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  • Writer's pictureMariana Trujillo

The Freedom to Determine What Is Beautiful

Beauty is not objective. People should be free to choose what they are attracted to. This choice has been stolen from us. It was not capitalism or the government. It was society’s force emerging from our primitive evolutionary instincts that robbed us, and it is time to take control back.

Society is a collective of humans, and we, as humans, have problems accepting diversity. It is innate to our nature to try to form ideals. We have these schemas [1] in our mind and, when something doesn’t fit, we have two options: accommodate our schemas to fit a broader concept or create a new schema. Evolutionary, it is more interesting for us to have close schemas and feel attracted to those who are better fitted to them. We want the best partner possible to pass down our genes. This pursuit of a closed concept of perfection was what lead humanity to where we are today. However, as we evolve, we can perfect our instincts and control exactly where and how they should act.

It is no mystery to an attentive mind that our choice of what to consider beautiful is not really a choice. Yes, obviously, we are free to interact and copulate with whoever we want. The problem here is social, and not political, and should be treated as so. There shouldn’t be any law or moral obligation to corporations or organizations to defend these ideals. Diversity must be voluntarily accepted. If it is not, it is not being true to its premises of freedom.

Since we were children, the stereotypes and archetypes of beauty have been force fed to us. We learn from a young age that there is a right way to be. Children emulate the behavior of their idols. It is not natural for a child to bully their friend because they don’t fit their arbitrary schemas. This is indirectly taught behavior. Behaviors and values that will persist throughout their lives.

We are taught that there are people who deserve our attention, and those who do not. We are taught that people get what they deserve. We are taught that some people are just inferior. We are taught indirectly, with small actions. We are exposed to the prejudice of the world and end up being contaminated by it.

What I am proposing is not to expand our schema of beauty to fit everyone. This is impossible. If everything is beautiful, nothing is beautiful. The point I’m trying to make is that all humans should be eligible to be considered beautiful. It is an equality of opportunity, not an equality of conditions. There shouldn't be restrictions on what you are “allowed” to like. You should be the one creating and molding your schemas. You should be free to choose.

Every generation has evolved a bit in this sense, especially Millennials and Gen z. It was contact with people and shared experiences that allowed us to interact and accept those who we previously rejected. It was globalization that allowed us to begin to discard our prejudices. The internet brought an unprecedented progress. Social media allows people to share experiences with similar individuals and form communities. This brought people from all over the world and from lots of different backgrounds together. Social movements laid the cornerstone, and society started to change at a remarkable rate.

We are all different. We have always been different. It is time that we understand that the same diversity that we praise in other areas must be extended to aesthetics. People should be free to love whoever they want. They should be free to choose. Beauty is not objective, or at least it shouldn’t be. It is up to us to decide what type of personality or body is attractive. There is beauty in subjectivity. It is up to us to deconstruct the toxic prejudices and values that we emulated and take control back.


1. Frameworks or concept that helps us categorize and interpret information.

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