Lusting for likes: Media changes ideas of beauty

Beauty is said to be in the eye of the beholder, but what happens when those eyes are blinded by pseudo-truths?

Recently, comedian Sheryl Underwood and Tiana Parker, a 7-year-old student in Oklahoma, have been the talk of the web.
Underwood was in the spotlight for a comment she made on the talk show, “The Talk,” about her preference for “beautiful, long, silky” hair as opposed to “curly, nappy, beady” hair.

In another controversial situation, Parker was sent home from school because her dreadlock hairstyle was considered “faddish” and was originally banned by Deborah Brown Community School.

What is considered beautiful? Is it the “beautiful, long, silky” hair and the bleached skin? Is it the wild, shrunken, nappy hair and the melanin-rich skin?
Larry Bowden, a fourth-year political science student from Lake City, Fla., believes unhappiness is caused by comparisons.

“I believe women see pictures of other women and the way men react to those photos,” Bowden said. “And begin to question why they don’t garner those same responses.”

But are a 7-year-old’s dreadlocks not beautiful in the eyes of society?
In the world, there is a constant struggle to be “beautiful.” Though Webster’s definition of beautiful may not alter, society’s definition is constantly changing. From birth, a young girl struggles with her identity. So why would society tell her she isn’t beautiful and accept her flaws and all?

It is due to the “new rules” that are being set in place by the media. These rules may not be official, but they mean something to someone somewhere. Those people are making sure these rules are put in motion and instilled in the minds of many.

Antawanette Williams, a first-year criminal justice student from Vero Beach, Fla., is a rarity among students. She is against the use of social networking sites.

“I do believe that [social media sites] have painted an inappropriate image of how women should present themselves,” she said. “Women are voluntarily making themselves into sex symbols due to the images they see and the need to be accepted.”

People are constantly going the extra mile for likes on Instagram or a retweet on Twitter to be accepted into a world full of fabricated socialites. The question of what is considered beautiful in society is a neverending debate, especially in the world of social media. Fads like natural hair, weaves and badgalriri’s style seem to be all the rage on Instagram. There are even pages dedicated to girls who are considered the “prettiest” on Instagram.

But still the question remains, if your hair does not fall in line with these “new rules” or your style is not the same as everyone else’s, are you worthy of a like?