Beautiful women making the front page of magazines and newspapers splashed with airbrushed models and celebrities. Not to mention, TV and social media platforms buzzing with news of how flawlessly beautiful this celebrity is and how amazingly tanned that celebrity is… Well, this is an everyday happening and people have become obsessed with the beauty standards of this world.
The media have been successful in achieving many things and one of its greatest traps is that it has caused women to succumb to the beauty standards of today. Every young girl who flips through a magazine will find themselves yearning to look as perfect as those airbrushed and photoshopped women and teenage girls in particularly, are willing to go to any length to match up with these beauty standards. This is why we see so many young girls lying in hospital beds as a result of anorexia as they tortured their body into being slim, girls disfiguring their faces to make it look more model-like and in some extreme cases, some women even going to the extent of setting their own beauty standard that is a level ahead. I don’t even have to say how disastrous this is and if young girls haven’t tried out those, they fall into depression because they can’t match the standards the world expects of them.
This is the false facade of all the beauty standards of the media: They take a celebrity or a model, apply tons of makeup on her, erase her ‘imperfections’ with foundation, give a more alluring lip tone with lipstick, make her eyes look more appealing with layers of eye shadow, make her eyes look rounded and huge with a thick line of eye-liner and fake eyelashes and make her face look slimmer and her cheeks more hollowed with blush and all those other make-up stuff. Then the hair. It’s coloured, styled and perfect. Well, you get the picture: they completely erase the imperfections of a woman and paint another ‘perfect’ reflection of herself through make-up. Then, they do a professional photo-shoot where any further imperfections are erased. And it doesn’t end there. Finally, they photoshop that picture, cut off part of the body to make the waist smaller, the hip curvier and the body more toned. Even the hair is volumed up and the cheeks are more hollowed in, the eyes are made to look bigger and the photo undergoes so many enhancing steps where you finally end up with something you totally aren’t. After all this, there isn’t much left of who you really are.
Why would anyone want to look like someone they know they aren’t? Why would they want to erase their identity and their features just so that they reach up to the beauty standards of the world? And where does all this lead to- nothing but self-loathing once you look at yourself with all your make-up removed and you hardly recognize who it is that’s staring back at you on the mirror. Women might as well wear a mask when they go out because more or less, this is what make-up does. This is where the beauty standards of this world leads to. A totally different person that you are not and all this just so that people will say you’re an attractive women. I mean, where is the self satisfaction? When will these women ever learn to be satisfied with the way they look? And this… is this what the famed ‘liberation of women’ is about? Being unsatisfied with who you are that you change how you look like? Seriously!
This is where I’m going to talk about the beauty standards of Islam:
“We have certainly created man in the best of stature” – Al Quran 95:4
This is what Islam says. Allah created us in the best form and we are beautiful just the way we are, Alhamdulillah. We don’t need make-up or photoshopped pictures of ourselves to know that we’re beautiful. Islam teaches us that we are beautiful just the way we are.
In fact, while the beauty standards of the world is that you change yourself to make you look more presentable, Islam forbids us from doing anything that would change the way we look.
“Allaah has cursed the woman who does tattoos and the one who has them done, the woman who plucks eyebrows (al-naamisah) and the one who has it done (al-mutanammisah), and the one who files her teeth for the purpose of beauty, altering the creation of Allaah.”
(Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 5931; Muslim, 2125)
Allaah tells us that the Shaytaan said:
“ ‘and indeed I will order them to change the nature created by Allaah’” [al-Nisa’ 4:119]
Don’t fall into the trap of Shaytan sisters. Today, it is so upsetting to see that makeup has almost become an obligatory part of the Hijab for some sisters. Be proud of how Allah has created you. Allah knows that your skin tone, the shape of your eyebrows, your figure, your hair, your eyes and your entire body is the best for you. Why do you want to change it? Learn to be comfortable in your own skin. In your own self. This is the beauty standard Islam teaches us.
“Allahumma anta hasanta khalqi fahassin khuluqi”
O Allah, you have made my body beautiful, so beautify my character too.