“My beauty, though but mean,
Needs not the painted flourish of your praise:
Beauty is bought by judgement of the eye “
Love’s Labours Lost, Shakespeare
This is one of my favourite lines ever written in literature, it speaks a profound truth in such a simple way. What I think Shakespear is trying to poetically explain is that beauty is in the eye of the beholder through ones inner self – I am a strong believer that outer beauty and inner beauty is very much connected.
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There is almost a striving for perfection, or what society tells us is perfect, is proven to be a dangerous game to play. An NHS study found 28.2% of 16- to 24-year-olds have a mental health condition, with one in four women aged 16 to 24 experiencing anxiety, depression, panic disorder, phobia or obsessive-compulsive disorder (source here). With the pressure to be ‘perfect’ mixed with what we are subjected to online – where social standards are mainly projected.
With internet phenomenon’s such as the Kardashian’s who have marketed themselves as what could be argued, products – the Kardashian-Jenner family have a net worth of around £350 million and rising (2017, here). Whether you are a fan or not, you have most definitely heard of them -some say how they have risen to fame is somewhat clever, others argue that they are ‘famous for being famous’.
People train to look like them, spend thousands and thousands to get their features, dress like them and what have you.This obsession with their hourglass figure is mind-boggling, with devices like waist-trainers which makes one look like their midriff has been mummified. I mean I would love to have been blessed with an hourglass figure, but sadly I’m straight up and down (Miss no hips here..) – but I’m not going to lose any sleep over it or hitting up Amazon for a waist trainer, just because it is ‘fashionable’.
Without a doubt, how they have marketed themselves into their multi-million dollar brand is clever, however, they rely on their physique and beauty as a means to their ends.
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I read an article entitled ‘The Neuroscience of Beauty’ posted on ScienceAmerica (which can be found here) it said:
“Neuroimaging studies have convincingly shown that the brain areas involved in aesthetic responses to artworks overlap with those that mediate the appraisal of objects of evolutionary importance, such as the desirability of foods or the attractiveness of potential mates”
With this in mind, is what is produced through the media, on our internet feeds and what is driven into us, that ‘looks matter’, is it all just us as humans responding to a natural base response?
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Everyone has heard of the phrase ‘sex sells’, which in this day in age is very much so. Personally, I find it a sad thing to find true, as it is not only objectifying men and women but putting pressure on generations (especially the young and impressionable) to adhere to social standards of beauty. Men are ‘supposed’ to have a certain physique and women are idealised as merely visual objects. I personally don’t dress in scantily-clad clothes because I don’t feel comfortable or even confident in something low cut; but does that mean I condemn other women choosing to dress that way? Absolutely not.
Women should be able to dress however and in whatever they wish because to put it bluntly: it is their bloody choice.
The main word there being: choice. No one should be subjected to social pressure to dress a certain way or act in a certain manner.
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The point I am trying to make is we shouldn’t put such high importance on outer beauty, it doesn’t define our worth. Dress how you wish; if you are a lady and you want to wear something more daring: then bloody well go for it.
It is the point when one feels they have to – it is then there is something wrong.
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Don’t think acceptance comes from appearance, inner beauty is priceless.