July 01, 2024 3 min read

For centuries, the beauty industry has pushed unrealistic standards on women and reduced them to just their bodies. Now, with the advent of social media, these standards are being propagated at a faster rate, causing feelings of low self-esteem, inadequacy, and severe mental health issues in younger girls and women. For those struggling with the negative mental impact of this faux portrayal of perfection, professional online  therapy for women is a great first step to dealing with these challenges.

But first, understanding what beauty standards are is crucial to identifying their dangers and knowing how to address them.

The Dangers of Unrealistic Beauty Standards

Unrealistic beauty standards are vague social and cultural metrics used to measure a person’s appeal or attractiveness. These metrics shape the perception of self-worth in society and define how a person’s facial and body features should be if they want to achieve social acceptance. These standards vary based on geographical location and sometimes simply trends.

Ethically, these standards shouldn’t exist, but sadly, they do. The beauty industry uses these standards as tools to diminish the self-esteem of little girls and women so that they can sell products and services to them. 

Unrealistic beauty standards create problems and profit from their pre-planned solutions. These standards pose a danger as they promote an idealized image. For instance, standards like having an hourglass figure, clear glass skin, long hair, and perfectly white teeth which do not reflect the natural diversity of the human body.

The Psychological Effects of Unrealistic Beauty Standards

The catastrophic nature of unrealistic beauty standards can be linked to various mental health issues like:

  • Body Dysmorphia

Unrealistic beauty standards can make women overly conscious of their features and qualities that do not match up. They begin to see flaws in their appearance, which are usually imagined. This could cause them to feel distressed and unable to function properly.

  • Eating Disorders

When unrealistic standards are set for what the body should look like, especially as regards weight, it could lead to eating disorders. These standards could put pressure on women to look a certain way and encourage unhealthy eating patterns. Some common eating disorders that women might have to deal with include bulimia nervosa, anorexia nervosa, and binge-eating disorder.

  • Depression & Anxiety

The overwhelming feeling of not being socially acceptable based on your looks can also cause anxiety and depression. People who believe they can’t measure up to these unrealistic standards will have a difficult time being happy.

  • Low Self Esteem

Vague standards of beauty also mess with one’s confidence and self-worth. A person will never feel like they’re enough when society tells them that they’re unattractive because they don’t meet up with these unrealistic standards.

How to Deal with The Psychological Effects of Unrealistic Beauty Standards

If you find yourself hating your body and facial features, chances are that these unrealistic standards have left a dent in your self-worth. It is important that you unfollow accounts that promote these unrealistic standards, get rid of all magazines, and seek professional help. This way, you can build a sense of purpose and learn to love yourself once more, regardless of your flaws.

Conclusion

Unrealistic beauty standards are exactly what they are—unrealistic. Do not let society's pressure get to you. You are unique in your way and shouldn’t change for anyone but yourself.



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