"Thanaka and a Smile" by Timothy Neesam (GumshoePhotos). Licensed by Creative Commons.
What were the dominant beauty "ideals" in the community where you are from or grew up? How do rigid societal views about beauty impact one's body image, psychological well-being, social "power"?
BY HONEY CIN To me, beauty is not a look. I find it attractive when people have a good personality with inner beauty. I said, "inner beauty" because many leaders were seen as a beautiful person, and they are loved, respected, and admired by many fans while they were responsible for the deaths of many people. The standard of beauty is different every decade, and it also differs from culture to culture. In the past, women who were working hard, working fast, obey parents, women who follow culture rules, women who put Thanaka on their faces were seen as dominant beauty ideals in the community where I grew. Not only women, but students must also put Thanaka on their faces in the school. Wearing Thanaka is not only my country's culture, but it also cools the skins. Today, however, European seemed to be influenced us so much that women from my country want to be slim, youthful, tall, and they want to have light skins. The beauty standards for men and women are a little bit different. Strong, wealthy, men who respect parents and culture rules are seen as beauty. People from another country might think that what do wealthy have to do with beauty. However, I am very sad to say that if you are wealthy, you will get to choose the woman you like, and people will also respect you. Thin and women with curved body shapes, women who have long and thick eyelashes, and women who have thick lips are represented beauty in the U.S media. The way the media convey beauty ideals are so unfair and cruel because they hurt women, make women feel ashamed of their own body, and dissatisfy of their own body. Even though I said beauty is not a look, but the inner, I sometimes jealous of tall girls because of what I have seen in social media.
I remember when I first arrived in the United States, I asked my doctor to give me a vitamin that makes people tall. My doctor knew that I felt unhappy about my height and gave vitamin to make me feel relieved. I always persuade myself to be happy with my height, but sometimes people around us remind me not to satisfy with myself. When I was in High School, my classmate said to me, "you are short but you cute," which made me half happy and half unhappy. During my High School, I was the shortest person in all of my class which made me more unsatisfied about my body. This week's Ted Talk by Dalali Bright: "Cultural Clashes in Defining Beauty" tells us how societal views about beauty impact one's body image, psychological well-being, social "power." In the Ted Talk, Bright said, "as a thin child, I suffered endless negative remarks from family and friends. I was bullied at school because of my size, and the home was no relieved". I can't imagine how hard it would be to get negative comments from my own family and friends. While Bright was bullied in the community she lived because of her size, many people in other countries, including the U.S wanted to lose weight and change themselves because of social media ideal. "Contemporary media platforms are changing how people internalize beauty ideals, how they try to control how other people see them, and how they get feedback from others about they look" (Mills, Shannon, Houge, 2017, p.151) Everyone and everything is beautiful in their way. Therefore, I believe beauty is dependent on the eyes of the observer.