Stop letting society define beauty standards

Everyone has issues with their appearance, feeling dissatisfied at times. Society is obsessed with physical perfection giving people a habitual obsession with perceived flaws. We’ve been convinced the airbrushed images we see reflect the celebrity photographed, but they’re edited to resemble the media’s interpretation of the absolute. People must stop labeling themselves by these standards.

We waste time over-analyzing ourselves trying to fix things we don’t like. Everyone is more beautiful than they let themselves think. Dove’s Real Beauty Sketches shows the difference between how you see yourself and how a stranger describes you, recognize this.

Alessia Cara’s Scars to Your Beautiful focuses on how people are beautiful the way they are. In today’s world we’ve been taught there is only one type of beauty, but we shouldn’t have to change ourselves to meet those expectations. Society needs to change their perspective and acknowledge the beauty in everyone.

The scars, disfigurements and blemishes we have on our bodies are proof of endurance. They’re personal stories serving as a reminder for what we have overcome. However, these are the things people often dislike about themselves. It can take a new perspective to remind you of your own beauty.

In fourth year university my photographic thesis project was titled Skin Deep. The series explored the themes of pain, suffering and perseverance emerging from the main subject. It focused on words having the ability to haunt our thoughts long after the imperative moment. Words slowly disappearing as time goes on and we learn to move forward with our lives. This is reflective of societies expectations of our bodies.

The images documented raw emotion apparent through text and image with words printed on bare skin. Unlike a tattoo inked on the skin to help remember something, the stamp has impermanence. Much like the scars on our skin fading over time, the ink will eventually fade away until there is no sign of it left. The only remaining memory is how painful those words had been.

It’s important to admit that our perception of beauty is flawed. Only then can we appreciate the skin we are in. Everyone is perfectly imperfect in their own way. Take a minute to think, what do you love about yourself?