I came across an intriguing article about how beauty pageants in parts of Africa have redefined how to judge beauty. You’re probably thinking I mean that instead of judging one’s beauty by Western standards, e.g., slim, light-skinned bodies, women are judged by African standards.
Yes and no.
The contestants are indeed subject to African standards of beauty. But what struck me is that the pageants reward different women for different types or aspects of beauty, like their curvaceous bodies or their amazing legs (Miss Curvy or Miss Legs). The pageants are acknowledging that there are multiple aspects and interpretations of what is beautiful.
What they’re saying to me is that maybe it’s crazy to expect one person to exhibit all the possible beautiful features of the human body.
I think this is very healthy. In essence, these pageants are saying: “of course there are so few perfect specimens out there. So instead of rewarding that tinsy winsy group, let’s reward many more for their specific assets.”
I think we should do the same. That way more people would have realistic expectations of themselves, and feel better about their own type of beauty.