The Mancunion

Britain's biggest student newspaper

What do we expect of women in modern society?

Perisha Kudhail delves into the world of expectations to discover if ‘natural beauty’ has lost its meaning

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As the evolution of expectations has shown, women have never had it easy when it comes to looks. From the heroine figure of Twiggy to the big booty of Kim Kardashian, there’s always something that is desired and even expected of us. From looking hot at work to looking smokin’ hot outside work, it seems like an endless wheel of expectation.

It appears that we have become more tolerant of natural beauty, but is natural really what we think? The last time I checked, natural beauty didn’t mean a sea of fleek eyebrows and contouring, and it appears that without these make-up tricks, we are not as desirable. Social media has made it possible to trend a new look, resulting in investments of new products and new expectations.

It is slowly becoming clear that the expectations that are placed on women are actually judged by women themselves. If a woman has missed a hair wash day, it won’t go unnoticed. We are our own critics and we constantly compare ourselves to the women around us. If you go out, you’ll scout out who you’re going out with to gauge what to wear. Interestingly, social media has allowed us to become more expressive with how we dress and look, but that doesn’t equate to no judgement. We still hold a certain judgement to women who don’t even fulfil the basics.

The basics have become a lot more than simply having a good skin day. The basics have become hair removal, good skin, good hair, good make up, good outfit, and a spritz of fragrance. With this checklist becoming the basic expectation of women, it makes us wonder if there really is such a thing as a natural woman? With dating apps like Tinder and Pof, where first impressions really do count, it seems that we are expected to get full marks in the basics checklist and even more.

No one expects women to look like movie stars, but there are certain expectations in certain scenarios (even when it comes to celebrities, with their lives being photographed every second of every day). Has the standard expected of normal women increased? Social media allows us to check out celebrities’ looks and even replicate them, but it seems that we still advocate a more natural look (we just need make-up to achieve it).