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The Unrealistic Standards of Beauty

By Victoria Azar, Grade 12
Seventy percent of girls, when they open their social media or when they look in the mirror, ask themselves, “Am I pretty? Why am I not skinny like that girl? Why does no one say that I am pretty? What is wrong with my body?” All these girls are gorgeous, so why do they ask themselves these questions?
It’s because of you! It's because of a society that decides the standards of beauty standards for women. Some say they don't care about the standards of beauty or that they don’t exist. That it's the women who invented them to play the victim.

Throughout history, many eras have had their ideal body type. This "ideal woman,"  was often created by men. Today’s ideal woman has a flat stomach, large breasts and butt, a thigh gap and is a “healthy” type of skinny. I can give many examples of criteria of beauty that show up in our lives. Throughout history, the most common ideal body type is the skinny supermodel that you would see in fashion magazines, like Vogue. On the cover page you’ll find a skinny girl with a thin face, and no presences of pimples, wrinkles, cellulite or stretch marks. These girls are called perfect, but they are using a lot of makeup and most likely Photoshopped. The fashion world does this not to attack anyone but to be accepted by the culture.

This idea of a perfect woman affects all girls and women. Body dysmorphia, a condition in which you focus on the perceived flaws in your appearance, greatly affects mental health. It can cause depression and, even worse, suicidal thoughts.

As mentioned at Project Helping, a study at Bradley Hospital found that the keys to a healthy body image were treating your body with respect and practicing self-love. A healthy body image can lead to improvements in your mental health. Some examples of ways you can incorporate these practices into your life are the following:
  • Surround yourself with positive friends and family.
  • On social media, unfollow anyone who promotes one body type over another and shames people for their body.
  • Stop comparing yourself to others. Not only comparing but also caring what others think of you. Once you give attention to what someone else says, it interferes with the way you see yourself and the way you think. You will change who you are just to fit in, because someone else gave you the idea to change.
  • Give what you believe and think some value and importance. This will help increase self-love.
Ninety-one percent of women are unsatisfied with their body images, but hopefully our generation can make this number smaller.

I will leave you with a quote by M. Scott Peck, "Until you value yourself, you won't value your time. Until you value your time, you will not do anything with it."