Posted 9/8/12 by Amy Willsey in Lifestyle

Fighting through the Beauty Pressure

Celebrities and models alike are everywhere: Clothing ads. Billboards. Magazines. TV shows.

Being a girl, grown or not, has a lot of added pressure; pressure that is unspoken most times. With technology constantly advancing there comes consequences, younger and still-maturing kids are being exposed to much more than they were decades ago.

When I was 10 years old, my biggest interest was in what my best friend, Jenna, was doing after school and if she was going to invite me over to swim in her new backyard pool. Today, 10-year-olds are seen playing on iPhones, browsing the internet and watching who knows what on television.

But that’s not to say the girls my age weren’t exposed to pressures as well. We had the Disney princess to live up to. We also had to watch one of our childhood favorites go from cute to toothpick size; yes, Lizzie McGuire, I’m talking about you. And we still have pressure. Just like the young girls now, we thought we had a lot to live up to. But you don’t.

Though there are many more added pressures these days, we don’t have to give in. WE ARE STRONG.

A study found that on average, women have 13 negative body thoughts per day and that 97 percent of women in the study admitted to having at least one “I hate my body” moment daily. If we can’t like our bodies, how do we expect others to?

I feel worse for the generation below me, though; they don’t stand a chance. When skinny means eating disorder and pretty means loads of make-up, I believe our country has a problem. Though we try to get better, it’s a never-ending problem. A study showsthat 81 percent of 10-year-old girls are afraid of being fat. Yes, you read that correctly, 10-year-olds.

Picture from Dove

It’s not just more exposure to celebrities and models, social media is a much more prominent part of our lives, which makes it that much easier to compare ourselves to each other. The average number of friends a person has on Facebook is 229; that is over 200 people we can compare ourselves to, but if you’re in college, chances are that your friend pool on FB is at least triple that.

With 95 percent of women, and men as well, agonizing over their physical self, it has become an epidemic. But we can solve it.

  1. Be confident in your own skin. It is okay to be proud of yourself, and confidence attracts people to you. You are awesome!
  2. Stop comparing yourself to magazines and tabloids that are a photoshop mess. The celebrities on the cover and the people in the ads are not real. Can you see the issue in comparing ourselves to fake people? Put some lenses on your eyes and filter out the pressures.
  3. Start appreciating what your body does for you. Maybe you play a sport, maybe you are a quick reader, whatever it is, your body is to thank. Be proud of the task it is doing for you on an everyday basis. Also, make sure you take care of it.

Though we aren’t little girls anymore and we all hopefully have confidence in who we are, the little girls going through these pressures today represent all of us. We were all little girls once, and we looked up to older girls. Make sure you set a good example for the young girls we know to be confident, because at one point or another, we all struggled with our body or looks.

My hope is that mothers, fathers, friends and siblings will boost young children up as well as each other. They should be the best they can be and not try to live up to what this era believes is pretty.

Dove, a popular beauty product line, is just one company that always tries to lift young girls up. This commercial is something I think everyone should see. Boy or girl, young or old, you should see this. For nothing else, it offers some clarity into the world in which we’re living.

What do you think of the age we are currently in? Is the image we have as “perfect” flawed? How can we change it?


Beauty Pressure


Amy Willsey

I'm a junior magazine journalism major and business minor at the University of Missouri. I came from the lovely Kansas City and am a die hard Royals and Chiefs fan. I enjoy long-distance runs, alliteration and I spend my free time finding the fraternities with the cutest puppies. Carry on, all you pretty people, carry on.