Sylvie Meis: Why Instagram opens our eyes when it comes to ideals of beauty

Sylvie Meis
Why Instagram opens our eyes when it comes to ideals of beauty

Sylvie Meis

© Franziska Krug / Getty Images

In her beauty column, entrepreneur Sylvie Meis reveals personal views on the subject of beauty. This time she talks about ideals of beauty and why Instagram gives us a lot more freedom in them than we might suspect.

I am often asked whether I follow a certain ideal of beauty or which women I think are beautiful. But I can't find a general answer to that. Because: In my opinion, the ideal of beauty is no longer just women who meet a certain standard, such as a clothing size or the current beauty trend. For me women are especially beautiful when they exude something self-confident or powerful. The way a woman appears, the way she speaks, the way she laughs and the way her eyes light up makes her beautiful. Something that you can't necessarily only see in photos.

The source of inspiration in my youth were the top models of the 90s

But don't get me wrong: Of course it's nice to admire women in photoshoots, in magazines or on Instagram selfies. I do that too. In my youth, for example, I was blown away by the top models of the 90s.

Women like Claudia Schiffer, Helena Christensen or Cindy Crawford impressed me with their glowy skin, their athletic bodies and these powerful poses on the covers of women's magazines.

And they did something to me too: they sparked my love for make-up. Back then, the models in the 90s had such a great nude lipstick – which, of course, I couldn't buy in my home village. So in a nutshell, I created one myself from my mom's eyebrow pencil and ordinary lip care. I've loved experimenting with makeup before and I found inspiration in fashion magazines.

The nice thing about Instagram? It shows us a huge range of great personalities

Even today I still like to be inspired by magazines or social media accounts. But I choose these sources of inspiration individually, consciously and in a variety of ways. Because the advantage of Instagram & Co. is that not only certain people can upload their photos there, but that there is a huge bandwidth. So there I meet a multitude of great women with different stories, different bodies, proportions, sizes, skin colors and interests and I can consciously pick my own bouquet as if from a large flower shop. Sometimes I am particularly inspired by the rose, on another day it is the hydrangea that affirms me, then maybe for a while I am totally fascinated by the sunflower. And if at some point I realize that something is not good for me, or that it arouses negative feelings in me, then I exclude it from my life again. And mix my bouquet all over again.

Find your very own environment

An advantage that we would not have had without social media. At that time the decision was made for us which women we see in magazines or in the media. And if we're honest, these women were all models. Today we can consciously and independently create an environment – of course still with models, if we like, but also with "real" women. Women in whom we can all recognize ourselves. That is also the reason why I do not necessarily have to would say that social media embodies false ideals of beauty.

You just have to look for the right environment for you and design your feed so that you feel comfortable and empowered.

My tip to you: Do not try to emulate any particular ideal of beauty. Instead, it is much healthier if you look for several sources of inspiration (definitely plural!) That suit you, make you feel good, and get the best out of yourself. Put together your very own bouquet of flowers and don't be afraid to take out a flower that might not really fit every now and then and replace it with another. I hope you enjoy experimenting and putting together.
Much love, your Sylvie.