Body image: Normal or not

Body image: Normal or not

Martta Rajamaki, Journalist

When we were younger we all went to the toy store and saw barbies on the shelves. We wondered if we could ever be as beautiful as them. And when we grew older, we switched from barbies to magazines and social media, where a perfect body and beautiful face was the key to success. Over time, these standards became essential for any influencer or actor in the industry and developed a very toxic image of what beauty should be. Young individuals started to have a clear sense of what they should and should not look like, and along with that, these toxic standards are constantly being used to shame any person who had a body less than perfect.


Where do these toxic standards originate? Believe it or not, these toxic standards travel thousands of years to ancient Greece where a beautiful face was the core of a good painting, sculpture, or other piece of art that needed to be enjoyed by its viewers. “But the Greeks knew that there was more to a person than just a face,” says Dr. Dietrich von Bothmer, chairman of the Greek and Roman department at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. Humans had adapted their ancestors’ way and form of thinking that a person is more than a pretty face. Until the idea of the perfect body came into view.


This idea was first represented by the Barbiethat was created in 1959. The doll represented the idea that a woman should look a certain way in order to be attractive and the same idea progressed onto men through the Ken doll created in 1961. And as these toxic ideas were being sold off the shelves, young girls and boys started to develop ideas of what perfect beauty should be. And these ideas passed down to the generations that came after.


When Barbies were traded for phones and social media, the problem got even worse. Body image was a constant struggle for young individuals who saw celebrities and famous influencers that everyone adored because of their ‘perfect’ beauty. And soon, the entire social media platform was a toxic place where hate and body shaming quickly became a trend. 


Along with negative body image, these standards also brought out a lot of negative diversion. People of bigger or smaller size started to get treated differently and were constantly being harassed on social media platforms. Everyone had flaws that needed to be pointed out to the point that individuals of every age were changing themselves for others instead of for themselves. And while these standards do mostly affect people of young age, it was also crucial to actors and other celebrities who had gotten famous off of their beauty. 


A lot has changed from when the ancient greeks still lived but a lot has also stayed the same. And from Barbies to social media, Beauty standards have become crucial to the way we live our lives, whether we like it or not. And while People will constantly try to bring you down because of the size of your body or the shape of your face, what’s important to remember is that there’s no such thing as perfect beauty, because we’re all perfect in our own unique ways. And being different is what makes you beautiful, and no one should have anything to say about that.