12 Toxic Beauty Standards We Should Leave in the Past

Beauty standards might seem stable, but they’re actually quite flexible. What we perceive as beautiful changes based on our society’s goals. In the recent past, beauty standards have become fairly toxic. (In fact, some were even lethal!) These toxic standards might be best left in the past.

Pin Thin

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We might as well start with the elephant in the room: size. Not too long ago, a size 0 was considered the gold beauty standard. During the early 2000s, we saw a meteoric rise in eating disorders as well as “pro-ana” (pro-anorexia) forums. A size 0 is not even attainable by most people, so why do some people cling to this aesthetic?

Healthy is better, don’t you agree?

No Cellulite

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Another major beauty standard of the past was for women to have no cellulite. Much like the Size 0 trend of the 2000s and early 90s, this isn’t actually feasible. Between 80 to 90 percent of all women have cellulite, and that includes skinny women.

It’s part genetic, part hormonal, and part weight-based. Let’s stop the shaming, shall we?

No Stretch Marks

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Contrary to popular belief, you do not have to be pregnant to get stretch marks. People who go through puberty and grow rapidly can also get stretch marks. Men and women both get them. Stretch marks might not be pretty, but they are a part of life. Trying to hide them does no one any good.

If stretch marks truly upset you, laser treatments and creams might help. But really, no one should care about those things. Almost everyone has them after a certain age.

A Taut Tummy

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This is another one of those dated beauty standards that doesn’t really help anything or anyone. It’s normal to have a little pooch in your stomach, especially if you’re female. Belly fat is a part of life. As long as it’s not an extreme amount, it doesn’t make a difference in your health.

As long as you’re a healthy weight, you should be fine.

Duck Lips

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Call it “duck lips” or call it a “trout pout,” but regardless of the name, you’ve seen it before. This beauty standard comes with the hyper-inflated, fake-looking lip injections that seem to be everywhere these days. Excessive filler isn’t cute. It’s painful and it looks bizarre. Embracing your lips (or just keeping it subtle) is way better.

Besides, lip injections don’t last forever. So, it’s also fairly high maintenance for a bad look.

Thigh Gaps

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For quite some time, certain circles heralded a gap between a woman’s thighs as a sign of being beautiful. Thigh gaps were coveted as a sign of health and discipline. The problem here is that most women cannot get a thigh gap, even if they are a size 0.

This hasn’t stopped women from getting plastic surgery to attain it. Maybe it’s time we retire this standard, if only because going under the knife is risky.

Tans

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If you’re naturally tan, then, by all means,, rock it. However, going out of your way to get a tan is a bad move. Tanning isn’t the “healthy glow” marketers want you to think it is. Tanning is a sign of skin damage from sunlight, not a sign of being healthy.

Despite the link to skin damage, people still tout going sunscreen-free as a way to look healthy. This “healthy” practice actually boosts your chances of getting skin cancer and premature wrinkles. It’s time to stop glamorizing this.

Skin Lighteners

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This is another take on beauty standards related to skin tone. While white women are often told to tan, women of color are often told to use skin lighteners. Skin lightening creams are not only a stupid idea, but they’re also incredibly dangerous.

These lighteners can contain hydroquinone and mercury, both which can cause rashes, permanent discoloration, and even blisters. Rather than worry about reaching some random ideal skin tone, how about we just learn to love all skin colors? Natural is beautiful.

An Ideal Body Shape

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Did you ever notice how often the ideal body type seems to switch up? One minute, “heroin chic” is in fashion and everyone needs to have a rail-thin, boyish body. Next, fashion magazines are touting how important it is to have curves.

Rather than trying to fit into some ideal body type that will be out of fashion in five years, maybe it’s time we celebrated all body types.

Button Noses

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For decades, women were told that a small nose is the best nose. Rhinoplasty remains incredibly popular among women, with smaller noses being the number one request. The issue is that small noses don’t look great on everyone. A larger nose can add character to your face.

Your nose can frame your face. A strong nose (or “Roman nose”) can make you look a lot more exotic. Why hate on bigger noses?

Makeup 24/7

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It’s no secret that women who don’t wear makeup daily tend to be penalized for their bare faces. The act of wearing daily makeup can increase wages, get you better treatment, and also open the door for you.

However, sometimes, it just doesn’t make sense to get all dolled up. Sometimes, you just want to go out the door without having to put on your face. Taking as much as half an hour for your daily makeup upkeep shouldn’t be a requirement, don’t you think?

Fighting Grey Hair

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Our society seems to be mortally terrified of aging, and that needs to stop. Women have been told to dye away greys for way too long. Along with the damage that hair dye does to your hair, it’s a major hassle.

Women can look just as beautiful with grey hair as they can with dyed hair. Ditching dye might be the best way for older women to reclaim their dignity in a society that keeps diminishing their value.

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