Beauty is only skin deep. We hear these kinds of quotes every day yet society constantly criticizes us, based on our hair, our clothes, and our bodies. Society is responsible for making us feel bad about our bodies, and we cannot do anything about it because of these impossible standards. We cannot let this get to us because we are the new generation in which we need to inspire others to feel good about themselves. Society makes us have low self-esteem which in turn can impact our health.
As these impossible beauty ideals become more influential, so do thousands of girls with low self-esteem and mental health problems. It is devastating and truly heartbreaking to see a young girl growing up constantly criticizing herself and having an irrational fear of getting fat. As girls, we have so many expectations placed on us all the time and there are so many expectations we have to live up to and so many ways we’re expected to look based on the images we see in media. According to Dove, by the time you turn 17, you would have seen 250,000 advertisements showcasing a young, skinny and edited model. By the time you have turned 17, you would have experienced depression at least once, and by the time you turn 17, you might not even be here. We worry about the size of our body tremendously because social media and advertisers tell us to. It is not our choice, society is controlling us to think that we are not perfect because of our differences, and it is not something we should celebrate. Society killed the teenager because of these impossible beauty norms and body standards. Why is it OK to think that you are not perfect because someone else, or the pictures you see on social media tell us not to?
We are being exposed to these images everyday and in turn, we are being judged because of the way we look. From one teenage girl to another, criticism on the shape and size of our bodies can cause low self-esteem. Always walking out of the door thinking that we are not pretty enough for society to look at us this way. This can cause serious mental and physical health problems. People then often look to having cosmetic surgery and enhancing drugs to meet these futile ideals. We cannot let it get to the point where in order for advertisers to make money, for girls to buy their product, they resort to making girls feel unaccepted about their bodies. In my own experience, looking at pictures of models like Cara Delevingne in magazines make me feel bad because of the fact that I do not look like them and they do not look like me. Everyone is different, and we should celebrate them instead of wishing that our flaws were gone. You might even resort to starving yourself to get that thigh gap you have always wanted which can really harm your body. We should decide if we are beautiful or not because ultimately it is our decision. After all, we just have to look like the models in these advertisements.
To the girl who struggles with accepting how you look, you are not alone. Ever since I was a little girl, I have been brainwashed with the idea that you’re only beautiful if you can live up to society’s body standards. I have grown up with Barbie dolls who deceive the purpose of celebrating differences with having the perfect skin and body. There are many different kinds of beautiful. You are beautiful because you are you and I am me. Makeup and photoshop can distort an image so much that the girl in the magazine doesn’t even look like herself. Why do we let society and social media treat us this way when we should be the ones deciding if we are beautiful or not?
Love, Just another girl who has struggled with her body image.