As a plus-sized, brown girl, I have spent some time thinking about the concept of ‘objective beauty’, and well it has either left me confused, frustrated and sometimes just disappointed. There exists a certain set of physical features that appeal to most humans, say a skinny waist and big boobs on a girl or a six-pack on a boy. Blue eyes. Long hair. Cheekbones. Sharp jawlines. Fair skin (to a certain extent, at least). Yes, not EVERYONE has the same ‘type’, not everyone has the same taste, but you have to admit, there are some features that most people find appealing or attractive.
Sadly, if your body doesn’t fit into the ‘objective beauty’ mould, you will probably be pushed aside into the ‘subjective beauty’ category. It does not mean you’re not beautiful, it does not mean that you’re not pretty or hot or cute or sexy. It just means that you lack the mainstream, represented features that majority of the world finds ‘beautiful’.
Let’s face it, there’s always that person that makes everything think ‘Woah’ when they enter a room. You may be imagining a celebrity, a friend or even yourself, but if there’s a large number of people imagining that same person, it’s an objective thought that that person is, in fact, beautiful.
Though the idea of objective hotness fucks me up a little. The idea that certain arrangements of facial features are automatically superior. It’s like someone woke up one day with a boner for big-eyed, soft-lipped, tight-bodied cheekbone people, and we all just decided to go along with that.
– Becky Albertalli, Leah on the Offbeat
Our society, in the 21st century, upholds some beauty standards; if you fit in them, well that’s good for you, if you don’t fit everything, it’s like everything around you tries to compel you into pushing yourself to fit into them. This is caused by a lack of body diversity in mainstream media because what I have been implicitly taught my whole life, is that there is an unspoken but obvious hierarchy of body types. Physical features that are superior, more desirable, more enticing. Even in India, where a majority of the population is not white, the most marketed beauty products are ones that promote fairer skin.
Yes, there are phrases such as “Everyone is beautiful” and “Beauty exists everywhere” and those are true. There is a certain amount of beauty in everything. But there are also phrases such as “You are beautiful to me” which emphasise the subjectiveness of beauty. At the end of the day, it does depend on how you view a particular person but I do believe that objective beauty does exist. Even though I don’t want it to.
It can make people suffer through body dysmorphia, self-hate and make people question their worth. Which is bullshit. Nobody should be made to feel like they’re not enough just because they look a certain way.
She looked like art, and art wasn’t supposed to look nice; it was supposed to make you feel something.
– Rainbow Rowell, Eleanor and Park
I love this quote so much. Bodies are art and art is subjective. Everything has exceptions. Everything is based on perception. So what gives objective beauty the right to even exist?
I am someone who isn’t satisfied with her appearance and has tried on multiple occasions to change the way she looks. I, like most people, want to look ‘pretty’ in a way where most people think I’m pretty, not just my parents and friends who already have a biased opinion. Yes, I too have chased after ‘objective beauty’ and will probably subconsciously continue doing so even though I hate the concept. Self-love comes hard to me, it’s difficult for me to look in a mirror without hating the reflection. But I’m working on it.
I do genuinely believe that everyone is beautiful. Humans are beautiful. It’s their difference that makes them beautiful. But everyone’s a different kind of beautiful. And we should appreciate that.
It has been a WHILE since I posted on this blog. Not going to lie, I almost forgot it existed (not that anyone really cares). Yes, I have been reading and being alive.
This post was more of a rant than a discussion and I know that I may have contradicted myself at some points but well, I just let my thoughts spill for some time. It was too long for twitter.
thank you for reading
au revoir, ciao and sayonara
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