To most people, especially young girls and women, it is a 'high' standard, because most of us (in general, not all) may feel that we cannot 'achieve' that standard of beauty. It's held in such high regard and with such importance, as if it were the epitome of what is supposed to make a worthy person in this society. But then I started to realize .. is a standard that equates physical perfection with self-worth really such a 'high' standard that people should try to achieve in the first place? I don't really think so, because the message it sends is essentially this, in my opinion, and has three parts:
1. Be exactly AT this standard for physical beauty, not below or above it. Being at this standard is what makes you desirable, attractive, and worthy as a person.
2. If you are 'below' this standard, you will/should be shunned by everyone, and considered not as attractive (and/or) less important, as opposed to those who are currently at the 'desired' standard for beauty. Your intelligence and other personal values are really not all that important compared to what you look like.
3. And actually .. don't strive for anything 'higher' then this standard of beauty, either. Just be this, and only this. This is all you should be, nothing else.
To a young girl, or any woman, or anyone, basically, the standard sends these messages. You should only be at this 'high' standard and not try to achieve anything beyond it, or even be below it. Other values, such as intelligence, kindess, or who you are as a person, aren't all that important, and your self-worth lies only in your physical attractiveness. If you aren't as 'physically attractive' as you are 'supposed to' be according to this standard of beauty, then you are therefore less of a person.
It is often marketed to girls/women (and everyone else), that, as women, you should 'only' be phyiscally attractive, alluring, seductive, have lots of money, wear nice clothes, be thin, etc, and, that intelligence and other values, don't really matter that much. This, I feel, sets people up for low self-esteem, low self-worth, and poor body image issues, especially girls/women, since they are often the main targets for such standards of beauty.
So to me, it's actually a very 'low' standard to set for people (especially girls/women), because is it based solely on physical perfection and nothing else, and teaches us that as a society, that you should not be below or go above this standard, and there is only one true standard to achieve; which is actually a very shallow one at that. It's a very rigid standard to hold anyone to, and I think when you hold yourself to that same standard of beauty, or hold other people to that same standard of beauty, you are really setting the bar for them and yourself and at a very low level, and not really letting/teaching them to go above that level, in terms of higher values, such as intelligence, kindness, integrity, etc, or teaching them that there is more to a person then just their outer physical appearance.
And just to make clear: I am simply pointing out the message that I think the current 'beauty' standard sends, I am not at all saying that 'attractive' people cannot be intelligent, or are not intelligent, or those people cannot be attractive and be other things at the same time -- just that it's not really encouraged to be 'attractive' and 'intelligent' at the same time, especially for women. In fact, sometimes intelligence in women is sometimes discouraged or not encouraged enough.
I think this is part of the reason (not the only reason, but part of the reason) why alot of people, usually girls, have a very negative self-image and also may have a negative body image as well, and why other people have such negative/poor perceptions of everyone else who they feel, do not really live up to this current standard of physical beauty. Because most people, especially girls/women, equate physical attractiveness with their self-worth, and one's self worth should never be dependant on their outer appearance.
Just my thoughts. ;)