Coffee Talk: Beauty

What is beauty? Beauty, as a socially constructed ideology, varies from culture to culture and even within sub-cultures, with an array of demographic variations. Yet, its value remains, in many ways, universal. Our concept of beauty can affect our interpersonal relationships, individual self-worth, and self-esteem. Body image and the role of beauty has been thrust into the forefront of pop culture and continues to be a concern of both men and women of all ages.

For millennials, our experience with the concept of beauty has been in many ways amplified. We have grown up with beauty being a major facet of social discourse, from eating disorders being a significant issue in our generation to the constant criticism of social icons, it is a topic that is seemingly unavoidable.

Dove has been a growing advocate–bringing awareness to the effects our skewed and idealized beliefs about beauty have had on women, both physically and psychologically. Just days after the release of their newest video, Dove Real Beauty Sketches, it has already gone viral. Dove Real Beauty Sketches, brings light to how critical women can be of themselves, and how their self-criticism in many ways alters the way they perceive their own appearance. Regardless of how you feel about the brand, it raises thought provoking questions regarding our concept of beauty. Why are we so inclined to focus on our “faults” rather than our beauty? Were we somehow conditioned to be this way? How can we change this pattern for future generations?

So, now its your turn. How do you see beauty? What makes you feel beautiful? How do you encourage other women to see the beauty in themselves? And how accurate do you think your self-portrait would look if you were the one describing it?