How Can We Celebrate Our Individuality With Such A Perscriptive Notion of Beauty Today?

WORDS: VICTORIA MCEWAN
FEATURE IMAGE: CREATIVE HINA DESIGN

With a growing understanding of the type of beauty that works in today’s social media driven culture, how can our everyday individuality be seen as beautiful?

Every year at fashion week there is a push for more diversity within the industry and there have been slow and steady improvement’s year on year, look at the success of Chromat’s show last September which took the fashion world, and social media channels in general, by storm. The show was representative of every female; slimmer, thicker, different skin tones, hair colours and textures, females who have battled with health and illnesses, it was a breath of fresh air in what can seem like an industry which lacks such diversity in really representing what life is really like. 

But whilst change is happening on the runways each season, when we take to instagram and look at other women and influencers with their cinched in waist’s, micro bladed eyebrows, lash extensions, lip fillers and botox it can sometimes seem as if there is an unattainable beauty standard to reach. Every era has had a standard or ideal of beauty. In ancient history, curvy goddesses such as Venus and Aphrodite were seen as the epitome of beautiful. Marilyn Monroe was celebrated for her curves and then the sixties and nineties saw the rise of waif like figures on the catwalk such as Kate Moss and Twiggy. We can’t forget the infamous Kate Moss quote “nothing tastes as good as skinny feels”. What all these era’s have in common is the fixation and obsession with being a particular size; size 6, size 10, all the obsession focuses on being a particular weight.

Today, ‘Slim Thicc’ is the beauty standard of our time; a small waist and a big bum, a small nose and big lips. The increasing normalisation of Face-tune and filters on Snapchat also, albeit subconsciously, contributes to this standard as they allow people to distort their faces to achieve this kardashian-esque appearance. Influencer Danielle Mansutti’s video ‘an honest chat about social media & facetune’ highlights the negative effects and dangerous cycle of attempting to try and replicate a certain standard of beauty. 

With so much emphasis on the landscape of beauty focusing on one uniform aesthetic it can seem as if no one is celebrating their individuality and striving for individual identity anymore. However some companies are doing their best to highlight that we shouldn’t be afraid to express who we really are. CVS Health highlighted significant progress as 70% of imagery in store is compliant with the no-manipulation standard as well as convincing big name brands such as Revlon, Rimmel, L’Oreal, Unilever, Burts Bee’s and others to implement the cause. Urban Decay’s campaign didn’t edit models skin, allowing close ups of pores, wrinkles and sun spots.

Whilst we may feel bombarded with a certain depiction of beauty through instagram and snapchat, ultimately we do choose who we follow and this article highlights 10 Instagram accounts which will diversify your feed and celebrates a truly individual beauty. As the saying goes, be the change you wish to see in the world and celebrate yourself for who you really are.