Beauty standards are deeply ingrained in our culture and continue to dictate how we see ourselves and our world. Western beauty standards promote the notion that in order for women to be beautiful, they must be white, blond-haired, blue-eyed, young, thin and able-bodied.
These Eurocentric, patriarchal constructs have been used to oppress, control and profit from women.
In today’s digital world, this problem has only deepened. In addition to traditional media sources, social media has created a whole new set of standards and expectations that shape how we see ourselves through an endless stream of highly curated and filtered imagery. We now compare ourselves not only to celebrities, but to each other, negatively impacting our personal and collective well-being.
Movements such as self-love, body-positivity and anti-racism are beginning to challenge these structures. However, there is still much work to be done. Only when we’re willing to see these false notions of beauty in our own lives, can we begin to disrupt the toxic system that we unknowingly uphold and perpetuate.
I believe that dismantling beauty standards has to happen from the inside out.
I also believe that we need to do this work as a community, so that we can support one another in this transformation. That's why February's theme for The Sacred Beauty Collective is Dismantling Beauty Standards. Throughout the month, we'll be sharing our stories and building healthier beauty narratives together.
For now, I leave you with this powerful quote by Sonya Renee Taylor, activist and author of The Body is Not an Apology.
“Racism, sexism, ableism, homo- and transphobia, ageism, fatphobia are algorithms created by humans’ struggle to make peace with the body. A radical self-love world is a world free from the systems of oppression that make it difficult and sometimes deadly to live in our bodies.”
I'm so grateful to be on this self-love journey together and look forward to going deeper with you this month!