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Beauty Standards in America and around the World

Beauty is on the Inside? That’s exactly what unrealistic beauty standards all around the world tell us. These standards have created a distorted image of what actual beauty is, which can be very disturbing for most of us.
It has now come to a point where each culture in the society has its own specific set of beauty norms.

Beauty standards are the expectations of how one’s body shape and features should be. These aspects tend to decide how close someone is to perfection. They highly depend on factors like societal norms, trends, time, and different cultures. They can also vary from a person to person depending on what their definition of beauty is.

beauty standards in america

Beauty norms change from time to time.

Different cultures have different expectations when it comes to appeal. The peer pressure of building yourself up in accordance with these beauty standards is hectic. Along the line, people fail to understand how negatively they’re being affected. When these people fail to achieve these standards which are not meant to be achieved in the first place because of being completely far-fetched and vague, they suffer from very critical dilemmas like self-hate, self-doubt, losing self-esteem, etc.

It definitely is hard to survive in a society where these beauty expectations are so suffocating and hard to achieve.

The world of beauty standards

American Japanese and asian cultures are highly known for their idealistic beauty cultures. They influence the whole world with their unrealistic and unachievable beauty benchmarks. Our curiosity forces us to find out what they are and it definitely leads to practicality too. But are they really that unrealistic to not be achieved? Let’s find out.

American beauty standards

In the United States, the norms of beauty have been transforming from time to time. However, some of these standards remained persistent.

Skin Color
A fair and brighter tone of skin is preferred in American culture. This is one of the most permanent beauty standards of all time. This standard is somehow very conflicted. Some refer to it as a sign of racism and the biased attitude of Americans toward white people.

So if brighter skin tones are considered beautiful where do dark-toned people go?

A slim figure

When it comes to body type, a perfect hourglass figure, and a toned body is considered as ideal type. However, this mentality is now changing to some extent and people in the states have been raising awareness on how all body types should be considered normal. Yet to have the desired body type people have been investing in weight loss medicines and surgeries without worrying about the side effects these quick fixes can cause.

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Youthful physical attributes

According to this one, your beauty fades away as you age. You’re only considered perfect and the most beautiful when in your youth era. Considered impossible, to achieve this beauty standard people spend their life savings in anti-aging products and surgeries but you can never stop aging, no matter what you do.

Perfect Teeth

A perfect smile deepens upon how aligned the teeth are. A full-mouth smile is considered beautiful. Pearly white teeth and perfect alignment are a beauty standard we definitely do not need. people pay for highly expensive treatments like getting veneers.

Symmetrical facial features

Most people have facial features completely asymmetrical. People with symmetrical features are very unique. It is definitely something that differentiates them from other people but it doesn’t mean ones with common features are not very appealing.

Korean beauty standards

Korean-Japanese cultures are way too uncompromising with their ideals of beauty. Also followed by many other groups all around the world, these cultures have set some unachievable goals regarding beauty but it doesn’t stop people from trying to achieve these goals.

Pale skin

Skin tone comes naturally. It’s not something to work on. But In Japan and Korea, fair and pale skin is considered to be attractive only. Unfair? Definitely.

Straight hair

Out of many types of hair, if you ask a Japanese or Korean about his preference he would definitely pick straight black hair.

Double eyelids and big round eyes

Double eyelids are one of the most common beauty standards Among these people. They won’t stay back from surgeries to have them. Also, they prefer round-shaped big eyes.

Plastic surgeries

As per research, South Korea has one of the highest rates of plastic surgeries. It’s so common, that they prefer plastic surgery for a minor unnoticeable imperfection. They mostly go for procedures like rhinoplasty (nose job), double eyelids, and jawline.

Glass like skin

They spend on skincare more than anything else. Glass skin is a necessity for them. And it sets up a high standard of beauty in the world. People with acne and scars strive to achieve this beauty standard. It leads them to severe depression and anxiety as well.

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West European beauty standards

Western European cultures never stayed back in defining beauty and coming up with their own impractical beauty norms. Their concepts of achieving perfection are way too close to what we call “unattainable”

Size zero

the obsession of Europeans with tiny dresses and bodies that fit into them is quite obvious. Women walking in the streets to women on the runways, all prefer size zero because that’s how Europeans define their perfect dream body.

Colored eyes and light-colored hair

Europeans describe beauty as, fair bright glass skin, colored eyes, blonde hair, thin body. Europe is full of people with almost every culture and race. Their description of beauty does not apply to all of them which makes it kind of unfair to many.

Hairless body

Body hair is a natural thing. It is somehow beneficial for many reasons. It exists for a good cause. But expectations are, in order to look beautiful you need to have a perfect body with no hair. People in Europe and all over the world go for expensive laser treatments to get rid of body hair because oh no! It’s a beauty standard.

Fuller plump lips and chiseled jaw

Unfortunately, everyone needs to have plumper lips and a chiseled jaw with high cheekbones to have a beautiful face. So go get surgeries and get a Botox. That’s what everyone’s been doing, no matter what the aftermath is.

Brand mania

Staying ahead of trends is very important in the west Europe. One of their most significant standards is investing in luxury brands. Everything expensive is beautiful without detour. So beauty can be bought. It’s for the rich.


As influential as these beauty standards are, they are considered extremely toxic as well. People are spending on beauty treatments, products, and procedures negligently to fight the battle of insecurities they impose on themselves by trying to achieve these beauty ideals. On second thought, this can also be a way to market the same products and procedures by making you feel uncomfortable about your body.

These ad hoc solutions might be attractive at the moment and can work for a particular span, but they come with unsettling repercussions.
At the same time, these quick fixes are unaffordable for many. This can be quite frustrating for people who are eager to follow these beauty trends and are desperate to achieve them somehow. They feel insecure and start hating their own being when they think they’re not meeting societal expectations. The concept of beauty is now so distorted that filtered and airbrushed social media posts are deciding the perfections for people in real life.

These unrealistic beauty norms are the reason behind massive insecurities, depression, and self-doubt among the youth where everything is either fixed or filtered and natural is no longer normalized. People don’t find happiness in doing what they love, instead, they are willing to suffer so that they can follow these trends and benchmarks.

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