What does it mean to be beautiful? It’s a question that people – from artists and poets to matchmakers and modelling agents – have been trying to figure out for millennia, and even in just the last 100 years, the answer has changed drastically.

Most recently, society’s ideals have shifted in line with a revolving door of it girls and muses of the moment, while airbrushing, social media filters, Facetune and artificial intelligence have influenced even the way we view ourselves. But amid the noise and ever-changing beauty standards, there have been movements rising to combat them, too – calling for a return to authenticity and recognising the beauty in everyone, regardless of physical appearance, age, race, complexion, hairstyle and body shape.

Twenty years since Dove’s historic Real Beauty campaign challenged unrealistic beauty standards and reminded us of what real women look like, the message is more timely than ever. And we want to highlight the beauty you might not find on the pages of magazines or on your For You page.

Never miss a moment. Make sure you're subscribed to our newsletter today.


We sent a Broadsheet photographer out to the streets of Sydney and tasked them with finding beauty in natural expressions, cultural diversity and personal style – regardless of trend cycles and what’s popular right now.

Rachel Yabsley met and photographed more than 20 people around George and Pitt streets, capturing their smiles and a beauty that doesn’t just come from outward appearances. Our gallery is a snapshot of the everyday beauty you might find on your morning commute or walk around the city. All you have to do is look around and pay attention.

This article is produced by Broadsheet in partnership with Dove. Dove’s Real Beauty pledge is a commitment to portray real women as they are in real life – no models, no manipulation or airbrushing, no AI-generated images – and help young girls build their self-esteem.