At this point, we all know that the beauty industry’s main purpose is to create insecurities for women by pushing unrealistic and unattainable beauty standards. I would say they’ve done a good job considering the beauty and weight loss has grown to a $382 billion industry built on promises for attractiveness and fear of ugliness.
The power to shape and change our perceptions of beauty lies in the hands of people and corporations that are just trying to make profits. The beauty obsession is mostly targeted towards women because we’ve been conditioned to scrutinize our bodies and fuss over our appearance.
The disproportional focus on beauty with regards to men became emphasized with women’s increasing rights. When women became socially and legally accepted to do anything a man can do, men took their revenge by implementing strict beauty standards, especially in the workplace.
Employers made beauty a requirement for a woman’s career and social success. This ensured that women spent more time and money on their appearance and it also significantly lowered their self-esteem and made them easier to control.
The trend has always been to find something normal about women, shame, bully and convince them that it’s disgusting and then sell them a myriad of things to help them solve the imperfection.
It happened with almost everything from body hair down to hip dips. The other day on TV I watched an aesthetician unveiling a whole new aspect of our body that we have to be ashamed of. She called it ‘tech neck’ and these are lines and wrinkles on the neck that came from looking down at your mobile devices too often.
She was quick to let the viewers know that not all hope was lost and a $2000 (UGX 7,329,166) visit to a laser clinic should be able to solve the unsightly problem. The unrealistic beauty standards are so ingrained in us because all forms of media continue to push the idea that women should look a certain way to be considered attractive.
The power to shape and change our perceptions of beauty lies in the hands of people and corporations that are just trying to make profits
This has been aggravated by the rise of influencers and the growth of comparison culture where we are constantly, consciously, and subconsciously comparing ourselves to these verified Instagram accounts. And every other day we see men making rude and offensive comments about women’s bodies and shaming them for things that are completely normal because they’ve become so desensitized to what real women look like since they’re so used to seeing these airbrushed and staged pictures from professional photoshoots.
Influencers are selling products to make you look perfect just like them yet in most cases they’ve never even used them. One of our very own top socialites sells a ‘magic slimming potion’ and yet she has been skinny all her life.
They convince the more gullible section of their audience that all their problems can be fixed with a cream, a pill or a tea that they can get at 20% discount if they use their promo code. This puts unnecessary pressure on their adoring fans who hang on to their every word like it’s the gospel and will do anything to emulate their faves.
I will never forget the time Bad Black said ‘muve mu colour z’abaavu’ as she was selling her bleaching products and she sold out the very next day.
In a society that profits off of your self-doubt, loving yourself is the greatest form of rebellion. The next time you feel insecure about any aspect of your appearance just remember that your insecurities are just making rich people richer.
You have always been beautiful and will always be beautiful you just need to stop seeing yourself through the distorted and damaging lens of the beauty industry.
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Author: Kimberly Mbambu
Kimberly is a freelance writer for Spur Magazine and Newslibre and enjoys writing about entertainment and lifestyle.