Beauty standards in the 21st century have been filled with negative stereotypes for both men and women. Being harmful for all, these standards lead to one being filled with depression, negative self-image, and even anxiety due to not being able to love themselves fully.
After not fulfilling the stereotypes of what society believes someone should be, these boys and girls live their lives in a silent pain.Many view themselves as “too fat” or “too ugly” to live through everyday life. Young men and women are led to believe that they do not fit the unrealistic beauty standards presented to them.
Due to this, boys and girls isolate themselves, causing their childhoods to be filled with bad memories and no social skills for later in life. Even though society wants to believe that these instances only occur during the adolescent years of one’s life, these issues are also present in the older years too. How crazy is it that even at 18 to 25 years old people judge each other based on weight, how much makeup someone wears, or what brand clothes someone has on?
Katlin Onorato, a sophomore social work student, explained that “[she] has been exposed to such rude and childish behavior, but it has only made her realize that [she] loves [her]self more.” Though Kate has turned her experience into a positive one, she is in the small percentage capable of doing this. There are those at Monmouth who haven’t been as lucky. For example, Shannon McGorty, a sophomore health studies student, stated that “even now there are many who judge me for not being the size of a toothpick and for not dressing in a tube top and mini skirt to go out to parties.”
Being a part of the younger generations in the 21st century has made living through with these pressures even more difficult. Fear has even been implanted into the minds of those who suffer from these harsh beauty standards.
In personal experiences, there have been friends who texted me and have said “I do not want to go to school. I am scared of what they [the other ‘popular’ girls in my grade] will call me today.” Who should fear even leaving their house because the general public is unable to understand that everyone is different in shape, size, and in personality and style?
If someone is content being thirty pounds overweight and wearing sweatpants every day, why single them out? Why cause someone misery for your enjoyment?
When talking to Dr. Frank Fury, adjunct professor of English, his comments on the beauty standards were quite interesting. Fury explained his opinion, “I think beauty standards are damaging in that they promote the idea that there is one universal ideal of beauty, which historically has aligned with the physical traits of Caucasians. It sends the message that if you are someone of color or someone who happens not to share these ‘ideal’ traits in some form or other, then that must mean that you are not attractive.”
“Clearly this can have far-reaching psychological and emotional effects not just on young girls but all of us,” he said.
To correlate to the damage that he talks about in his quote, Fury says to “Read The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison,” and this will lead anyone to the exact type of destructive mental and emotional behavior behind his quote.
In Colbi Callait’s song Try, it lays out how humans should treat one another and the difficult struggles of younger adults, mainly girls, but boys can relate as well.
As Matthew Jones, a junior computer science student, stated, “People need to learn that being nice and caring towards one another is so much easier and healthier than all this negativity.”
PHOTO TAKEN by Nicole Riddle