We need to rethink the way we perceive beauty


Mia Rojas, staff writer

I roll out of bed, drag myself to my bathroom, brush my teeth, and pull out my makeup bag.

I use concealer to cover my acne, but not too much because I want to look like I have naturally clear skin.

I swipe on some blush to look sunkissed because god forbid I actually get sunburnt and risk prematurely aging my skin.

I throw my hair in a messy bun and pull out some pieces to look effortless, even though it took 10 minutes, 15 bobby pins, and about 20 tries to get it just right.

On my way to school, I open Tik Tok and am greeted by an angry man telling me that girls shouldn’t wear makeup as he displays a picture of a “natural girl”. However, this “natural girl” wears just as much makeup as me but has meticulously painted her face to look as if she doesn’t have any on.

I know this because it takes a circus clown to know a circus clown. 

“Natural girl” and I both woke up with eye bags and bed head, but after we painted our faces and plastered on fake smiles, we successfully tricked our audience into thinking that we woke up like this. We executed our performances perfectly, and at the end of the day, we come home from the circus, wipe away our face paint, and prepare to do it all again tomorrow. 

I was scared to write my hook using clowns as my analogy, partly because I’m terrified of clowns, but partly because I am even more terrified of what they represent for me:

The pursuit of beauty. 

Ever since downloading Tik Tok and virtually every other social media platform, I’ve succumbed to the unfulfilling pursuit of beauty. I am bombarded with daily videos showing me how to slim my face like Bella Hadid, plump my lips like Kylie Jenner, and shrink my nose like Madison Beer. I am reminded of my deepest insecurities and I am taught new ones I didn’t even know existed. And it seems with every insecurity I find, there is a brand new product for me to fix it. 

It’s utterly exhausting.

Our society has long been obsessed with beauty, particularly with women. This is a burden that all girls feel the weight of, especially with the rise of social media which has created a concerning oversaturation of beauty standards in our everyday lives. The pressure can feel insanely overwhelming, especially when it seems like there’s always some part of our appearance we can improve on. 

However, I think the features we spend so much effort trying to hide are actually the most beautiful of all.

Fancy contours and rhinoplasty procedures are pushed toward women of color and those with ethnic noses but these things have only managed to erase the rich and diverse cultural heritage of these women. All women with ethnic noses are simply living proof that their features have been loved for hundreds of years by all their ancestors before them.

Diet pills and waist trainers are promoted to slim the appearance of our stomachs and thighs but fail to honor the very homes we call our bodies and all they have done for us. Our legs have carried us to our most cherished places and our stomachs have allowed us to eat our most favorite foods.

Botox and filler have been marketed towards older women to reduce signs of aging but between the smile lines and creases of endearment around these women’s eyes, there lie countless memories of joy and laughter spent with loved ones. These lines tell stories of heartbreak, strength, love, and maturity, and I couldn’t think of anything more wonderful than that.

We need to rethink the way we perceive beauty because no amount of filler, filters, or fake smiles will ever replace the beauty that comes with age, individuality, authenticity, and compassion. Beauty is a gift and it comes in all shapes and sizes and it is all around us.

Nevertheless, I think I might just be the luckiest girl in the world because the most beautiful women ever all happen to be right in front of me. My mom, my sisters, my teachers, my coaches, and my friends all remind me of what beauty looks like every day and for that, I am forever grateful.