What does ‘perfect’ look like?
Everyday, we are bombarded by images of celebrities and models in the media, all of whom look like they’ve been ‘perfectly’ created by someone, more like sculptures than people, carefully made with idyllic proportions to every inch of their bodies. But, what makes us think these appearances are perfect? What does perfect even look like?
In a bid to find out, Esther Honig, a 24-year-old journalist based in Kansas City, Missouri, sent an image of herself to 40 people in 25 countries with the request 'Make me look beautiful. As reported in the Daily Mail. The results showed that each country transformed the woman’s portrait into 25 completely different looking women. For example, the American beautiful was a woman with strong facial features and moulded cheek and collar bones. The American’s also made her petite with blonde hair and emerald green eyes. In contrast, the submission from the Philippines gave the woman a formal attire with a collared shirt and suit jacket along with minimal make up. So why do we have a perception of what beautiful is, if everyone thinks of it being different?
These ‘ideals’ we see have given us, and especially young females, a drive to achieve ‘perfection’, but with no one quite knowing what that looks like, we have seen the boundaries be pushed and extremes be reached, all in a bid to try and achieve the unachievable.
In 2006, Brazilian fashion model Ana Carolina Reston Marcan died due to complications with anorexia, she weighed just 88lbs (6 Stones). Her death sparked the initiation of a global movement ‘Say No to Size Zero’, a campaign fronted by model Katie Green. This lead to many countries banning size zero models from fashion shows and anyone under the age of 16 or with a BMI (body mass index) of under 18 were also banned.
However, weight is not the only issue, as now we still have to fight the judgement of what a beautiful appearance is. This includes how women and girls should mask their selves with make up, hiding ‘imperfections’ such as blemishes, freckles or birthmarks. But why? Many people in the UK and worldwide consider even surgically altering them selves to become impeccable in their looks.
Liposuction, face lifts, breast enhancement and Botox are all common examples of plastic and cosmetic surgery that we undergo to ‘improve ourselves’. As ludicrous as this seems, I can understand why, for some people, they may come to this conclusion. Not only do we judge ourselves but unfortunately, humans have become spitefully judgemental of others too, which inevitably leads to bullying. Some people will be strong enough to cope with and over come this but for others, it lowers self esteem and confidence which can have a huge effect on someone overall. In this case, surgery may be the easiest alternative; make yourself what people expect and in theory, the bullying and ridicule will stop, right? But, really, how can it ever stop if no one knows what beautiful looks like? Maybe you change your lips for example and make them fuller, some may think that it is an improvement, but due to the unfortunate nature of people in this day and age, others will still disagree.
My point is that no one should ever feel the need to alter themselves for the benefit of others. Wouldn’t you rather live in a world of diversity than a world which is forever in competition with one another to contend in ‘beauty wars’? Personally I would. Every freckle, mole, stretch mark or scar on your body is individual to you, it tells your story. No one else can ever compete with that. You don’t need to be a certain weight or look a certain way to be happy because being something you’re not won’t give you contentment. Be comfortable in your own skin, and don’t feel the need to be what everyone wants you to be. There is never a ‘need’ to do something; there are no rules to follow or guidelines that you have to fit into when you are born, so why start following them now? Why live by other peoples standards, when you can live by your own? All you should ever do is be happy and comfortable with yourself. Be your own ‘perfect’, because perfect looks, just like you.