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What Is Ugly Beauty And What Does It Represent?

What Is Ugly Beauty And What Does It Represent?



eauty has always been a highly individualized concept that differs between countries, eras, and people. Evidence of this is the ever-changing standards of beauty that keep evolving, reflecting the values and ideologies of many communities. While curvy shape, flawless skin, and youthful features are frequently prioritized in conventional beauty ideals, there is a growing trend that challenges these standards by embracing atypical beauty. One such movement is “ugly beauty” which emphasizes the appeal of defects, irregularities, and imperfections.

What does ugly beauty mean and what does it stand for?

At its foundation, ugly beauty is a trend and philosophy that values the unusual and unexpected over the conventional idea of beauty as perfection. A variety of attributes, such as asymmetrical features, uncommon hair hues, and flawed makeup (like Kendall Jenner‘s bleached eyebrow at the Met Gala 2022). All these are included in the category of ugly beauty. This kind of beauty values self-expression over compliance with cultural conventions and embraces originality and uniqueness.

In recent years, this trend has grown in acceptance among creatives, fashion designers, and influencers. For instance, Rei Kawakubo and Martin Margiela are fashion designers famous for their collections that defy conventional beauty standards and showcase alternative aesthetics. The ugly beauty movement is reflected in trends in the beauty business, like bright and unorthodox cosmetics, body, and hair positivity, and unretouched beauty advertising.

Ugly beauty: a trend or what?

So, does ugly beauty represent a new trend or does it reclaim beauty? Fundamentally, this movement stands for defiance of the strict beauty ideals that have long dominated our culture. It pushes us to widen our conceptions of beauty and appreciate each person’s individuality by accepting flaws, defects, and unusual traits. It urges us to accept our defects and flaws, rather than obscuring them with filters and effects.

Additionally, its emergence is due to a wider cultural change toward diversity and inclusivity. The urge to establish places where everyone can be noticed and celebrated, regardless of looks, is growing. Our society has become more aware of the harm caused by limiting beauty standards. Ugly beauty gives people who have been long ostracized by conventional beauty standards a voice.


Nevertheless, there are certain issues with ugly beauty. Some critics say the movement is nothing more than a means for affluent people to appropriate the experiences of underprivileged groups. This includes people who are physically disabled or have body hair. Others contend that corporations who are making money off the newest beauty fad do not have their aim of the trend to heart.

Despite these criticisms, the ugly beauty movement has undeniably had a significant impact on how our culture views beauty. It has expanded avenues for self-expression, contributed to the development of a more diverse and inclusive beauty culture, and pushed the boundaries of conventional beauty norms by embracing flaws and celebrating faults.

What does the ugly beauty trend tell us about ourselves?

The rise in the popularity of ugly beauty in recent years implies that our society’s perception of beauty is changing to one that is more diverse and inclusive. The success of the ugly beauty movement also serves as a powerful example of how social media and internet platforms can reshape cultural trends and alter ideas of beauty. People are better exposed than ever to numerous aesthetics and ideas due to the endless inspiration social media has afforded us. Because of this, beauty has become accessible, with people no longer relying entirely on traditional media to define their beauty ideals.

Going forward, we must keep challenging cultural beauty norms that are detrimental or exclusive. The ugly beauty movement reminds us that beauty is a dynamic and ever-evolving idea, rather than static. We can develop a society where everyone feels noticed, honored, and cherished regardless of looks. We should continue to rethink and broaden our understanding of what beauty is.

The power of the ugly beauty trend upends our notions of what is attractive. It recognizes that the individuality of each person is ultimately their unique selling point. We can develop a stronger sense of self-acceptance and self-love by accepting our flaws and peculiarities. Ugly beauty serves as a reminder in a world that frequently tells us we are insufficient. Yet, we are perfect just as we are.

Featured image: @thekittensroom/Instagram

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