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The Pressure of Beauty Standards

By Alyssa Baird

The Pressure of Beauty Standards

Keeping up with the high pressures of beauty standards is one of the biggest struggles for girls of every age in this generation. These standards have been putting immense stress on teens to be the perfect ideal of a girl and have been keeping their minds off the important things.

The Impact on Younger Generations

The age of social pressure has been starting with younger generations. It has blown up and become a significant part of our everyday lives. Despite the trend of body acceptance, we are still more exposed to unreachable standards.

Global Influence of Beauty Standards

I have noticed this problem is worldwide. Each country has its beauty standards for women and most of them include being skinny or requiring women to alter their bodies. The media is pushing these images into young girls’ minds, like mine, which changes their view on society too soon.

Early Influence on Body Image

Child development expert Jacqueline Hardin, advisor to the Professional Association for Childcare and Early Years, highlights that children as young as three or four years old have already formed firm opinions about body image, influenced by various social platforms.

The Impact on Self-Perception

The fact that our society leads children, as young as three years old, to believe that they are fat or ugly is beyond sad. This only carries on when they are older and when they have control of what they do, eat, believe, and say.

The Role of Family Support

In sixth grade, my sister’s obsession with her appearance started after a girl remarked on her hair and glasses. Being younger than her, I saw how much it affected her. Thankfully, our family played a huge role in shaping our confidence. They shared their struggles with beauty standards and gave us advice. I know how lucky I am to have such supportive family members, and I realize that not all girls have that kind of support.

The Power of Positive Comments

Most girls who fall down the hole of beauty standards, get pushed over the edge by comments from other people. It is the comments we tell other people that matter. We shouldn’t shame anyone for their looks, challenges, or if they don’t fit “today’s standards”. In reality, such a small number of people only meet today’s standards, and it’s not worth ruining your mental state over something so unchangeable. Instead, we should all embrace our differences and appreciate others for the individuals they are.

The School Environment and Peer Pressure

School is one of the hot zones for bullying, where feelings of alienation thrive, and teenage girls like myself are especially vulnerable to its effects. Students see the same group of people, five days a week for seven hours each day. The way our friends see and judge us has a big influence on our lives, and teachers get how tough it can be with all the pressure to meet beauty standards and deal with the bullying that comes with it. English/Journalism Teacher Stephanie Robbins understands this firsthand, noting that the pressure to conform goes beyond physical beauty to materialistic possessions such as tanning, nails, trendy shoes, and even coveted trophies like the Stanley Cup. These expectations create a culture where everyone is expected to possess these things, intensifying the pressure on teenagers to fit in and meet societal standards.

Breaking Free from Beauty Standards

Ultimately, beauty standards have taken over the minds of teenagers. This affects schooling and social life, but there are ways to break these standards and move on from tearing others down.

Finding a Role Model

Finding a role model to look up to is very important to create confidence. Being able to rely on a person can be a way to bring out our inner beauty instead of focusing on the outside view.

Support and Counseling at Birthright of St. Charles

At Birthright of St. Charles, part of assisting you in making an informed decision is allowing you to meet with a Masters-level clinical counselor in a comfortable, judgment-free space to discuss your unique situation and needs. All counseling is provided confidentially and completely free of charge. Meeting with a counselor can occur on a one-time basis at your first visit or as an ongoing form of support based on what you feel is best for you.

The Importance of Lifting Each Other Up

The enormous bar that is set for girls to reach is blinding. Just being able to grasp that bar cannot be possible without destructing oneself, or others along the way. I for one, look for ways to bring other girls up, and so should you. Birthright St. Charles is always here to lift you and show you your unique value and beauty. Facing an unexpected pregnancy can feel overwhelming and concern can rise about how peers and society will see you. Know that we are always in your corner to show you in any challenge there are possibilities and a resulting hopeful, personal glow exists.

 

At Birthright of St. Charles, part of assisting you in making an informed decision is allowing you to meet with a Masters-level clinical counselor in a comfortable, judgment-free space to discuss your unique situation and needs. All counseling is provided confidentially and completely free of charge. Meeting with a counselor can occur on a one-time basis at your first visit or as an ongoing form of support based on what you feel is best for you.

The enormous bar that is set for girls to reach is blinding. Just being able to grasp that bar cannot be possible without destructing oneself, or others along the way. I for one, look for ways to bring other girls up, and so should you. Birthright St. Charles is always here to lift you and show you your unique value and beauty. Facing an unexpected pregnancy can feel overwhelming and concern can rise about how peers and society will see you. Know that we are always in your corner to show you in any challenge there are possibilities and a resulting hopeful, personal glow exists.

 

Teen To Teen is a series of blogs written by teen authors for teens on topics that matter most to them. Please Note: “Teen to Teen” should be considered peer-to-peer advice and support. It is not given in place of professional consult or care.

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