Is It Even Ethical To Set Standards To Define A Woman’s Beauty?

Women have always been conditioned to believe that they should be beautiful, and it begins in childhood with fairy tales of princesses.

A news item came up on my feed that I just had to read right away! The caption read: “Top 50 Countries with the Most Beautiful Women in the World”. How can such a topic not invite instant interest?

South Korea topped the list, followed by Brazil and the United States. I was obviously inquisitive to see India’s rank, and our country occupied the eighteenth position.

You will be surprised by the methodology used in the selection!

The exclusive criterion for ranking countries in terms of beautiful women was based on the prevalence of cosmetic surgeries in that nation! Let me clarify something: I am not taking a stance against cosmetic surgeries. It is entirely personal, and a woman has the right to change her physical appearance in any way she wants.

However, this methodology sounds rather faulty because it is solely relying on an artificial technique that changes and enhances one’s natural looks. At the same time, I don’t think that we need to look for other alternative approaches to rank a woman’s beauty!

The source I have referred to is not the only one. A Google search will yield lots of results where countries have been ranked by their beautiful women. I have even come across an article which goes to the point of saying that every country has both beautiful and “ugly” women. The use of the word “ugly” is highly disrespectful and violates the norms of basic human behavior and etiquette.

A social conditioning that is nerve-racking!

Women have always been conditioned to believe that they should be beautiful. That begins right from the time when little girls start reading tales about princesses and heroines who are presented as incarnations of beauty with good souls.

In our day-to-day lives, we have grown up hearing conversations about who is attractive and who is not. Forever omnipresent are the media and tabloids passing disparaging comments on the physical appearances of celebrities and those in the public eye. Sadly, most of the body shaming and humiliating lines are targeted towards women, and they are constantly scrutinized.

A survey conducted by the nonpartisan Pew Research Center found that society values women largely for their beauty and nurturing manner. On the other hand, the most sought-after attributes of men are their honesty, professional success, ambition, and strength.

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We cannot set the parameters for defining a beautiful woman

No definition of beauty is absolute! Countless times we ourselves might have said or heard this expression: “Oh she is so beautiful!” This is a normal human reaction. You might be finding someone very attractive, and that is totally fine. However, your opinion is not engraved in stone for everyone to go along with. It is very subjective, and others may not agree.

We cannot say that only somebody with luscious hair, expressive eyes, a slim frame, and soft, refreshing skin fits into the image of a beautiful person. Yes, a woman with all of these desirable attributes may be a head-turner for some but not necessarily for everybody.

Who’s the fairest of us all?

As regressive as it sounds, we cannot ignore the craze for fair skin among some sections of our society. Anybody who has a lighter complexion is deemed to be beautiful. It is disgusting to see how companies promote fairness creams and in the process sow the seeds of color discrimination.

Actor-supermodel Dipannita Sharma, since the infancy of her modeling career, has been opposed to endorsing fairness creams, products which she believes give the wrong messaging. To quote her: “They show that dark complexion is a hurdle in women’s success and only fairer women can be successful which is wrong”

Dipannita gracefully defines the concept of beauty in an interview. She says that it is difficult to have just one definition of beauty because it encompasses a wide range of qualities which are not just physical: “Beauty for me is something that is indescribable, something that takes my breath away, be it a stunning view, personality, or just a few words.”

Be a cheerleader for your fellow women and for yourself too!

Yes, physical appearance is important when it comes to being neat and tidy. I am always for someone maintaining a well-kempt look, be it a man or a woman. That is encouraged because it contributes towards our emotional wellbeing. However, it is totally different from feeling the pressure of looking beautiful for those around you.

We do not need validation from others to tell us how good we look. The confidence should come from within.

Also, “women supporting women” should not just be a slogan. It needs to be seen in action. It is not fair to put the entire blame on misogyny and patriarchy. There are women who point fingers at other women and criticize their looks, height, weight, or the way they dress. That is something that needs to stop. Accept your sorority the way they look!

As they say, beauty is only skin deep. So focus on genuineness instead of superficiality, and use that positive energy to spread love, light, and goodness to illuminate the world around you!

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About the Author

Rashmi Bora Das

Rashmi Bora Das is a freelance writer settled in the suburbs of Atlanta. She has a master’s degree in English from India, and a second master’s in Public Administration from the University of read more...

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