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The Rise of “Aesthetics” & What It Means for Individuality


The Rise of “Aesthetics” & What It Means for Individuality 

Victoria Carroll

December 13, 2023 


The concept of aesthetics has been on the rise in recent years, with more and more emphasis being placed on the importance of personal appearance, fashion, and beauty. As a result, individuals are increasingly focused on their physical appearance and how they are perceived by others. This trend has sparked a conversation about what it means for individuality and whether this focus on aesthetics is beneficial or detrimental to our sense of self. 


Aesthetics encompass everything from fashion and beauty standards to interior design and architecture. In today's society, aesthetics have become a crucial part of how we present ourselves to the world and how we are perceived by others. 


The rise of social media and the constant bombardment of images of "perfection" have created a culture where aesthetics are highly valued and often equated with success and happiness.


On one hand, this focus on aesthetics can be seen as a form of self-expression and a celebration of individuality. People use fashion and style to convey their personality and to show the world who they are. In this way, aesthetics can be empowering and help individuals feel more confident and comfortable in their own skin. 


It can also be a way to connect with others and form a sense of community through shared interests and styles. However, the flip side of this trend is that the pursuit of perfect aesthetics can lead to a homogenization of individuality. With the rise of beauty standards and the pressure to conform to societal norms, many people feel the need to fit a certain mold in order to be accepted and admired. This can lead to a loss of true individuality and a sense of identity that is based solely on external appearances.


The focus on aesthetics can also have damaging effects on mental health and self-esteem. The constant comparison to airbrushed and filtered images on social media can lead to feelings of inadequacy and a distorted perception of self-worth. This can create a toxic cycle of seeking validation and approval from others, rather than embracing and celebrating our unique individuality. 


It is important to remember that aesthetics are only one aspect of who we are as individuals. True individuality comes from our values, beliefs, experiences, and the way we treat others. While it is natural to want to present ourselves in a way that is pleasing to others, it is equally important to cultivate a sense of self-worth that is not reliant on external validation.


The rise of aesthetics has undoubtedly had an impact on how we view and express our individuality. While it can be a form of self-expression and empowerment, it is important to be mindful of the potential pitfalls of placing too much emphasis on external appearances. True individuality is about embracing our differences and celebrating the diversity that makes each of us unique. 


It is essential to find a balance between aesthetics and a deeper sense of self that is not dependent on societal beauty standards. Ultimately, our individuality should be defined by who we are on the inside, rather than how we are perceived on the outside.


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