In today’s society, the damaging effects of the ‘beauty standard’ is a present problem that women and men face. Seeing unrealistic, edited photographs plastered on social media, whether it is by celebrities or companies editing pictures to promote their clothes, skincare, make up etc, it is setting false expectations for the way ‘you should look’, instead of advocating for people to embrace their beauty and uniqueness. It has become common for young girls and women to feel the need to get plastic surgery in order to fit into this so-called ‘beauty standard’. To clarify, there is nothing wrong with wanting plastic surgery or getting it, however the problem with cosmetic procedures lies within people feeling they need to look a certain way, due to this enforced beauty standard. Although this is a major issue that we as a society need to combat, efforts have been made, for example the body positivity movement which aims to change societal perceptions of weight, size and appearance, helping people love themselves regardless of their differences. However, what I believe is overlooked in this ‘beauty standard’, is the borderline pedophilic and child-like characteristics that are forced onto women.
It is frequently found that when men are asked to describe their ‘ideal woman’, it sounds like they are describing a child. “Small, petitie, hairless, innocent, high pitched voice, perfect skin, obedient”. Does this make you think of an adult woman or a young adolescent teen? Now, I am not saying that this is every man’s ideal type or that having these characteristics causes you to be perceived as a child, but I do want to emphasize how these features being seen as the beauty standard and being normalised is allowing for pedophialic behaviour to be tolerated in society. The conception that body hair is ‘gross’ and women must have smooth baby-like skin is scary, as it fetishises childlike features. The graph below shows the ages of men and women and who the age they are most attracted to.
As shown, as women age the men they are attracted to are typically around the same age as them, plus or minus a few years. In comparison, as men age, the age they are attracted to
decreases significantly, even to the extent of a 30 year age difference. This chart just reinforces that it is usual for men to find younger, barely legal women more attractive and further highlights this fetishing of childlike characteristics. This issue is staring us right in the face and we are oblivious to it. The rise of social media platform tiktok has had multiple positive impacts for the internet, however there are many disgusting and concerning trends that showcase women as inferior, and again childlike. This video is an example of how men like to imitate women as this helpless, obedient child. The characteristics and mannerisms this man is portraying of his ‘girlfriend’ are clearly not meant to be seen as an adult or late teen. I cannot stress enough how worrying this beauty standard is and we as a society need to begin ‘normalizing’ normal things. Body hair is not gross. Your grooming choices are your choice. Your height, weight and appearance does not define you. We as a society need to stop these borderline pedophialic behaviours and stop fetishing childlike features. I am so grateful I have a platform to express my concern on these topics and hopefully this article will bring awareness to what is happening right in front of you.