Beauty standards for women have always been nothing short of unrealistic and unachievable, and are made up of racist and infantile images due to the rise of race theory, and the ever-present patriarchy. Feminine beauty has been transformed into an industry designed to keep self-esteem low and profits high and built catering to the white, cisgender, heterosexual male gaze. White supremacy and sexism – particularly the intersection of these two ideas – are still prevalent in modern society, resulting in ideas of the beautiful woman that are consistently paedophilic and racist.
Since the very moment modern society came into fruition, activism has come hand in hand with its much uglier sibling – performative activism. Performative activism is best described as someone who feigns involvement in a greater movement in order to present a fallacy of concern for marginalised communities, with no clear goal in sight apart from virtue-signalling and ego-boosting.
In a time of socio-economic and political upheaval when accountability is valued by young people above all else, it’s easy to get caught up in the rush of ostracising and condemning those we see as wrongdoers. But amongst the blur of the #XIsOverParty hashtags and blacklisting, is it possible to find the line and self reflect on our transformation into narrow-minded moral absolutists? Do we always have the correct motive in mind? And is the lawlessness of social media responses opening the conversation to bigots who crave a way to invalidate the fight for social justice?
Censorship can often lead to an idealised perspective of the world around us, creating a utopia in the world of entertainment that serves as a dangerous method of escapism. Black- and brown-face needs policing, but banning isn’t the way forward. Life imitates art, and life just isn’t a perfect racism-free environment.