Breaking the Definition of Perfect

People wear different clothes. They have different values. They often speak different languages. And yet, across many cultures, people's perception of “perfect” acts as a standard of being. Many countries have their own versions of Hollywood. Many have magazines. Everyone, regardless of where she comes from or where she aspires to go, has a deep history of scars across her body depicting the battles she’s fought and the stories she’s told and the obstacles she’s overcome. Everyone, regardless of where she comes from, has genetic makeup from years upon years of family members; dimples, widow’s peaks, detached earlobes. And yet people all across the world feel the desire to tamper with that; to change something that’s a part of them.

That’s an effect of globalization: the western influence of beauty standards. In America, we’re so concerned with body image, not even realizing the full extent of the audience our message reaches. We want to change the world, and yet we’re changing faces. History. Birthmarks. Dimples. Battles. Strengths. Our cultures make us unique, yet we're linked by the desire to be perfect: to be the same. We strive after the same image when we’ve experienced our own journeys and learned our own lessons. We strive for something that isn’t good for any of us, regardless of who we are. We should be proud of our cultures and how we look. There is no certain, defined way to be beautiful. Across many cultures, we see a set standard for perfection. Across many cultures, it cannot be achieved. But beauty can. Beauty can exist anywhere, in anyone.

Globalization and the media hold so much power. The media holds the images we encounter every day. Globalization spreads them. With the spread of these images and standards and expectations, we could change our faces. We could erase all the things that make us who we are, and replace them with generic features. We could take all the pieces of our past and toss them aside to craft a new image. Or we could challenge the standard. We could unapologetically be who we are, embracing our birthmarks and our scars and letting the world know of our journeys. Sure, we'd gain more scars in the process. But we could wear them proudly, knowing that we worked to defeat the expectations society places on us; knowing that we didn't let the standard of "beauty" change our faces; knowing that, instead, we changed the world and changed the narrow, defined face of beauty that we are constantly presented with.

Strip the Spectacles

Discovering a New Side of Myself