Exploring the Harmful Effects of 90s Beauty Standards on Today’s Society

Exploring the Harmful Effects of 90s Beauty Standards on Today’s Society

The 90s were a time of big hair, bold lipstick, and stick-thin models. It was an era when the fashion and beauty industry established and promoted a narrow and specific standard of beauty. Women were expected to look like the supermodels on the runway; tall, skinny, with perfectly proportioned features. It was an impossible standard to meet, but women all over the world tried their best to conform to it.

Years later, it is now widely recognized that the 90s beauty standard had devastating effects on society. Let’s take a closer look at some of the negative impacts:

Low Self-Esteem and Body Image Issues

One of the most significant negative effects of the 90s beauty standard was the impact it had on women’s self-esteem and body image. Women who didn’t fit into the narrow beauty standard were made to feel inadequate and inferior. It created an environment where the worth and value of women were directly linked to their physical appearance.

This resulted in many women experiencing anxiety, depression, and a lack of confidence. They would resort to unhealthy behaviors like crash dieting, excessive cosmetic treatments and surgeries, or even developing eating disorders like anorexia and bulimia.

The Emergence of Unrealistic Beauty Standards

The 90s beauty standard paved the way for even more unrealistic beauty standards in the following years. The idea of being perfect became prevalent, which meant that people had to be skinny, toned, tan, and always looking their best. The pressure to maintain this unrealistic standard became overwhelming for many.

What followed was the emergence of Photoshop, airbrushing, and other photo editing techniques. They were meant to make models and celebrities even more perfect than they already were. But what it actually did was create further pressure for women to look perfect, leading to a never-ending cycle of self-doubt and low self-esteem.

The Narrow Definition of Beauty

The 90s beauty standard also reinforced a very narrow definition of beauty. Darker skin tones, curvy bodies, and unconventional features were not celebrated or even acknowledged as beautiful. This led to the exclusion of many individuals from the “beautiful” category.

It wasn’t until much later that the fashion and beauty industry started to diversify the definition of beauty. To this day, there is still so much work to be done in terms of accepting and celebrating all types of beauty.


The beauty standards set in the 90s were harmful and unrealistic. They contributed to low self-esteem, body image issues and a very narrow definition of beauty. We have come a long way since then, but it’s essential to recognize how much damage these past standards have caused. As a society, we must continue to promote positivity and acceptance of all types of beauty. We need to celebrate diversity and encourage everyone to love and accept themselves just as they are.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *