So if we go by the dictionary meaning of ‘beauty’, it is defined as a quality foreseen in a person or a thing that gives a certain pleasure to the mind, either arising from some sensory manifestations, a design, or something else. However, the age-old notion of beauty has been set on the outer appearance and physical attributes of an individual. Society has been shaping women and only women, to fit in this ideal standard of beauty set it their perception. This perception has had an impact on the youth’s mind through magazines, commercials, and billboards for a very long time. Rather it is not just about the youth. Every individual, most specifically the female population, has been criticized for not fitting the criteria of flawless beauty standards. The idea of thin legs, a narrow waist, and wide hips. As for men, the idealistic body standards set for them have been their skin tone, how muscular they are, hairy chest (as a symbol of manhood), and other ‘manly’ characteristics. Most people had been really affected by it and showed signs of low self-esteem, stress, and lack of confidence within oneself.
However, the Gen Z kids seemed to have brought a complete altercation into the conversation. Today, beauty is no more specific to a specific gender or only based on how society sees it. Beauty has taken a complete leap to the age-old definition found in the dictionary and has set completely new
standards. Even the commercials are no more being based on the ideal idea of beauty involving fair and flawless skin, perfect makeup, or a zero size figure.
Today we talk about terms like ‘body shaming ‘, ‘body positivity’, plus-size models, the beauty of the curves, guy beauty, makeup trends among men, and whatnot. So if you wonder, have we set the ideal beauty standards already? Not yet but we are working towards it. People no more link bodyweight with beauty standards. There is less association of beauty with beards. Men put on eyeliner and mascaras and look as beautiful as they are anyways. Today people look up to the male beauty bloggers as they look up to the other gender. Instagram has made space for national bloggers like Ankush Bahuguna, Siddharth Batra, and many others with a number of individual following and appreciation worldwide. Even there has been the inauguration of an award system for people to bring up such new trends like the Cosmopolitan award for bloggers who have worked efficiently to change the outlook. The dressing pattern has taken a turn with the introduction of uni-sex and other clothing. Beauty brands now approach both men and women, and people from the LGBTQ community to endorse their brands. All these new trends have been set by a collective effort of the Gen Z idealistic approach towards society.
Today, there is a widening approach to the concept of beauty. It is no more set in the boundaries of particular skin color and body type. Beauty is a concept welcomed and cherished by everyone in their own ways. It is no more based on magazine covers or a runway model. The notion that everyone is beautiful is currently taking shape in society. Women of any age and any shape, with baldness or with streaks are being showered with love. There are communities developing to support such ideas of transition and are developing towards the new approach through peace walks, hashtags, and trends.
Beauty is something for which the idea is constantly changing. But what it necessary with this change is a form of evolution. It should not be limited within a 360-degree cycle, rather it should be moving forward. Maybe tomorrow there would be a new way to top the already set standards, but it should be better and more appealing and comprehensive than before.
However, with the advent of social media usage and an ungraded form of technology, people are also being dragged to the set norms. Most of the population , in the name of trends, veil their beauty in loathed editing applications and face filters. This has been one of the biggest setbacks to the upliftment of the set standards. People are focused on looking like someone, than being someone. They tend to forget that beauty is not only universal but also personal.
Yes, it is always fun to dress up well and put on makeup and click pictures and feel good about ourselves. But it is also important to be one own self and have a love for one’s own body. Beauty is the embodiment of self-love and it’s realization. It is the necessity to love one’s own shape, size, colour and shade. But many times, the media itself make us forget that.