Anything worth doing will have struggles. But anything worth the struggle is worth doing ~ Megan Finsel

Friday, August 7, 2015

The Truth about Beauty; the Media is Damaging Us

    Sooo earlier this week I shared with you my thoughts on the beauty standards of this generation. This is a subject that I find very interesting, and I thought I would share all my feelings here in the following weeks. But today, I have an important assumption to make:  

      Social media, magazines, the list goes on and all of it is damaging us. By us, I mean the young men and women (sadly, mostly women), teenagers, preteens, even Elementary kids! Because young people of the 21st century are bombarded daily by the message that we need to look a certain way if we want to be accepted. 

     Social media is a large platform for self-criticism. We are a generation who spends a lot of time online, and during that time we may find ourselves looking over other people's photos. Suddenly, we may start comparing ourselves to other body types, and we find ourselves wondering if there is something wrong with us because we may not look the way we think we should. It didn't used to be this way, but with the advances in technology we are able to snap pics, slap on a filter, and make adjustments via apps that will trim inches off our waists and thighs without so much as a second thought. this in itself isn't a bad thing, but when thirteen-year-old girls are editing their Instagram photos, what are they believing about their bodies? That they have flaws to be edited away?

     How damaging is that? To be told that "skinny" and "thigh gaps" are fashionable. Society has perfect what the ideal woman/man should look like. When in reality, there is only a tiny percent of people who actually meet the standards which the media determines as "beautiful". furthermore, most models depicted in images or commercials are approximately 20% below the ideal body weight; this meets the diagnostic criteria for anorexia! [here is the source] Yet this is ultimately applying and undue pressure, and us young people tend to hate our bodies if we don't fit the mold. As a result, we punish ourselves for not looking right. We are hurting for not being everyone else's definition of "beauty".

It so easy to look at a model on the cover of GQ or Vanity and think: "I wish I looked like that" after they have gone through so much photo-shopping the images no longer accurately represent the models themselves. Tweens and teens see these images, and they think this is the standard of beauty, comparing themselves to the men and women in ads and articles. They start to worry they won't make the cut, and they carry this into adulthood. 

        How many times have you gone into a dressing room and tried something on only to look in the mirror and think: "this isn't how it looked on the mannequin"? Or when those perfect jeans don't fit and that little voice inside your head starts saying you need to lose weight so you think: "Maybe I should skip dinner"? We need to stop allowing society to set the standard for what beauty should be. It should not matter how thin you are, how big your thigh gap is, what brand of makeup you use or clothing you wear.  

     Not everyone is built the same, or looks the same; we are not all cut from the same fabric. Wider hips? that is okay. Thicker thighs? That is okay, too. What you consider to be your flaw just might be someone else's envy! Don't let the media pressure you into thinking there is only one ideal body type because everyone is different. If you are experiencing these struggles, if this article has struck a chord with you, then I encourage you to get up, go into the bathroom and look at yourself in the mirror. Say: “I am beautiful the way I am, no matter what anyone else says.” Tell this to yourself 40, 50, 100 times a day; however many times it takes until you begin believing it. Because it is true! 

Did you like this post and want to read the previous posts from this series? 

Here is the list:

  1. Introducing; the Truth about Beauty