I have grown up with insecurities like everyone. I can recall from as early as 2nd grade feeling uncertain of my body. I have never been skinny, athletic, small, and fragile. I have been tall with curves and weight in places most people hate. I have compared myself to the dainty blue-eyed, blonde-haired girls I surrounded myself with since forever. And yet, here I am preaching for representation for bodies and races and eye color more like my own or far from my own because I know all bodies are beautiful. But how can a girl view the world thinking everyone is beautiful, that she is surrounded by works of art on the daily, but still think she is not worthy of being considered that beautiful? Maybe because there is no representation of her hazel eyes more brown than forest green, or her small nose and rosy cheeks, her body that is tall but not skinny. Or maybe it’s all in her head.
What we don’t realize is that this world we live in is unfair, it works in strange ways and makes us feel guilty for who we are. Even if I was the perfect mold of beauty, a delicate barbie doll, would I be happy? Wrong. The world needs to be taught that everyone and everything is beautiful rather than giving a standard to every body type, every eye color, every race, ethnicity, and skin color. No matter what you look like or where you’re from there is something wrong with the way you look because you do not fit the obligated mold. It’s children, women, and men who suffer. It’s homosexuals and pansexuals, it’s transgender or non-binary people, it’s anyone and everyone on the face of the earth that has to deal with the preaching of inclusion, but not being included, a big part being the influencers we follow.
The world of fashion, routine, and social media are dominated by stereotypes, expectations, and unwanted influences. The world is a powerhouse being fueled by “content creators” and “influencers” who demand a cookie-cutter model, easy to be repeated and only in one size, shape, or color. And yet, even as the world grows slightly more inclusive there is still a struggle for representation.
Imagine watching make-up or fashion trends being dominated by specific races or ethnicities. Imagine feeling that the color of your skin or the origin of which you came from would not be accepted in such a world? Only white people can pull off the Tim Burton style makeup, and anyone with naturally plump lips has been accused of lip injections, everyone mocking your naturally thick or bushy eyebrows until that becomes the new standard of beauty or a part of some trend.
Then there are the clothes we wear. The new fashion trends that change faster than the tide. There are videos of mid-size and plus-size content creators trying trendy outfits to see if it is a good fit or just “skinny”. Most skinny or lean women can pull off the trends because their bodies naturally fit society’s expectations, therefore most clothing trends are for them. Plus size women have certain expectations, skinny women have expectations, mid-size women fall in the middle half of the time being denied of existence. All bodies have to look the chosen way, or else they aren’t “healthy”, they aren’t “pretty”, they are not worthy. It’s all not even worth it, because most of society cannot fit the wanted mold.
Even Men. They too face discrimination, especially in such an environment. Men too are supposed to look a certain way, chiseled and perfect. Tall but not too tall, muscular but not too much muscle or it’s attention-seeking. Dad bods? Yeah, they’re cute for a while, but what about the black-haired, green-eyed man over there, who’s 6’2” and goes to the gym daily? Not even a male, in this world of ours, who seems to live scath-free, can be accepted.
It’s not all the fault of influencers. They are doing what makes them money, what gives them a good reputation. It’s impossible to follow every diet, trend, and ‘abs in ten days’ video because we know deep down all of it is fake. We try to trick ourselves into believing that what people are paid to say is all true. Or maybe we guilt ourselves, by thinking we are not good enough because of how we look. What is equally appalling is the preach of individuality and the lack of it. We bully those different from us online. We praise those rocking their unique features and out-there style. People will always lose, with their looks, their race, their size and shape, and the color of their eyes. And even as some may try– the world refuses to change.