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The Pressure To Be Perfect
Picture this: A girl is sitting on a bench at lunch reading a magazine. She’s looking at the models, all dressed up in their fancy outfits, and overdone makeup. A group of girls walks up behind her and says “Pshh…Too bad you won’t ever look like them.” And they walk away. This is a normal scenario happening in high schools all across America. Society expects girls to be perfect.
Definition of PERFECT
a : being entirely without fault or defect : flawless <a perfect diamond ("Mariam Webster")
Is anyone really perfect? Is there really anyone in the world that has absolutely no flaws? Some people have limps, some have food allergies, some just don’t look ideal. “Too skinny”, “Too fat”, “Too tall”, Too short”. These are things I hear about people on a daily basis. But no one is capable of being completely flawless, absolutely perfect.
The media is very influential on young women. Girls of all ages look at
magazines, watch TV shows, and believe it or not, our opinions of them matter. 19 year old musician Demi Lovato says, 2“Society puts pressure on people in the spotlight to look a certain way and to stay thin and to stay fit. For so long I was saying ‘no it doesn’t put pressure’ but at the end of the day it really does and it’s really difficult” ("Finding a Bigger Purpose." MTV. N.p., 2012. Web. 24 Apr 2012). She’s right. Every single day, we hear things that we just brush off as nothing, but it really does matter.
3“According to a recent survey conducted by the Dove Self-Esteem Fund and Seventeen magazine, more than four in 10 girls and young women only see their flaws when they look in the mirror” (Hareyan ).
The reason for this, is because people point out flaws every day without realizing what they are doing. Walking with your friends, you see someone with a shirt that looks a little weird. You point it out to your friends, and start to laugh, thinking that they don’t notice. But they do. They just pretend they don’t hear it or care about it.
4Did you know?
The average weight of a model is 23% lower than that of an average woman; 20 years ago, the difference was only about 8%.
There is now a $33 billion diet industry that was non-existent 20 years ago.
In a recent survey by Teen People magazine, 27% of the girls felt that the media pressures them to have a perfect body.
69% of girls in one study said that magazine models influence their idea of a perfect body shape ("Southern Connecticut State University").
Some people say that the pressure the media and society puts on girls is purely for profit. Companies are selling clothes, makeup, magazines, and more often now, dieting programs. The government makes profit off of these girls being told that they aren’t good enough.
Girls nowadays think that if a boy rejects them, or breaks up with them, that they aren’t “good enough”. Why do they feel this way? Because society and the media have made it look like the only way to be good, is to be thin, with perfect skin, and a cute boyfriend. But have you looked around at some of the women in the spotlight? Actress & singer 5Mandy Moore says, "There is always pressure, for anyone, everywhere, but I am who I am, and I'm not going to change to fit some stereotype. I really, really don't care” (Wulff). Why don’t we have more celebrities promoting this? You are who you are. Don’t feel the need to change yourself. We are all perfect in our own ways.
Think about what is said now that you know the effects of this criticism. Girls all over the world are changing their bodies just because the world makes them feel imperfect. Society is too pressuring. Society tells girls that they are not good enough. But they are.