We know that beauty is power, that beauty is political;
we know that beauty standards come from the people with privilege in an unequal society;
we know it’s unjust that being light skinned, cis, able bodied or thin is considered more attractive than being dark skinned, trans, disabled or fat;
we know that female beauty matters so much because patriarchy;
we know that our obsession with beauty is being provoked by advertising, the cosmetic industry and beauty influencers who are trying to sell us products;
we know […] all this because we’ve all been sitting around critiquing it for decades because that’s what leftists do;
we critique things,
we are finely tuned detectors of racism, sexism, ableism, fatphobia, transphobia and capitalism […];
we notice an injustice, we problematize it, we critique it and then we cancel it, but what’s next?
When we’re done critiquing things, what are we supposed to do?
Because I’m aware that conventional beauty standards are racist, sexist, ableist, fatphobic, transphobic social constructs designed to preserve power relations and sell products;
but does that awareness mean I desire any less to be conventionally beautiful?
No, I want it more than ever.
The problem is that the intellectual exercise of critiquing things doesn’t usually affect my desires very much.
Critiquing society may not change our desires, but it can motivate us to change society and changing society can change your desires.
So how do we change society? […]
I think there are ways we can work to loosen the grip of restrictive beauty standards without the futility of trying to stop caring how we look.
I do think representation matters and I think having visible beauty icons who are dark skinned or trans or gender nonconforming or disabled or fat or over 35 or influencers makes a big difference.
Beauty standards are social constructs. Social constructs can change. That’s why it’s so important to recognize that influencers are just as valid as other celebrities.
But the problem with changing society is that it takes a long time. […]
Where I can see an escape from my particular doom spiral is in style as an alternative ideal to beauty.
You can be stylish at any age; you could be stylish whether you pass or not;
style is a way of cultivating a personal aesthetic that you have complete control over.
It’s like art and that originality is a virtue.
Style is an individual aesthetic unlike the collective aesthetic of beauty standards. […]
Even if you don’t conform to conventional beauty standards, through the power of original style, you can create the taste in which your unique beauty is to be appreciated. […]
I know I’m dressed well, or my makeup is snatched I can easily abide any comments, any stare.
I can be misgendered at Dairy Queen for all I care, it does not matter, I construct with confidence because I am basking in the regal knowledge of my own aesthetic superiority.
Bow before me peasants, I proclaim to the drive through window,
for I am serving a look.
Contrapoints: Beauty. Youtube 2019, 24:24-30:51.