It’s not new that girls are heavily pressured to look beautiful in the way the media defines it. From lengthy lashes and rosy cheeks, to perfectly straight hair and an hourglass figure, it’s virtually impossible to attain that kind of beauty without relying on cosmetics, gym memberships, and even plastic surgery.
My cousin Andie just turned 11 a few days ago, so she’s at a stage where she’s becoming more conscious about her appearance. Her self-consciousness has been a work in progress, but now she’s beginning to nitpick at her ‘imperfections’ more than compared to three years ago.
She recently got her own hair iron and has started straightening her hair multiple times a week. She also has a set of makeup that she plays around with on a regular basis. Several weeks ago her mom denied her permission to dye her hair, and she became very upset.
I’ve tried to explain that by using a hair iron she’s burning her hair. I also tried to tell her that because she’s so young, she’s still got really good, soft skin, and that the only thing makeup would do is damage her skin in the long run.
Of course if skin is cared for properly and washed thoroughly after makeup use, that helps. But then there’s also the fact that if makeup is worn on a daily basis, a girl looks different (usually worse) without it on.
But when you’re that young the repercussions don’t really matter. And even when girls are older the consequences don’t really matter because it becomes routine to put on the foundation and eyeliner every day. And it doesn’t matter because we’re surrounded by celebrities who use cosmetics all the time.
It’s not necessarily a bad thing to wear makeup, but it shouldn’t be used as frequently as it is. Humans aren’t born with symmetrical features or the types of faces and bodies that are airbrushed and edited in magazine covers. Most women are pear-shaped as opposed to having an hourglass figure because their bodies are designed to bear children. So it’s impossible to attain the beauty of Victoria’s Secret models without going through countless measures. And when a girl gets to that point it’s not natural beauty, and the girl probably still isn’t going to be happy with what she looks like.
There’s no reason for girls feel insecure about themselves, just as Andie is starting to be. Instead of focusing on how to imitate the appearance of everyone we see on TV, we could be focusing on more attainable goals, like bettering ourselves, other people, and our communities.