Confronting Societal Ideal: Beauty Standards

“Am I beautiful enough?” “I hate to see the way how fat I am” “Your dark skin looks like you have been burnt right down in the sun seriously” “Go to this XXX Dermatologist, she will brighten your skin so it can boost your confidence just like mine, and voilá!” “Hands down. No wonder why her instagram-story worth hundred viewers, I kinda sceptic how pricey that beauty spa and salon maintenance might cost” “Look at this Hollywood Goddess, Scarlett Johansson, I absolutely about to dye my mediocre black hair to brunette-ish like her.” Have you ever heard at a very least one of these statements amongst our society on a day-to-day basis for certain circumstances? For me, yes. Kind of ironic yet realistically pathetic. This essay is written to digging deeper about how millennials in Indonesia for having ‘Beauty is White' sort of mentality, as in term of their measurement standard for beauty. The writer will encourage readers why it's important to start treating our own selves in a very respective way in aim to see ourselves as a whole genuine beauty without questioning the diversity. Living in the era of upgrades, it's not a secret that in the age of technological development like today, everything has become accessible. People have the ability to browse all various topic that might catch their interest in certain facets; from brand-new fashion updates in America until issue about chronic famine in Africa. This is because of the role of mass media for spreading information not only in local-based, but worldwide based. Fortunately, by only having a gadget, it let us gain information as quick as possible, as transparent as a simple click from our fingertip, emerge on various platforms, thus all being wrapped up called social media. Furthermore, the existence of social media is inevitable for millennials to not maximize the essence of social media functionality itself to different uses depending on the users' intention. Millennials in Jakarta, especially young grown-up girls are very obsessed with the nature of fashion industry. Media is over-emphasis on certain point for attractiveness to some extent. This phenomenon is, of course, cannot be separated from what so-called as advertising strategy realms. Longman defined advertising as an act of showing people publicly about a product or service in order to persuade them to buy it. Brand owners are often recruited models based on certain physical requirements suited on their products that are being sold, because truth to be told, it's important to employ model who also has physical attractiveness in order to maintain and escalate the level of elegance for brand itself because of some common physical traits model own i.e: pale skin, lean legs, slim waist, and wide hips. The latest research showed that Asian women are obsessed with having flawless white skin. From Indonesian millennials perspective, in contrast, these physical traits you see on social media are often to be considered as the ideal beauty that needs to be internalized. As (Botta 1999, Irving 1990) stated, people tend to compare themselves to other people that represent idealistic goals. These are definite signs that you are trapped in a zone called “Euro-American Centric” beauty mentality. Beauty is a complex issue. Saltzberg & Chisel defined beauty cannot be quantified or objectively measured, it is only the result of the judgement from others. The reasons Why do Indonesian Millennials are obsessed with ‘Euro-American Centric' beauty ideal can be stated below: 1) External Validation Seeker * Hyper-focus of physical appearance. Their time is wasted only dedicated to browse whitening beauty products as in hope to be ‘white or have lighter skin'. * Thirsty upon external validation for a serious amount of duration. 2) Having “White People are Better” Mentality *Narrow-mindedness due to not wanting to broaden their mindset in concrete opinion caused by cultural norm rooted in some of Indonesian Millennial's head: dark skin is associated with poverty, thus not being able to have buying power and afford beauty maintenance, such as whitening beauty products. While white skin is associated with wealth and high socio-economical status, more likeable, successful in jobs, marriage etc. 3) Poor Level of Appreciation *Lack of Self-Awareness: not aware that sometimes there is certain factor that cannot be changed due to the biological nature we have by genetics. * High Level of Self-Judgement: easy to judge people based on external appearance only. Wake up, fellas! We all have no time to judge other people as more important as ourselves. Why would you perceive yourself as ugly because of our nature DNA of healthy tan skin? It's time to start wake up and feel blessed because of the fact you are standing for who you are, you obligate your happiness. Never let society defines your level of beautifulness. Start treating yourself in a very respective way and stop seeing yourself as a total failure, because you are not.

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J.X. Fu

Author of: Darkness Me, Colorful You (YA Fant...

Redmond, United States