Our Own Standard For Ideal Beauty Eliminates Us All


The photo on the left is Nicole Scherzinger, the former lead singer of the Pussycat Dolls. And as physically attractive as she may be, she does not have the look of the ideal woman … at least not entirely.

According to a recent survey conducted by Morrisons, a supermarket chain, the ideal woman would have “Nicole Scherzinger's eyes, Katherine Jenkins's hair, and the nose of Samantha Cameron, wife of Prime Minister David Cameron.”

The survey asked 1,000 men and 1,000 women for the celebrity body features they found most attractive. These three female celebrities and other female celebrities garnered the most votes for their respective body parts.

Katherine Jenkins, chosen for her hair:

Samantha Cameron, chosen for her nose:

This is what the face of the ideal woman would look like if all the most popular features were combined:

The ideal man would have “the smile of Ryan Gosling, Daniel Craig's eyes, the jawline of Brad Pitt, and the bodies of David Beckham and Jenson Button.” Unfortunately, an image of their combined features was not created.

The image of the ideal woman above is troubling. I say this not because she is arguably not what people imagined the ideal woman to look like, but because even after meeting popular expectations, people would still want to alter this woman’s features. This is ultimately relevant to our lives when plastic surgery pops up as an idea for a quick fix for our flaws.

We live in a society where physical attractiveness is highly valued for both men and women. It is probably no surprise that there are actually plastic surgery addicts that constantly strive to meet their ideals of beauty. But as the survey above shows, our ideals may not be what we expected. Thus, some people go through more plastic surgeries with the constant goal of being perfect.

The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery reported that over 10 million cosmetic procedures were performed in 2012 in the United States alone. The top five surgical procedures include breast augmentation, liposuction, abdominoplasty, eyelid surgery, and rhinoplasty.

I understand that getting plastic surgery is a personal choice and is sometimes coupled with body image issues. But I hope we can eventually live in a society where people can appreciate themselves for who they are. And as Jazz Brice put it (in response to Dove’s real beauty campaign): “You are more beautiful than you know. But please, please hear me: You are so, so much more than beautiful.”

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