The new beauty rules we should actually be following

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If, like the rest of womankind, you’re done with being told how you should look, what you should cover up and what parts of you aren’t beautiful, it’s time to rebel. Here are the new beauty rules…

For years, women have been told both implicitly and explicitly by the media that there’s one fixed way you should look. 

Dare to stray from those boxes and you no longer meet the beauty criteria.

That’s why Dove, Getty Images and Girlgaze have teamed up to launch Project #ShowUs.

The diverse collection of over 5,000 images celebrates true representation and aims to dismantle the beauty stereotypes that have ruled the media and advertisers for too long.

We asked four of the many women from Project #ShowUs to share their new beauty rules. Here’s what they said…

  • 1. There's no such thing as imperfection

    “Scars, stretch marks, tattoos, blemishes, freckles, pigmentation – they’re all beautiful,” says Grace Latter

    “Never make anyone feel self-conscious or ashamed for looking different to you.

    “Social media isn’t real life. Everyone needs to stop obsessing over how their accounts make them look.

    “I’d also add an extra rule – complimenting strangers (politely) if you feel they look particularly nice should be actively encouraged.”

  • 2. Your beauty is your own

    “Beauty is in everyone and everyone is beautiful – there are no perimeters of beauty,” says plus-sized model Ny Williams.

    “My own journey towards acceptance was learning that I have one body and one life.

    “I can either spend my life worrying about who I am and what my body looks like, or I can nurture, honour and love all of me – mind, body and spirit.

    “It’s taken many years for me to get to the space I’m at now and I’m still learning.

    “Your beauty is your own. Stand in your beauty, free of judgement.”

  • 3. Never allow yourself to be defined

    “Create your own definition of beauty, and never allow yourself to be defined or limited by someone else’s standards,” says photographer Sophie Mayanne.

    “Beauty can be found everywhere.

    “For me, I’ve reached a place where I’m neutral with my body. 

    “There are still things I struggle with on a personal level, but I also appreciate many things. 

    “Acceptance isn’t always straightforward – I think it’s important to remember that.”

  • 4. Breasts don't define femininity

    “I’ve learnt that my breasts didn’t define me as a woman, although I thought that they did,” says Juliet Fitzpatrick

    “Societal norms tell us that women need breasts to feel feminine and beautiful. Not true. 

    “I feel just as much a woman now as I did when I had my breast. 

    “I feel empowered, strong, confident and brave – and, of course, I know that I’m beautiful.”

Find out more about Dove’s Project #ShowUs and what they’re doing to shatter beauty stereotypes…