I had the most wonderful experience at the Pink Ribbon Breast Cancer Council event in South Australia. Surrounded by the most inspiring women I have ever met, breast cancer survivors, we had a wonderful evening of challenging beauty sterotypes, bodies and talking about womens health.
Using my background as a human evolutionary biologist (human attraction scientist) and fashion model, I talked about social beauty sterotypes that a lot of middle aged women feel pressured to adhere to especially after the birth of a child. We challenged social beauty ideals and revealed beauty illusions celebrities and media figures use in order to appear perfect at all times. A lot of these ‘tricks’ the audience was quite astonished to hear about. We discussed retouching, shapewear, teams of stylists hair & makeup that celebrities have. We also discussed how beauty ideals are ever changing e.g 2000 flat buttocks were fashionable, come 2013 large buttocks became a trendy beauty ideal.
Beauty ideals are ever changing in time and space. If you try and fit into the contemporary ideal, by the time you reach it, it will change, creating a miserable perpetual cycle of unobtainable beauty. The only thing about beauty that remained constant was self confidence, self acceptance and self love regardless of what someone looked like on the outside. That kind of beauty is the type that draws you in, it transcends age and everyone in the room can feel it’s warmth. A rare beauty not found in many young people, it is found mostly among middle aged women and older.
I then discussed some interesting findings from human attraction literature where confidence and self acceptance makes us attractive no matter what we look like on the outside. That is a powerful thing, making the old adge true if you love yourself from within, you will glow from without. So I urged the audience to not be swayed by what they saw on TV and Magazines it was all an illusion. It was OK not to be perfect. They need to understand that they are beautiful as they are and don’t need to feel pressured into fitting into false everchanging rigid beauty ideals. That the real women sitting before me were inspirational, deserved self acceptance, self love and had permission to feel beautiful.
Northern Argus Excerpt – “Human Evolutionary Biologist, Zinnia Kumar spoke about “Beauty Ideals” and told the audience to love yourself from the inside out. “Zinnia was fantastic, she is passionate about women’s beauty ideals and she hopes to come back to next year’s event,” Kerry (The organiser) said.