The film has been made to depict (an exaggerated version of) the long-term effects of the high beauty standards the world places on women. To quote Tina Fey's book Bossypants, "now every girl is expected to have Caucasian blue eyes, full Spanish lips, a classic button nose, hairless Asian skin with a California tan, a Jamaican dance hall ass, long Swedish legs, small Japanese feet, the abs of a lesbian gym owner, the hips of a nine-year-old boy, the arms of Michelle Obama, and doll tits. The person closest to actually achieving this look is Kim Kardashian, who, as we know, was made by Russian scientists to sabotage our athletes." While this quote may seem funny at face-value, and while at first glance Supervenus may seem like just another weird and gory short film, both also hit the nail on the head as to just how detrimental beauty standards can be.
Both point out how impossible it is to achieve the beauty standard that the patriarchy has created for women, and Supervenus reflects on the fact that refusing to stop pursuing such impossible standards can be dangerous. Women have starved themselves to unhealthy weights in order to become thin. Excessive surgical procedures can sometimes lead to eye damage, breathing problems, and infection, depending upon the procedure.
And so why do people (often women) have such surgeries when the beauty standards they pursue are impossible? I'm really feeling the patriarchy as something to do with it. Our male-dominated society has allowed us as humans to embrace all male body types in our popular culture (from Homer Simpson to Dexter Morgan to Jack Donaghy), but has only accepted and depicted women who look like supermodels. They have large breasts, great hair, a pretty face, or some combination of the traits that women are expected to pursue.
If we as a human race learn to lower the expectations of women to endlessly pursue a beauty standard that has grown in complexity and impossibility, and instead embrace women of all body types, we can end the destruction that Supervenus depicts. We can end the insane expectations that Tina Fey rants about in her memoirs. Men come in all shapes, sizes, and colors, and part of achieving gender equality is about acknowledging and understanding that women do, too.