I was in my Spanish Class today and my teacher asked in Spanish: ‘eres guapo?’ (are you pretty?) and everyone answered yes except for one lady. She is a beautiful, elegant woman probably in her 50s and she said ‘no soy bonita!’ (I’m not pretty!). When the teacher argued saying that she was beautiful she said she isn’t beautiful because she is OLD!
In that moment I realised that we, as a society have been socialised to see beauty through numbers; age, weight, size and so on. When in reality, beauty is a lot more than just a number. However, we have come a long way when it comes to weight/sizes and beauty as more and more magazine covers talk about plus sized women. More clothing brands offer clothes for curvier women. But still, we are far from perfect as a society.
Even now women are rated out of scales of 10 on beauty and hotness, even now you see women being body shamed for being plus sized or having a different shape to what people believe is the ‘norm’. I remember when I was a young girl in school, people around me joked about my thighs and sometimes I would hear the words ‘thunder thighs’ being thrown around. At 13 when you are at a vulnerable age, words like that affect your mind and hit you hard. I remember wanting to just be able to get rid of the extra fat on my thighs. However, over the years I have learnt that my thighs are big but so what? They don’t define me and they look natural with my body so why am I complaining. But, not everyone can think that way and I know and have seen people self-harm because of the unrealistic beauty standards.
As a society, we need to reiterate the fact ‘BEAUTY ISN’T DEFINED BY A NUMBER’. Everyone is beautiful no matter what age, size or weight they are. We should never force women to follow a beauty standard. What makes the world so amazing is the difference in people all around the world. As I travel through different places I see different types of women just doing their thing and it makes me happy to think that we might be able to create a world where women are not forced to look a certain way but can be completely natural and still be able to think they are pretty.
Beauty has a different definition for everyone but just because someone doesn’t fit your definition, doesn’t mean they are not pretty. So message a friend, your family or let a stranger know that they look pretty today. In a world, where we are constantly being told to look a certain way, it is nice to hear some confirmation that we are beautiful the way we are.