The Impact of Beauty Standards on Women's Mental Health and the Rise of Body Positivity Movement


Hatched by Thati

Feb 18, 2024

4 min read


The Impact of Beauty Standards on Women's Mental Health and the Rise of Body Positivity Movement


In society, the pressure to conform to beauty standards has taken a toll on women's physical and mental well-being. This article explores the damaging effects of aesthetic expectations and the rise of the body positivity movement as a form of resistance. We will also delve into the commercialization of the female body and the growing support for inclusive representation.

The Complexos de Favelas:

In Rio de Janeiro, the Complexos de Favelas house a significant portion of the population. When considering the largest favelas individually, Rocinha, Jacarezinho, Nova Brasília, and Vila do Vintém top the list. However, when viewed as a whole, the largest favela spaces in the city are Complexo da Maré, Complexo do Alemão, Rocinha, and Jacarezinho. These complexes represent the struggles and challenges faced by those living in impoverished areas, highlighting societal disparities.

The Aesthetic Pressure and Virtual Attacks:

Women have increasingly challenged society's imposed beauty standards. Unfortunately, those who deviate from these norms often face virtual attacks and public shaming. This aesthetic pressure not only affects women's physical and mental health but also perpetuates a cycle of body dissatisfaction and self-hate. The comments and violence directed towards women online are a reflection of the aesthetic prison that female bodies are subjected to. However, there has been a powerful wave of resistance as women unite to condemn the attackers, defending and praising actresses like Paolla Oliveira. This solidarity demonstrates the strength of women's voices in standing up against body shaming.

The Post-Maternity Body Expectations:

Even the bodies of new mothers are not exempt from harsh scrutiny. The daughter of Viih Tube, Lua, faced malicious comments about her post-pregnancy body. These standards are ever-evolving, with famous figures like the Kardashians transitioning from being symbols of curvaceous bodies to promoting a slimmer physique within a decade. The constant changes in fashion and beauty ideals make these standards unattainable for most women, leading to mental health issues such as distorted self-image, eating disorders, depression, and anxiety.

The Dark Side of the Beauty Industry:

The pressure to conform to beauty standards is further intensified for famous women due to their financial resources and fame. The societal expectation is that they must maintain their bodies within the expected norms of being slim and youthful. This pressure has led to the emergence of dangerous practices, such as the "beauty chip" enhanced with oxytocin and diabetic treatment pens repurposed for weight loss. Tragically, some patients have lost their lives during cosmetic procedures. The female body, treated as a commodity, fuels a multi-million-dollar beauty industry that profits from women's insecurities.

The Rise of Body Positivity:

Despite the overwhelming pressure to conform, individuals and communities have started challenging these oppressive beauty standards. The body positivity movement has gained momentum, focusing on inclusivity and acceptance of diverse body types, ethnicities, abilities, and natural forms of beauty. This movement has not only gained traction in social spheres but is also making its way into the commercial realm. Brands and media platforms are recognizing the importance of representing a wider range of bodies, contributing to a more inclusive society.

Actionable Advice:

  • 1. Practice self-love and acceptance: Embrace your body as it is and challenge societal expectations by celebrating your unique features. Surround yourself with positive influences that celebrate diversity and body positivity.
  • 2. Support body positivity initiatives: Engage with and amplify the voices of individuals and organizations that promote inclusivity and challenge beauty norms. Follow body-positive influencers, participate in campaigns, and advocate for fair representation in media.
  • 3. Educate others and raise awareness: Spread awareness about the damaging effects of beauty standards on women's mental health. Encourage open conversations and challenge harmful comments or behaviors when you come across them.


The pressure to conform to beauty standards takes a toll on women's physical and mental health. The rise of virtual attacks and body shaming reflects the aesthetic prison that female bodies are subjected to. However, the body positivity movement offers hope as individuals and communities challenge these norms and promote inclusivity. By practicing self-love, supporting body positivity initiatives, and raising awareness, we can contribute to a society that embraces and celebrates diverse bodies.

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