By: Mariah W.

Who decides what is beautiful? Why are women and girls expected to fit into the beauty standard box? In the social media age, girls are faced with high beauty standards that seem impossible to reach. Girls have celebrities and influencers at their fingertips 24 hours a day. This kind of exposure can be defeating and lower self-esteem. 

If you go on social media, you can see celebrities and influencers pushing cosmetics, diet products, and workouts to promote beauty standards. From lip kits to waist trainers, there is no shortage of products for you to buy to achieve the unachievable or more like the unbelievable. Some of these celebrities may be pushing products that they have never used. They are getting paid as high as seven figures to push products on young girls. Some influencers may have gotten plastic surgery to get a small waist instead of working out with a waist trainer. Some celebrities sell lip kits when the truth is, they’ve had a procedure to get fillers in their lips to give the look of fuller lips. You cannot believe everything you see on social media. 

When you don’t fit into the beauty standard box you can get bullied or attacked online. Lizzo is a plus sized singer and entertainer that promotes body positivity. She loves her curves and doesn’t hide her body. The comments under her posts online have brought her to tears. Lizzo doesn’t fit traditional beauty standards, but she has found success and has become a voice for women that don’t care about society thinks is beauty. Lizzo wears the same outfits and costumes that Beyonce and Doja Cat wear. She puts on a full show with choreography that Ciara would perform. Lizzo is proud of her body and has made a career without changing who she is to fit inside a box. She does not scale back her performances due to her size. 

Instagram can be the land of make believe for users that don’t fit into the beauty standard box because they have filters. Instagram filters allow you to edit your pictures to change the parts of you that you don't like. Filters can erase pimples and dark spots. They can lighten your skin. With a filter you can have a full face of makeup without applying it. Filters are so common that if you take a picture without a filter and it looks good, you can tag your photo with “no filter.” Instagram filters are like a cheat code to achieve beauty standards. Some girls create a fake reality on social media with altered and filtered pictures for likes and approval of their peers.

Chasing beauty standards is like a treadmill because you are going nowhere. Buying lip kits and waist trainers will not lead to happiness or acceptance. Creating a new identity with Instagram filters is not the move either. You don’t have to be a 5-foot 10-inch super model or an Instagram model with a small waist and curvy hips. People should take notes from Lizzo and love yourself. Even though her feelings do get hurt, she hasn’t changed for anyone. She promotes love, positivity, and self-acceptance.

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