This is a question that I have asked myself since about middle school. That’s the time when you and all your friends are changing. Everyone is submersed in pop culture and we all think we are supposed to look a certain way. Girls are supposed to grow into curvaceous but slim women, and the boys are supposed to turn into these chiseled , muscular men. Pretty high expectations for only being in grade 6-8, and you might never live up to them even after you’re out of middle school.
Just before entering high school, I remember vividly crying to my mother one morning begging her to let me get a relaxer because the people at school were making fun of my hair, saying it was “nappy” and commenting on how I hadn’t really changed my hairstyle in a while.
Once I was in high school I joined the swim team. I had been aware of girls shaving just in general because my friends and I talked about things like that, but I wasn’t shaving regularly. I would shave my armpits and pubic hair every now and then (never my legs as I don’t have dark hair), but once on the swim team I learned very quickly that girls were shaving everything. A lot of them would say they shaved because the hair on their bodies would cause drag while they swam. But we had practice every day, and all these girls looked hairless. So I started shaving more regularly. My skin would get so irritated from using razors, hair removal creams were too harsh for my skin, and there was no way I was waxing. Four years on the swim team, four years in high school where everyone is trying to look a certain way resulted in me forcing myself to shave just so I wouldn’t be noticed in that way.
Now I am (almost) in my twenties and I am still seeing the same kinds of reactions to things that aren’t “normal”. Young men close to me concerned about their muscles and if they have enough, people I grew up with posting on the internet their body goals. Old roommates changing their profile picture to a body hair positive image only to have people comments of disgust. This is the exact issue “The Standard of Beauty: A Discussion” is going to tackle.
From the moment we open our eyes we are bombarded with images and advertisements that will ultimately shape our thinking. Most people nowadays still believe in the idea that women and men are supposed to look a certain way, and if you don’t there is something wrong with you. In order to diminish and eventually abolish this way of thinking, one must begin to love themselves and in turn will see beauty in others and love them, too.
Please come out on October 10, 2016 to 949 West Blvd, Hartford, CT 06105 so we can participate in a conversation that will do nothing but better people. Whether you think you could benefit from this discussion or not, check out it as you could help someone overcome some issues they might have.
To support a change and your community, please visit this event to learn more!