Chasing The 'Perfect' You: Unrealistic Beauty Standards and Face Dysmorphia
‘REM Beauty releases yet another concealer with advanced properties that provides extensive coverage over blemishes and under-eye bags.’
A young girl in her 20s reads the news and buys the product because she does not want to go out with uneven textures visible on her face. This seems fairly normal to us as we have dwelled on putting up a hoax rather than being confident with our true selves.
Frankly, we are not the ones completely at fault, rather the advertisements we see are! They strategically morph brains by targeting people’s insecurities. We, as a society, have set up the ideal beauty stereotypes- thin nose, long hair, a curvacious body but not too chubby, toned body, plump lips, and whatnot. Examining this, one can easily spot how it's mostly women who are under scrutiny over the way they look.
A study indicates that these archetypes of beauty are primarily responsible for the 2.5% of women in the world who have Body and Face Dysmorphic Disorders.
The internalised urge to be perfect and to always align with the standards provokes dysmorphia. Added to this, is the availability and convenience of photo editing and filters.
The Obsession with Being "Perfect"
History gives us several pieces of evidence that beauty standards have been fluctuating every few years. Moreover, each culture promotes varied standards of beauty as per their traditions. During the Victorian era, pale skin colour was prominent. Ironically, in the 1920s and 1930s, women resorted to the artificial tanning of skin to achieve an olive complexion. Furthermore, in ancient Rome, people were considered ‘beautiful’ if they had a long structured nose.
In contrast to this, in today’s times, people prefer having a small nose. Numerous renowned cosmetologists have confirmed the rise of rhinoplasty, facial implants, botox injections, and other procedures related to the face. They claim that the non-realistic standards of beauty are a consequence of the glorification by the media and influential personalities. Long story short, we have always been running after impossible ideals of beauty. We try to fit into the molds of unrealistic standards, to be at par with societal expectations. This never-ending race could unknowingly alter itself into an obsession.
Overcoming Face Dysmorphia
Undoubtedly, social networking and the internet play a major role in emphasising and promoting unrealistic standards. We must remember that technology has its fair share of benefits but ultimately has caused us to be extensively aware of our appearances. The best way to overcome dysmorphia is to be optimistic and replace negative thoughts. Secondly, distance from social media must be maintained. Owing to its dependence, it is easier said than done, nonetheless, the reality that social media tries to portray is ultimately fake.
As they say, beauty is in the eyes of the beholder. Thus go easy on yourself. Take pride in yourself. Do not be fazed by others’ opinions. Keep in mind that no one is as fixated on your "flaws" as you are.
Josh Wilson, ‘Cosmetic Surgery Is On The Rise With Technology And Hollywood Is At The Center Of It’ (https://www.forbes.com/sites/joshwilson/2023/01/18/cosmetic-surgery-is-on-the-rise-with-technology-and-hollywood-is-at-the-centre-of-it/?sh=556780691d91)
‘What Is Facial Dysmorphia?’(https://health.clevelandclinic.org/facial-dysmorphia/)
Arielle Tschinkel (2018), ‘‘How to effectively treat body dysmorphia, according to experts’’ (https://www.insider.com/how-to-treat-body-dysmorphia-2018-7)
8 Reasons to love your big nose (2018) (https://www.yahoo.com/lifestyle/8-reasons-love-big-nose-)