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Beauty Uncovered: The Hidden Message This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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   While waiting at the supermarket inthe slowest checkout lane in the world, I glance at thestrategically placed magazine rack. No last-minute shoppingfor me, though. My reason: all of the magazines' covers are"graced" with the stick-thin, scantily clad bodiesof super models. I'll never look like that, I think almostwistfully, but remembering my grandma's favorite saying, Irecover in time to decide on paper or plastic.

"Beauty is only skin deep" is a simple buttrue saying. I understand it. I believe it. I apply it. But Iwonder about the millions of teenage girls who do not have agrandma to tell them that physical beauty is notimportant.

I see these girls every day in school. I seethe photographs of models taped to their refrigerators. I seethem throw away their untouched lunches and wait for thebathroom to clear out. Who knows why? Maybe some magazine saidhaving that awesome, undernourished look is the only way a guywill like you, or maybe it featured an article - or an entiresection - on the coolest clothes and how much more people willlike you if you wear them. It's sad they publish such ideas.

Magazines are not the only culprits that spit out thisbrainwashing propaganda, though. Television, billboards andother forms of advertising are also major offenders. Theseforms of media promote material that trivializes the lives ofwomen. They focus on reaching a standard of beauty. Teenagegirls see and hear these so-called definitions of beauty everyday. The media takes advantage of their impressionable mindsby endorsing products and ideas with tall, gaunt models - theepitomes of beauty in the media. Not only do girls buy theproducts for fear of not being cool, they also absorb thephysical appearance of the models and assume they representthe only form of beauty. This, in the long run, is extremelydetrimental to their self and over-allhealth.

At an early age, girls begin to devote theirlives to achieving this beauty, this dangerously thin bodythat is considered perfect. They experience depressions andeating disorders as a result of trying to be"in."

If this were not enough, the media doesnot care about the damage they do to teenagers. They leave apath of destruction in their ruthless struggle for highratings. Littered along that path are the young women whoseminds have been unwillingly conformed into knowing only onetype of beauty: wearing cute outfits in minute sizes. Becausetheir minds are closed to other forms of beauty, they miss outon so much. They realize too late that the simple fact theyare human makes them beautiful.




This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.




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