2014 was a big year when it came to blowing conventional beauty standards sky high. This was a year in which the definition of what it means to be beautiful was expanded in every direction, and we are SO happy that this time finally arrived. Pat yourself on the back, ladies, for your part in this. Standards don’t change unless people demand that they do — and we did.
Now we present you with a rundown of our favorite milestones from this year.
Back in June, journalist Esther Honig sent an unretouched photo of herself to 40 Photoshop experts across the globe with the directive: “Make me beautiful.” The resulting retouched images were staggering in their diversity (you can’t even tell that Germany and Morocco’s photoshop jobs are the same girl) and really brought home the message that beauty standards vary like whoa.
A study carried out in July found that that people with Internet access are more likely to favor a Western concept of beauty — skinny women, macho men — while those without WiFi preferred women with fuller faces and men with more traditionally feminine features. So next time you pick yourself apart in front of the mirror Mean Girls-style, just blame the Internet. It’s ALL your WiFi connection’s fault.
In May, Australian Blogger Taryn Brumfitt turned the idea of “before” and “after” photos on its ear when she used her skinny/muscle-y bikini days as her “before” pictures and her body after three pregnancies as her “after” shots, encouraging women to eschew unattainable ideals and embrace the bodies they have as beautiful beyond belief.
Candace Huffine, a size 16, was the first plus-size model to grace the pages of the fashion worlds super famous and important Pirelli calendar, joining the ranks of Kate Moss, Naomi Campbell, Heidi Klum, and Cindy Crawford and by doing so, revolutionized what it means to be a Pirelli girl.
Target has a history of not being cool when it comes to their plus-sized customers, and for Chastity Garner, the last straw was when Target did not include plus-sizes in their new Altuzarra for Target line. She started the hashtag #BoycottingTarget that went viral and got Target to apologize and promise to do better, STAT.
26-year old model Jillian Mercado is beautiful times a bazillion, she’s also the brilliant fashion blogger behind Manufactured 1987, and she happens to be a young woman who lives with muscular dystrophy, which means she’s been in a wheelchair since she was 12 years old. This year she was the face of a Diesel Denim campaign and modeled for a Nordstrom’s catalog. Girl is just cool as heck and her smize is FIERCE.
Super Internet genius Robin Rice launched the “Stop The Beauty Madness” campaign, a series of fake advertisements that tackle ageism, racism, weightism, basically all the -isms with stock photos accompanied by in-your-face honest captions.
An awesome (and SO needed) example of the fashion and beauty industries opening their minds and opening their doors to older women as models. Also, it’s basically impossible to find a woman more beautiful than 2014 Jessica Lange, that face could launch ALL the ships.
This photoshopping game has been going on a LONG time you guys, like before photoshop was even a thing and before computers were things and before movies were in color, like THAT long, everybody. Old-timey movie mags were making our grandmas feel as bad about themselves as new-timey mags make US feel. We’ve got to break the cycle for our granddaughters so no one makes them feel bad in, like 2080.
You guys, Barbie Thomas is my now and forever exercise hero. She works out every day and she’s as muscle-y as a god descended from Mount Olympus. And the whole not-having-arms thing hasn’t stopped her from becoming a straight up warrior princess. Obsessed until the end of time.