Today, on Oprah, the show's topic was centered around beauty accross the world and it taught me that Americans have three main things in common with other nations that constitute what makes a person beautiful.
1. The first is figure. We are obsessive over being thin and perfect. We see it in fashion, in celebrtities, everywhere. The "beautiful people" are thin. And, if they're not, they will go to any length to achieve it, including painful and dangerous surgeries.
2.Next, they have an undying obsession with perfect skin and skin color. Here, in the U.S. it's all about being dark and tan and glowing. Elsewhere, it's achieving the western standard of light, porcelain skin.
3.And finally, we have an obsession with hair. Hair is every woman/teen/girl's prized posession. It's definitely something special to me. I, unlike many, don't have a good day if my hair isn't fixed nicely or isn't the right cut or texture.
But beyond that, it really did get me thinking about how beauty is percieved around the world. As much as we, as society, would like to think that there's a standard much like the ideals I presented above: do this, this, and this and you will be beautiful, or have this attribute, this color hair, this color skin, this style, dress this way, there really isn't one. People, though, as much as they have the tendency to sit and complain about how everyone wants to look one way, fail to see that they themselves not only set, but fuel the standards and ideals formulated by our imaginations. They shop all the time for clothes and shoes to fit in at work or at school. They look for beauty and hair products that will make them look like this model or this actress or this celebutante (who actually has no talent but is there to stir up envious feelings in others). I, myself, am guilty of this. I strive off of the skincare and beauty business (as I'm planning for something along those lines to fuel my future career), I buy every product I can possibly get my hands on, I aim to be an ideal that I cannot even define. And sadly, I don't even have a valid answer for why.