Re(face)ing Beauty

Morgan Pierce, Editor

Beauty is a term closely associated with women but is defined differently among not just
cultures, but individuals as well. According to the February 2020 edition of National Geographic,
“for generations, beauty required a slender build but with a generous bosom and a narrow waist.
The jawline was to be defined, the cheekbones high and sharp. The nose angular. The lips full
but not distractingly so. The eyes, ideally blue or green, large and bright. Hair was to be long,
thick, and flowing—and preferably golden. Symmetry was desired. Youthfulness, that went
without saying.”

With the recent rise in social media usage, people are exposed to images that portray this once
deemed “ideal beauty” more than ever. According to a body-image study by Common Sense
Media, “Kids' consumption of mainstream media puts them at risk of developing unhealthy
approaches to their bodies. Research on social media and body image is in its infancy but
suggests these new media can present both positive and negative environments for self- and body

Even with the presumed rise in insecurity created by social media, it seems that the
preconceived notion of beauty has begun to change through new movements such as
“#AerieREAL” and new diets including “intuitive eating.” The contemporary view of beauty has
seemed to shift to a more all-inclusive, self-accepting concept- exploring the notion that differing
body types are all beautiful and self-love is essential to a healthy lifestyle.

Beginning in 2014, Aerie released their “#AerieREAL” movement, which was their
commitment to cease retouching models in order to promote body positivity. In recent years
there has also been a movement towards intuitive eating which promotes embracing your body
type through healthy, well-rounded eating habits. Nutrition therapist, Elyse Resch, is specialized
in intuitive eating and “embraces the goal of developing body positivity and reconnecting with
one’s internal wisdom about eating” in order to aid in the “prevention and healing of eating

The Dulaney Griffin is highlighting several girls from our student body and their definitions of
beauty in order to highlight this recent change in the views held surrounding the concept of
beauty. Beauty is a relative term and society is finally catching up with the accurate definition:
everyone is beautiful.