannot attain. When dealing with the touchy subjects of self-esteem, body image, and body confidence, women and girls experience great difficulty in recognising beauty within their natural, physical makeup.

The media allows women to regard airbrushed, augmented photos of beautiful women as a certain type of standard that they have to meet. The impossible quality of perfection that the media portrays as normalcy allows women to constantly feel that they are falling just short of being beautiful. This self deprecation and physical self loathing stems from the fact that more than half of women globally agree that when it comes to how they look, they are their own worst beauty critic.

Dove publishes different stories, projects and commercials to educate people, specifically women, on self-esteem, body image, and true beauty. A variety of women were asked a series of questions such as “Do you think you are beautiful?”, “What is something you do not like about yourself?”, “What is something you do like about yourself?” The results showed that the majority of women do not consider themselves beautiful. They could list dozens of traits and parts of themselves that they disliked but could not list one thing that they liked about themselves. This study proves the difficulty women have in loving themselves and feeling confident.

When one is exposed to images of  artificial perfection, it hinders his/her ability to see beauty within imperfection. The competition and criticism women put on themselves to be like these misleading beauty icons and to be prettier, skinnier, or taller, damages their self-esteem, body image, and body confidence.

Women need to work together to encourage one another and to learn to love themselves for who they are. The only way to help the next generations assert their confidence and raise their self-esteem is to lead by example. The Dove Mission is “to ensure that the next generation grows up enjoying a positive relationship with the way they look—helping young people raise their self-esteem and realize their full potential.” Together we must promote positivity and confidence to reinvent the damaging images of beauty and improve the self-esteems of women and girls around the world.


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What Defines Beauty?