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How Flaws Became Flawless

Olivia Maybank and Juliet Denbaugh

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There was once a time when people would cover their freckles with makeup, pluck their bushy eyebrows to a thin line and wear baggy clothes in hopes of hiding their voluptuous rear ends. Now, however, each one of these qualities is not only accepted, but celebrated. It’s common to see people pencil on freckles, fill in their eyebrows and even get butt implants.

Courtesy of Creative Commons
Supermodel Cara Delevingne sports dark, thick brows.

Thick eyebrows have been in and out of style every few decades for years. In the 80s, Brooke Shields and Madonna sported bold, untamed eyebrows; in the 90s, celebrities like Gwen Stefani and Kate Moss donned over-plucked eyebrows to a thickness approximately one hair’s width; now, thick eyebrows are back and more popular than ever. Those who were teased in elementary school for the “caterpillars” residing above their eyes, are now worshipped for their “strong brow game” and those who tweezed when that was the hip thing to do are left with a CVS eyebrow pencil and the hope that the trends will turn again in their favor.

Similarly, freckles were once an attribute that people considered a “skin problem,” and like all things that make humans remotely different, resulted in freckle-faced kids being teased mercilessly for their “condition.”

Oh, how the tables have turned. As of late, freckles and bushy brows have blown up. They dominated runways, appeared on celebrities and of course, took hold of the on-trend beauty guru community. Now people believe freckles and thick eyebrows add an instant youthful glow and give the illusion of a natural, fresh-faced look — even if they are penciled in.

For the longest time, the phrase “those pants make your butt look big” was met with a brow wrinkled with anger and possibly a swift slap in the face; however, the phrase is now known to be received with a blushing giggle and a playful “oh, stop it!” With the rise of the Kardashians, big butts have become a much sought-after feature. For lack of a better comparison, butts are the new boobs. So instead of the ever-popular sales method of a plunging neckline on a heavy-chested woman, the media has seen an explosion of ad campaigns, workout plans and clothing being sold on women with, well, junk in the trunk.

Not only are fuller rear ends now being promoted in the media, but thicker thighs and bigger bellies are being celebrated too. While in previous years magazines wouldn’t be caught dead with a size 8 model on the cover, we are now beginning to see a broader range of what is generally perceived as the “ideal body image.” At this point in time, one might hear phrases along the lines of “ooh, she thicc!” Do not be alarmed — these are actually supposed to be compliments. In other words, if you’re showing your cellulite, flaunting your “food-baby” or even embracing your birthmarks, you’re already keeping with the current trends.

Needless to say, there is still a long way to go until we achieve the optimal acceptance of “beauty” in all its diverse forms. Although there is currently some representation of those who don’t fit the stereotypical beauty standards in the media, there isn’t nearly enough to make a substantial difference. For the sake of progression, it is imperative that these body-positive trends are carried out in the future. The alternative is their disappearance in order to make way for other trends such as the return of Kate Moss’ microscopic eyebrows.

With a recent outbreak of styles and looks that are directly inspired by those of the 70s, 80s and 90s, we have seen old trends resurrected in modern times. That being said, it is reasonable to infer that things that are all the hot rage at the moment may not be so cool in the near future. Trends come and go as they please, but they have the power to leave lasting impressions on the general public.

Though these may just be passing trends, they are also a look into the more accepting and inclusive world the 21st century has in store. It may seem pointless to try to keep up with something that is always changing, but doing so can act as a way to promote a wider acceptance of all diverse forms of beauty.

These are just a few of the many features that have pulled themselves out of the bin of fashion faux pas and stumbled into the “how to” section of every beauty and fashion magazine in the world. With this knowledge, it’s safe to assume that many other now “unsightly” features will soon be the next big thing.

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How Flaws Became Flawless