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Pakistani Society and its Unrealistic Beauty Standards


At some point, all of us have received strange comments and unsolicited advice on how we can look more “beautiful”. Whether it’s about weight, color, height, or anything that can remotely have an impact on physical appearance, our society is somehow obsessed with it.

Sadly, the idea of beauty is so unrealistic that we cannot accept aging to be a normal change in a person’s life and fear reaching their middle age for the ‘old-age skin’. This is the era of social media where influencers and bloggers dress up to the nines and display their perfect looks which perpetuates the unrealistic societal standards of beauty that have been normalized to the point where ‘perfect’ looks achievable and real is undesirable.

But, where does this end?

When are we going to accept ourselves as is? Why do we have to have perfect hair, skin, body, weight, and more? The society we have grown up in has only taught us to compare ourselves to others and doubt our capabilities more than it encouraged us to believe and recognize our strengths.

The rat race of achieving the twisted standards of beauty has clouded our ability to accept our individuality. We, in this society, are so much lost in pursuit of perfection that we don’t realize the effect it has on our self-esteem; it has become a disease that is eating us inside but we conveniently choose to overlook it.

Unfortunately, these standards stem from the older generation that believes that women must look ‘beautiful’ to get suitable matches, and compared their children to others to instill motivation for progress. However, this approach has seriously backfired and turned us into self-loathing and ungrateful individuals. The vicious cycle continues to grow and keeps damaging the self-confidence and sense of individuality of people.

Many studies have suggested that people suffer from anxiety and depression because they are unable to achieve what society has made ‘normal’ for them. Young girls and women surrender to the body image fiasco and are reported to have the highest rate of eating disorders and plastic surgeries.

Now, with the awareness in the society, the campaign ‘beauty-sick’ has been introduced. Beauty sickness is the continuous worry about how you look that consumes you to the point where it affects your emotional resources. No matter how confident or educated a person is, they always feel insecure as to their looks. Many celebrities such as Katie Holmes and Alicia Keys have supported this movement and started making public appearances without make-up.

There is definitely nothing wrong with being presentable and dressing up nicely, but when this starts to take over your peace and keeps you from accepting your flaws, that’s where the problem arises. When you get into the continuous need of ‘fixing’ your physical appearance to please society, it is a sign that the beauty epidemic has got the best of you.

The bottom line is that there is beauty in self-acceptance and being clear-headed as well and this beauty is more precious than the beauty we so eagerly try to show off to the world. It’s great to look and feel good but what’s not acceptable is allowing toxic beauty standards to dictate your self-worth.

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