No More Second Glances

Beauty continues to plague the minds of those both young and old; maybe, the definition in itself is nonexistent.

It’s the word “beautiful” that ties one’s heart to their physical appearance. The necessity to be the person that warrants a second glance leaves some feeling small, as if the weight of the societal definition of beauty is towering over them. A simple word seems limitless when looking out onto the history it has left behind. To live in this society is to be looked down upon when not following the underlying rules the term carries; nevertheless, these limits seem unreachable, for they aren’t actually there. It’s a word, but also a never-ending ripple in this society that changes a person without a reason.

To be beautiful means to be pleasing to one’s mind aesthetically. While it is in the definition, what tends to be forgotten is the mental aspect. Throughout the years, it was the physical image that causes some to appear harsh.

“We look at pictures of [40s icons] and we say [they were] just a product or a moneymaker for the studio,” 79-year-old Danielle Arnet said. “It was a cruel world and I think beauty was a part of it. It’s changing, but we’re so much better off [now].”

While progress is forever needed to be made, some believe there has never been a more freeing time than now. Arnet believes social media has lost the grip on people that it once had. In the past, Arnet believes people looked at movies for inspiration, but today’s teens look to the mirror instead. They strive for beauty in themselves instead of letting those older than them write out their future in magazines.

Yet, some teenagers tend to shatter the mirror instead.

An opinion article, The Body Image Issue Plaguing My Generation, by the Huffington Post wrote about stereotypes for both genders. They believe guys and girls are equal in the amount of bodily insecurities they are forced to face. Some like to assume themselves to be kind to others, but a lot of the times that isn’t the case. According to the article, when looking for a romantic relationship, guys want someone skinny and sexy and girls care solely for a muscular build. Not to mention, they go after their own gender as well; guys prey on those “weaker” than them, and girls do the same, but with women they think are less attractive than them.

“There’s a lot of Instagram models that you just see and you want to be like them,” freshman Haleigh Zenoni said. “[But] there’s also a lot of accounts that you’ll see that talk about how beauty isn’t just about how you look and everyone and everything is beautiful—it comes in all different shapes and sizes.”