She coats her face with foundation and makes sure her highlight is heavy. She layers her lashes in mascara, until they scrape her cheekbones. She still puts on her fake lashes though; she likes how they make her eyelashes look much fuller. She nags to her mother about how her waist is growing broad and her collarbones won’t pop. Being a teenage girl is enough of a struggle, without being sucked into the whirlpool of social media standards and having to be in the likes of Instagram and Snapchat. Her mother, a woman who guided her children through all hardships, could not understand why the internet shaped her only daughter into being everything but herself. She tried explaining to her daughter how her eyes were blue lakes and her skin, golden brown, felt like butter running down our hands and her hair painted the colors of the wind. Oh, what a beautiful person she was, in and out.
Now, pressurized by the standards created through plastic surgery, make up and Photoshop, she can’t seem to accept herself at all. She, a teenage girl of the present generation, has to live up to everyone else’s expectation, just for a number of likes and coughed up comments. Her pictures no longer consisted of her and her friends joyous and elated; rather they were filled with pouts and straight faces, to show an attitude she never had. And ever wondered why she did it? Her role models did the same. Kylie Jenner, the woman she looked up to, has almost 80 million followers on the photo-sharing application; about four times the population of Australia. She posts pictures of her busting out a new Ferrari or of her in a bikini, with almost impossible bodily features. The teenage girl wishes to be like her role model when she grows older, hoping to succumb to the powers of social media just for the feel of being accepted by people she will never know.
The current generation has something very wrong stirred into it, it is the inability to accept people for exactly who they are. If a woman likes natural beauty, she will be bashed for being ugly. On the other hand, women who wear make up will be pulled down into the ridges for being “fake” or “unnatural”. This inability to accept people causes a situation which is a never ending tug of war between people who want to live for themselves, and people who want to live for others, both being constantly unhappy with one another.
In this scrimmage, a vulnerable section of people are dragged in, the adolescents. Teenagers are unshielded from the harsh stereotypes and standards set by society; which they classify as “normal”, and are vastly affected by the unforgiving sentiments thrown at them by the same people they are trying to appease. Teenage girls are pulled into the ideologies crafted by the Internet society, making delusional body standards, influencing risky behavior and causing everything to seem commercial. Girls, specifically, cannot live without social media these days, as it gives them a false feeling of security about themselves. Girls no longer want to get out and do new things; therefore elucidating the impression that the world revolves around likes, comments, parties, fame and a social status created by people sitting behind screens.
Social media has had almost an all-negative impact on teenage girls, causing feelings of depression and long felt sadness amongst most girls; due to people being unable to accept a person for who they are. This will be directly proportional to higher rates of suicide as well. The need to appease to people all the time has caused girls to be unconfident and insecure about minute things.
The beauty myth, a novel by Naomi Wolf, had a basic proposition that forced adherence to standards of physical beauty has grown stronger for women as they gained power in other societal arenas. Wolf argues that this standard of beauty has taken over the work of social coercion formerly left to myths about motherhood, domesticity, chastity, and passivity, all of which have been used to keep women powerless. In the author’s view, “the gaunt, youthful model (has) supplanted the happy housewife as the arbiter of successful womanhood.” The myth of beauty spreads the belief that an objective measurement of beauty exists, and that woman must want to embody it, and that men must want such women. It spreads the idea that was seen of beauty is appearance and not personality and behavior, in contrast to which the reality is that beauty is behavior and appearance all in all.
It is one of the most important feminist novels, with a powerful message. Every girl should read it, and understand the misunderstood term of feminism. This generation looks at feminism as a way of being superior to men, whereas it is to gain equality in this partial, unjustified planet. Girls should never feel suppressed by the unreasonable standards put forth by the society, but rather overcome it and become the successful woman she wants to be. You don’t have to be fair, tall, fat, thin, short, dark or any of that to be successful and happy. The Internet will have trends that will come and go, but the originality in yourself is the key to everything.
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