With every summer comes a new photo album of endless memories of long nights, new adventures, and new beginnings. Just because class is dismissed though, that doesn’t mean that your problems are dismissed with it. The pressure is on for girls during those hot, sunny summer days to look picture perfect and always in style. While looking presentable for yourself is the most important reason to look good, when did it become so important for girls to look like an overly Photoshopped magazine cover?
Now more than ever, it has been drilled into the minds of young girls that they need to have makeup caked on their face like a Barbie doll; own all of the trendy clothes as soon as they come out; have an unhealthy looking thigh gap; Kardashian curves; a tiny waist; perfectly kept hair in all weather conditions; an unnatural tan all year around; and zero signs of stretch marks or cellulite all at the same time. It already takes an insane amount of time to get ready in the morning and to keep up with your daily beauty routine, but how is a girl who lacks a few qualities of the “picture perfect” girl supposed to fit in with the standard to avoid her constantly decreasing self-esteem from plummeting even further? Is she supposed to throw her money at any serum that supposedly erases all blemishes? Is she supposed to have a drawer full of makeup and wake up an extra hour early to apply it every day? Is she supposed to take dieting pills to achieve the “perfect body”? Or is she supposed to just avoid social media altogether, which is filled with images and advertisements of women who don’t even look like themselves half the time, only making her feel worse about not fitting in? The answer is so simple – ignore them.
Since when was being like everyone else the same as being yourself? Since when were 14-year-old girls supposed to look, dress, and act 10 years older? Don’t get me wrong, if you love makeup simply as a hobby and are good at it, you do you. You aren’t the issue. The issue is the almost impossible to reach beauty standard that is set for young girls, and all women. I don’t know about you, but when I was in high school and even middle school, no one was concerned with body image as much as they are today. It is infecting the minds of those who have flaws that aren’t even flaws. It drives girls to extreme measures and sometimes even drastic lifestyle changes to achieve something that only may be impossible. You can work out for 2 hours a day every single day and still not have chiseled abs and a thigh gap, and that’s perfectly fine. That’s just because it isn’t your body type. Being stick skinny does not always mean you are healthy.
You don’t have to look like everyone else with a perfectly contoured face, all of the in-style clothes, and a body type that might not even be healthy for you to have. You shouldn’t have to spend so much time obsessing about your appearance when you could be out having the time of your life. And hey, if you like your body and your style, don’t let what everyone thinks you should look like control your life. It may sound cliché, but just be yourself. There’s only one you.