Beauty Standards Not Applicable Here


Abby Sienko

date published

May 18, 2022, noon



Beauty is everywhere

From the first moments you wake up

You see your scenery

Whether it’s your pet, your bed

Or even turn your eyes to look out the window

You see the beauty of nature

Until you avert your eyes straight ahead

A mirror so visible

A societal norm to standardize

This term is called beauty

Where humans should look a certain way

Captivating the beauty of their outer shell

Mandating to follow specific rules and rituals

Regimes, structure, fixation

What about those most vulnerable?

The ones whose worlds fall apart

Their trauma is so dear and so close

To find a sense of control, structure, fixation

Which manifests to some method of perfection

Starvation, appearance, perfection, congratulations!

Congratulations says society

Congratulations for being so ‘sick’

“Weak? You’re strong!” says the voice

Congratulations! You exceeded your goal

“Not close enough!” says the voice

Congratulations! You’re more lovable!

“Not on my terms; you must keep going!” says the voice

Keep going because it’s Not Enough

Until one day...


The conversation is endless this internal dialogue

A continuous vicious cycle

Society nowadays is obsessed with beauty

A specific body, type, and mindset

It’s such a contradiction you see.

People with Eating Disorders tend to keep it a secret

While people on diet regimes announce it to the world!

Don’t you realize the harm you’re doing is another’s suffering?

The realization, the war and competition

Yet don’t you see that everyone’s beauty is purely unique?

Why must we follow these rules, diets, stupid regimes

When we should just accept who we are

Our bodies move how they should

Our bodies look how they are meant to be

Because we are spectacular just how we are

Why must we follow some bullshit diet routine

When we should remember our beauty within.


I have been on my own internal war path of eating disorder recovery. The challenges faced daily especially when diet culture is everywhere. From grocery stores, transit commutes, family gatherings, ads on tv and magazines, these unnatural beauty standards do not define who we are as a person. It is all make believe.

I have learned that despite this constant dark light, I need to remind myself that I have my own war to fight. I need to recognize that what one is doing to themselves is another’s suffering.

It took me a while to realize and establish boundaries within myself and others around me. While recovery isn’t perfect, and each day is a struggle, I know there’s a light shining brightly waiting for me to reach and touch its beauty. Glistening so proudly, even if I can only see it at a distance, I know it’s cheering me on. With self-recognition and awareness - I AM Beautiful. Incredible. Fierce. I am fighting a daily battle when society’s volume is on EXTRA loud.

When days are hard, when the media is on bright and loud, remind yourself that this is not reality. YOU are the spotlight. You are beautiful. Your body moves the way it should, naturally. Your body looks how it should, naturally. You are the natural beauty. 

Author's Bio 

Abby is a proud disabled person and part of the LGBT community with a passion for advocating for marginalized people and communities. They are aspiring to become a Child and Youth Care practitioner to empower and advocate alongside young folks and to make a difference. In between school, advocacy work, giving back to the community, they enjoy singing, playing the piano, reading a good book with their cat and enjoying nature.

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