Today I want to talk to you about beauty and body image. I couldn‘t help but notice that our society is obsessed with physical appearance.
As a young female, there are some societal expectations that I am expected to live up to in order to be considered attractive. I have to be thin, well-developed, have clear skin and shave my legs. Basically, I can’t be my natural self.
Who makes these rules? In the Middle Ages, obesity was considered attractive. They also didn’t have television or magazines in the Middle Ages!
It is well known that a cause of this obsession with beauty stems from the media. Everyday, we are bombarded with beauty advertisements in commercials, magazines, billboards and social media websites, such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. The beauty, fashion, and entertainment industry are famous for hiring women based on their looks. Even so, looks are important for all jobs and almost all areas of life. In magazines and on TV, celebrities are constantly being ranked on their looks.
Girls get praised for their appearance rather than their accomplishments. This can cause self hate and hate towards other females. The emphasis on physical attractiveness is detrimental to mental (and sometimes physical) health. The effects of the media on young girls’ development has led to a rise in eating disorders, low self esteem and depression.
All of my friends have complained about their bodies at one point or another, commenting that their thighs were too big or their breasts were too small. There are very few young females who are completely satisfied with their natural bodies, and even fewer that have always been that way.
The truth is most of us will not look like this. BUT why do we have to abide by what society says is beauty? This is not a healthy obsession, it is one that causes pain. We spend money on make-up, weight-loss pills, anything that will make us feel better and more beautiful. We as females try to hide any imperfection that we may have by using make-up, clothing to hide any stomach we may have, paint our nails to cover discolouring, straightening our hair thinking it will change us etc.
Another reason for our society’s fixation on appearance is our need to impress others. It is when we value another person’s opinion of our looks that we put on the most makeup and spend the most time selecting our clothing. Most women will spend time getting ready if they know they are going out and might be seeing people. When there is no one to impress, we feel much less need to be attractive by society’s standards. I am completely willing to go downstairs and eat breakfast with my family straight out of bed, messy hair and uncovered pimples and all. It is a much different case, though, when this family breakfast is at a restaurant where I might run into people I know.
- Jealous girls gossip about you.
- People want to be your friend for your looks and not for the person you are.
- You feel you always have to have a perfect personality to live up to others high expectations.
- People expect you to be less talented.
- Guys are afraid of being rejected by you since you are too pretty so you barely get approached by intelligent and normal people.
- Being ogled at 24/7 by random guys.
- Girls don’t want to hang out with someone more attractive than they are…
- Being stalked by a overweight 60-something dude that seems like a rapist.
So as you can see, our obsession with physical appearance is harmful to everyone. I don’t think it’s good in any way that we pay so much attention to body image.
We are going to look for the solution to this problem in an upcoming article!