“beautiful”

I went to the mall this weekend. I used to like the mall because that was when I’d get to spend 1 on 1 time with my mom but I don’t really like it anymore. When I’m in there it just reminds me of America’s problematic, habitual consumerism and all the struggles of the factory workers that made the clothes and then I think about the habitats and resources that were destroyed in order to make this product that I’ll wear a few times then throw out when the trend changes. In the mall there are constant reminders of what is beautiful. Blow up posters of caucasian models, thin mannequins, makeup, perfect skin, celebrities. I can’t really pinpoint what the requirements are for being beautiful. (When I search up beauty on google images, thin Caucasian women with makeup pop up. I don’t know, I thought maybe something with nature would show up like a flower or sunset). They say beauty is in the eye of the beholder, which is true to an extent. I mean subconsciously we admire Western beauty: tall, light skin, big eyes, slim, tall noses. Especially since media focuses on only the West, I think that already there is a bias on what is the societal standard of beauty. At first I thought beauty was balance. Like when we say “it’s a beautiful day” that’s because it’s not too cold or too hot. And people that are “beautiful” usually have symmetrical faces. There’s also another consideration: the golden ratio, used in design and seen in what society considers the most beautiful people. Aside from how and who we are raised by, then societal influences, I don’t really know the answer to what is beauty. I don’t know what in our brain decides that someone is beautiful or not, or when we look at animals and deem them cute or ugly. Now after writing this, I feel like I have less than an idea on what beauty is.

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