What is beauty, exactly? It holds so many meanings, yet in today’s society, it simply means being skinny, having flawless hair and skin, perfect makeup and expensive clothes. Self-image and beauty is a huge part of the modern society, and this mental image is reinforced everywhere around us, from advertisements, social media, to the toys that kids play with. Famous celebrities, whom so many kids and teens idolize, are the epitome of the modern society’s definition of beauty, influencing so many normal people to think of themselves as “fat”, with “ugly” not far behind. They might also get harassed and bullied in school, just because they wore shorts size bigger than zero.
These people might then get depressed, anxious, and upset, seeking the comfort of food, or the opposite- starve. In fact, thousands of people are hospitalised for eating disorders such as binge eating, anorexia and bulimia every year. These people were wrongly labelled and their depression and insecurity were due to the narrow definition of beauty, causing them to be trapped in their own dark world and separating them from the rest of the society as they think that their disorders further prove that they are imperfect.
However, that’s not true. Beauty isn’t just about being skinny, having the latest clothes and mindlessly following the rest of society. It’s about being unique and standing out, having your own style and not being the stereotypical American girl. It’s about being confident, and ignoring any snide comments. After all, what is beauty if everyone is the same? Beauty is happiness, appreciating whatever you are given. It is simplicity, and even the simplest things can be beautiful. It is the moments you feel proud, alive and free.
That is beauty.
Chen Yu Yang (1T)