Beauty Standards Interview
I had the honor and pleasure to be interviewed by a student named Lucky McNair. She is a 12th-grade student at Capital City Public Charter School in Washington, DC. She is currently working on her Senior Expedition, which is an independent research project that all of the seniors in her class have to do based on the topic they choose. They will eventually have to present their research topics later on in May to their teachers and outside guests. For this project, it is mandatory for her to have two experts. Her research topic for her senior expedition happens to be based on beauty standards and eating disorders.
1. How would you describe the ideal beauty standards in today’s generation?
The ideal beauty standards are having flawless skin, a big butt, big boobs, no waist, long hair, small nose, and voluptuous lips. These standards are unrealistic and ridiculous. Everyone wants to look like these “standards”, but we can’t because everyone is different and we all can’t look the same. Not everyone has flawless skin, a big butt, long hair, etc., but that doesn’t make a person less beautiful.
2. How do you think those standards influences young females under the age of 18?
Those standards influence young females under the age of eighteen in a very negative way, especially this generation because girls are maturing faster than before. Young girls look at videos, pictures, magazines, and social media and think, “wow, I want to look like her” or “why can’t I look like her?” Young females don’t think of those pictures and videos as just pictures and videos. They don’t know that most of the time things like that are edited, and tampered with. They don’t just think, “wow, she’s beautiful” and move on. They always relate it or compare it to themselves, and what they lack, which shouldn’t be the case.
3. Which group of females do you think struggles the most with achieving the standards?
Younger females, of course, especially females in middle school, high school, and college. During these times, as a woman, you go through so many trials and tribulations, such as your first break up, your menstrual period, your first kiss, bullying, and losing your virginity. Hormones are definitely high during this period as well. It’s a pretty rough time because you’re trying to get to know yourself, learn yourself, and love yourself in the skin you are in. Most of the time, during this age, females don’t have the funds to achieve these beauty standards either, which can be frustrating as well.
4. What are your feelings about famous public figures like Amber Rose, Kim Kardashian, Kylie Jenner? Do you think they put negative influences on today’s generation of females?
I don’t have any ill feelings towards Amber Rose, Kim Kardashian, and Kylie Jenner. I do believe that some of the procedures that they get done to their bodies can be very extreme to point where it looks unattractive and unrealistic. I do believe Amber Rose’s butt is natural, which is acceptable. Kim Kardashian’s body isn’t attractive; it’s just too much. Kylie Jenner started to get surgery done at a very young age, too young in my opinion.
I do think that sometimes they can put a negative influence on today’s generation of females, not intentionally, but just because they don’t realize that they flaunt their bodies, which are totally fake, and make so much money from doing it. That makes other women want to do the same or go get certain procedures done when they don’t need them. Instead of going to get an education, females want to go get their bodies done thinking that that is going to make them rich and just live freely. Now, I’m not saying that Amber, Kim, and Kylie don’t work hard, or they are dumb, but their path of life or way of living isn’t the only path. I also feel like they aren’t honest about the procedures that they receive. I would accept it more if they were honest, and explained the risks, pros, and, cons, especially because everyone knows how they used to look, so just embrace the fact that you had surgery and tell the truth. I don't see anything wrong with surgery or altering your body, especially if you want to boost your confidence and feel good about yourself, but this generation has taken it to the extreme, and no one wants to be his or her natural self anymore. There should be a limit, and sometimes it’s just not worth it. It is best to just be happy with who you are.
5. Has there ever been a point in your life when you felt insecure about yourself due to the standards of beauty?
Always, I still have insecurities, even today. Sometimes they can affect me in a very negative way, and some days they are very subtle.
6. What would you say are the negative effects of beauty standards?
Beauty standards have so many negative effects and it’s very discouraging. The standards definitely have the worst effect on the mind. It creates low self-esteem and alters the way people view their body image. Then, it effects you physically because people who aren’t satisfied with what they see, go and get surgery along with many other procedures. Beauty standards can also affect you spiritually. They can cause illnesses such depression, eating disorders such as bulimia, anorexia, food phobias, and the worst, self-harm and/or suicide.
7. How can females resist or overcome these standards of beauty?
Females can resist or overcome the standards of beauty with self-love. It’s very simple. Without love for yourself, you will never be confident enough or have the power to overcome beauty standards. Females must learn how to embrace their flaws, once they can do that, they can conquer the world. It is also okay to ask for help because loving yourself isn’t as easy as it seems.
8. What type of cosmetics or beauty products do you think females spend the most money on?
All cosmetic and beauty products can be pretty expensive, but items dealing with the base of the face are typically the most expensive. Foundation is always the most expensive product and I feel like any woman will go that extra mile and spend any amount of money to find that perfect finish, shade, and texture in their foundation. Primers, concealers, brushes and setting sprays can be pricey as well because they make or break your makeup look.
9. What type of beauty products or tools do you think females depend on the most and why?
Females definitely depend on foundation, concealer, lashes, and beauty blenders the most. Foundations and concealers are the main products used to make the base of the face even and flawless. Foundation is used to create an even, uniform color to the complexion/skin, to cover flaws, and to change the natural skin tone. Concealer is used mainly to cover dark under-eye circles or to counteract the redness of a pimple or other blemishes. Lashes are simply a girl’s best friend. They complete any makeup look, especially if eyeshadow is being used, and many females either don’t have full lashes or they are very sparse. Beauty blenders were created in 2007, but they went viral a few years ago. It is a sponge that can be used to apply almost everything to the face. It’s mainly used to apply foundation, concealer, and highlighting powder, but it can also be used to apply moisturizer, cream blush, etc. It works best when it is damp, so you have to wet it and squeeze out all of the excess water. This basically allows you to use all of the product that is placed onto the blender because it will not seep into the sponge. It’s great because you’re not wasting product, which means you are saving money. These four items are essentials in any makeup kit.