Body and Soul Week: Skin Deep

Seana Davis reflects on modern beauty standards in the context of yesterday’s Hist discussion.


As part of Body and Soul week, the Hist presented ‘Skin Deep’; a discussion. ‘Is beauty in the eye of the beholder, or are we all striving for some unattainable goal?’ The question is intriguing and much debated in our changing society.

Catherine Prasifka and Hannah Bowman spoke for the Hist while Laura Grady represented TCDSU Welfare. Many contributed to what was an enlightening discussion on body image and social standards.

Why do we find make-up in pharmacies? The pharmacy is the same place you would go to treat the common cold. Beauty is not something to be remedied. We do not need to ‘fix’ ourselves to achieve society’s idea of beauty.

Your body is yours alone. Your bones and skin carry you through life. But often when you look in the mirror, you try to perceive how others view you. We are brought up to develop a ‘thick skin.’ We must take these views ‘in our stride.’ However developing this thick skin can weigh us down.

We all have an inner-critic who tells when we behave in a way we shouldn’t. However, this voice should not diminish our confidence. This inner critic can become ‘too loud for its boots.’ The key is to get rid of the inner critic. We should base our views of ourselves on how we want to feel; not on the ridiculous voice in our head who shouts for what society wants.

This voice begins at an early stage. It is interesting to note that ‘Barbie’ can’t stand properly. She is always on her tip-toes because he needs to always be in heels- thus taller than who she is.

Beauty standards are constantly changing. From plucked eyebrows in 2003 to thick brows in 2016. The take-home message is clear. We should not compete with social standards – but rather find beauty within ourselves. Make-up and fashion are great tools; not to cover up flaws, but rather to make you feel good. There is a fine line – but it is imperative that we keep our foot on the right side of it. We do things for us- not to fit into society’s ever changing ideals.

We live in a world of ‘insta-fit goals.’ Both men and women can feel pressured by standards. The only way to break down the pressure is acknowledging that it exists and strive for what you want. Do it for you.

Seana Davis

Seana Davis is a fourth year Geology student and News Editor of Trinity News.