Every time I go to visit my hometown,

I have to hear, “You have gotten darker.”

When I laugh and ask, “Why does the fairness of my skin matter?”

I am being “rude” by not agreeing with the elders.

Every time I go to visit my relatives,

I am asked, “What is your height?”

When I reply, “About five feet and six inches”

I get stared at and hear whispers: “That is too tall for a girl. Who will marry her?”

Every time I go to school after a long break, 

I see my classmates approaching with a smug look: “Don’t you wear makeup?”

When I hesitantly reply, “No, I am allergic”

I am laughed at and overhear them say, “Look at her face. Full of blemishes!”

Why do I have to be perfect?

Why can’t society accept me for the way I am? 

The answer to all these questions, my dear friend

Lies in the beauty standards we have set for ourselves.

Women have to be slim and petite; their skin should be fair and flawless. Society has set certain standards for the way women’s jaws, lips, eyebrows, and even eyes should be shaped. In countries like Korea and Japan, women are considered pretty and youthful if they do not have fat deposits under their eyes. Men, on the other hand, should have an athletic appearance. Perfect men have broad shoulders, strong muscles, and good posture. Typically, men’s nature should be carefree and rebellious.

It is obvious that every individual cannot have the same features. Nevertheless, people all over the world undergo plastic surgery to be considered worthy of being looked at. Scientists have found that plastic surgery can cause complications like blood clots, nerve damage, organ damage, and even skin cancer. This essentially implies that people risk their lives and health in order to comply with body and beauty standards, which is frightening at the very least. Our society and its beauty standards have made us so afraid of breaking the norm that we are willing to risk health problems in order to avoid doing so.

Have you ever considered the possibility of a society where there is no comparison of physical appearances? Whenever we look at someone, we may subconsciously compare their physical features and appearance with the perfect standards we have in our minds. However, it is not completely our fault. Our society is what it has become and it deeply influences us. As individuals, though, we should accept people’s appearances and recognize the beauty that each and every one of us is blessed with: the beauty of being different.

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