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Let’s call time on face and body trends

When I was at school (which wasn’t that long ago, before you say anything…) do you know what the face and body trends were? The beauty ideals that me and all of my classmates tried to model ourselves after? Pencil thin eyebrows and a flat bum. I’m deadly serious. Eyebrows more than three hairs wide were unruly and needed to be tamed ASAP. And if someone answered ‘yes’ to ‘does my bum look big in this?’ you’d want to give them a swift kick in the shins.

Now? Well, it’s a whole different story isn’t it? All those people who spent years diligently plucking their eyebrows into submission now either spend forever painstakingly drawing them back on or submit themselves to painful microblading to achieve a suitably bushy offering. And those who basked in the glory of their dainty, slimline cheeks can now be found at their nearest gym squatting until their legs wobble in attempt to gain peachy bum status.

But face and body trends are far from a new phenomenon. A stroll through your local art gallery is all the proof you need that our faces and bodies are subject to trends. Walk through the different eras and you’ll see pale, hairless skin, soft tummies, round bottoms, slender frames, tiny rosebud lips and strong noses, all painted according to what was desirable at the time.

With each artistic era or movement came a new perfect body or a new standard of beauty. And still, what constitutes the ‘ideal woman’ never stops changing. Right now, it means strong brows, big lips, a tiny waist and a big bum. But who knows when that will change? After all, Rihanna just graced the cover of Vogue with thinner than thin brows so how long is it until we’re all reaching for the tweezers again?

The thing is, I don’t want to. I stopped plucking my eyebrows years ago to let them grow naturally and I don’t feel like starting again. I also don’t have the energy to pump my bum up to double its current size at the gym. In fact, it makes me sad when I see other girls and women spending an entire gym session doing nothing but donkey kicks (google it, they’re a real thing I promise) just so their bum looks acceptably perky.

I don’t blame anyone for doing it though. If there had been an exercise to give me big boobs when I was a teenager and every gorgeous famous person seemed to have them, then you better believe I’d have done it. Because we’re all put under so much pressure to fit in and look attractive. And when what’s deemed attractive changes all the time, we’re supposed to keep up. But it’s EXHAUSTING.

We shouldn’t be expected to change our bodies and our faces like we change our wardrobes. Every six months a new body shape to aspire to. Big thighs, thigh gaps, tiny boobs that don’t need a bra, big boobs with a perfect cleavage, a small bum that fits into tiny jeans, a round bum that’s made for filling out a skintight dress, soft curves, lean muscle… when does it end?

If I had my way, it would end right now. I want to officially call time on body and face trends. I’m tired of them making me feel bad for not naturally looking a certain way and I’m sure you are too.

Without trends dictating what’s beautiful and what’s not, we could all just look the way we do. We wouldn’t pump ourselves full of fillers or draw things our faces on or feel bad because our body isn’t the exact shape of a certain celebrity’s. We wouldn’t change our gym routine to adapt to the latest desirable body type and we wouldn’t completely overhaul our beauty regime to make our face look a different shape.

Without trends setting the rules, there wouldn’t be one single ideal. The idea of beauty would open up to encompass a whole load of bodies and faces. Do you have thin eyebrows, a soft tummy and thighs that don’t touch? Beautiful! Do you have dark skin, big boobs and long legs? How fabulous! Thick thighs? Gorgeous! Small bum? Amazing!

If you scrap trends, none of us are made to feel less than for not looking a very specific way. We won’t find ourselves waiting for the day that our body or our face is ‘in’, or adapting them to fit the mould. We’d have the freedom to embrace exactly what we look like, naturally.

Besides, isn’t life boring if we all look the same? Variety is, so they say, the spice of life, so I reckon it’s time we throw those prescriptive beauty trends in the bin and get on with looking exactly how we want.

@SophieBenson_

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