Your Standard, Not Everyone Elses

Society’s beauty standards don’t apply to me! My beauty is not “standard”, my beauty is unique!

How is it that we can celebrate the beauty of diversity in everything else in the world except for ourselves?

I was already on my journey to enlightenment when I started cosmetology school. I was in my mid twenties, wanted to continue my education and my decision was between grad school or investing in my hobby and going to cosmetology school. With the encouragement and support of family and friends I pursued cosmetology.

I started school and was instantly in love. It was so much more than expected. I honestly thought I would be standing around doing roller sets on mannequins all day but I was in the classroom learning chemistry, biology, anatomy, electricity and nutrition in relation to cosmetology! I was so interested in everything! I would go home and study material beyond the information I was given in class just to get a deeper understanding!

As great as I thought cosmetology was, I was disappointed in it as well. I love the field of cosmetology so I believe in one wearing and styling their hair any way they please and that expresses their personality and makes them feel best. However, when I was learning about textures I was not thrilled about the choice of adjectives they used to describe certain types of hair and features. This is cosmetology we are talking about so, of course, we are there to learn all of the wonderful ways we can correct these awful, terrible abnormalities that make us unique. The whole thing from the coarse and overly curled hair to ethnic features being corrected/altered to appear more “desirable” or “attractive”.

At certain points in the lesson I would raise so many questions that the instructor conceded that she was simply teaching the material that had been printed. I felt bad for the constant opposition to the wording and views expressed in the text. My issue was not with her but with the idea that this whole ideology was okay. I couldn’t sit there and accept what I was being taught. It just was not my standard and it was insult, in my opinion to expect any besides a small amount of people to aspire to that so-called epitome of beauty.

I felt like the messages I was receiving were subliminally negative and advance a so-called standard of beauty that is completely biased. Certain things that are viewed as the standard in the field of beauty are completely in disregard to the natural features of many others whose genetic make-up do not include those types of features.

Everyone has their insecurities and I am the last to judge anyone for insecure about anything, but I don’t believe in creating an insecurity in someone that was not there before in order to create a profit. The same way this field encourages people to enhance their physical qualities it also feeds on ones insecurities and the desire to change them by any means necessary. At the end of the day, we are being taught to earn a living in a sales driven field. This is why I’m torn, the thing about sales is that there is a product that your may actually need that is being marketed to you and they may or may not even be capable of delivering on its promises.

But I don’t place blame on the industry. Not at all. Why not take advantage of such a lucrative field? This society has been programmed to accept a standard when it comes to beauty but no one is able to answer this question for me: This beauty is the standard in comparison to what?

Growing up, I was introduced to ways to “fix” so many things that I didn’t know were supposed to be wrong with me. From the texture of my hair, the shade of my skin, even to the way I walked! While it did have some effect, I was lucky not to be  Luckily, had family that was supportive and instilled some type strength and confidence in me. I point out these examples only to say that some insecurities only exist because they are introduced and it can end up affecting people’s lives in more ways than imagined. Do what you want to yourself, my only concern is its affect on your personal wellness and your perception of and interaction with those your interact with that are different. While some are spreading positivity and embracing different forms of beauty, there are those out there spewing pure venom to impressionable minds.

With the wonderful variety of people in the world, why is there only one way to look that everyone is supposed to work to attain? Who exactly sat down and drew out this standard of beauty? In such a diverse society, why is this standard even okay and accepted? I want us ladies to continue celebrate each other’s individuality and uniqueness. Those with the dollars and control over media and advertising but we control what we absorb and apply to our lives.

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