In today’s day and age, beauty is a big deal. Its become a big issue in society that people do not consider someone for their personal qualities but more for their physical aspects. Not only that, but many products, businesses, movies and media outlets work to produce items that promote beauty. Despite this being obvious, beauty is more than looks. We are changing! Nowadays society is slowly trying to look past the boundaries of what is traditionally classified as beautiful.
Here are four people who challenge beauty standards and do a great job at it!
Madeline Stuart is an 19 year old girl from Brisbane, Australia. She is an aspiring model with down syndrome. She has broken a perception of beauty as she herself, has proven to us that she isn’t any less worthy of being a model simply because she doesn’t fit the ‘normal’ criteria for models.
“People with down syndrome can do anything, they just do it at their own pace. Give them a chance and you will be rewarded beyond your greatest expectations.”
She also wants people reconsider down syndrome as being a disadvantage. An example is when people apologize to her mother after learning about her Down syndrome. Her mother calls it a “very naive statement.” and goes on to say that if people considered her daughter for more than her external appearance but also her inner beauty, they’d know how beautiful her daughter is. She says that there would be more Down Syndrome models people had that type of thought processing. Madeline has proven to the world that down syndrome is beautiful. She has embraced her individuality and wishes everyone else to do the same. “We want everyone to be loved, after all that is all that truly matters.”
All sizes must be respected! But it is still unfortunately considered undesirable to see plus size girls in the model industry. Tess Holliday is a size 22 model who wishes that plus size models be portrayed as beautiful just like other sizes. Not to show that plus size is better than other sizes but in an effort to make people people respect everybody regardless of size.
Currently she is one of the most successful plus size models. She made a huge internet sensation called #Effyourbeautystandards where people posted pictures of their “imperfections” with the hashtag Effyourbeautystandards. This caused a huge promotion of self acceptance and body positivity.
“Being beautiful and feeling beautiful shouldn’t have a label or a number or a certain look to it. It should be who you want to be and to embrace who you already are.”
Harnaam Kaur has polycistic ovary syndrome which lead her body to grow excessive facial hair. She tried various methods to get rid of the hair. As a student she was subjected to bullying and even had anonymous death threats which said things like wanting to burn her and throw bricks at her. Due to the constant tormenting, she began self harming and contemplating suicide.
When Harnaam was 16, she hit rock bottom, wanting to end it once and for all. But before she could do the deed she had an epiphany.
“As I sat there, I started to counsel myself. I told myself: “The energy you’re putting into ending your life, put all that energy into turning your life around and doing something better.” This thought empowered her to move on with life. She now embraces her beard as a part of her identity and confidence.
“This is me, This is who I am. Its my oneness, my wholeness, I’m different and I’ve learned to accept it fully.”
Zach Miko is the first plus size male model to sign up with a major agency. While many people have begun to accept plus size models as a profession, a plus size male model was never mentioned during the female plus size model era. Miko says that fashion needs to rethink its attitude to size.
As of now, the whole idea of plus size male models is still new and introductory. But, with Miko being a new trend and a start to a potentially new phenomenon of body acceptance, the future may hold more possibility of accepting plus size men into the fashion industry. Of course, Miko himself admits that he isn’t exactly “big” either but he wanted to model because “men want to see normal looking guys modelling their clothes.” As opposed to the original trend of really muscular men.
In the end, we all should know that beauty isn’t appearance. No one can be accounted for by the way they look. They must be valued for their kindness, their patience, their love, their generosity, their intelligence, their humor – as a person and not an object.
Everyone is gifted and beautiful.
Last modified: April 11, 2016