One simple word: Beauty. The word is only six, small letters, but its impact is tremendous.
Every girl wants to be beautiful, but what exactly is “beautiful”? Sadly, America’s perception is, to say the least, shallow. The emphasis on achieving a certain standard of beauty permeates American culture. The younger generation, especially girls, are surrounded by it daily. The media is a huge influence on setting the accepted view of beauty. One specific area of influence is fashion. Even if one is not very focused on it, they are surrounded by it, and fashion sets a massive stereotype that beauty is equated with perfection.
Models, as they appear in magazines, are flawless. Designers control the fashion industry; they decide what is socially acceptable, which, at the moment, consists of thin figures and cake-face makeup. Celebrities are also nearly as flawless as models, and whenever one sees a celebrity, it is normally the side of the person that is a facade of glamor that is inhumanly perfect. Being exposed to this, everyone forms, willingly or not and consciously or not an opinion of what being beautiful is really about. Every day, young girls are flooded with negative influences from the media which has eyes only for outer beauty and perfection.
There is a heavy amount of focus on outer rather than inner beauty. All that is ever seen or heard, be it in magazines, on television, or on the radio, places emphasis on the physical aspects of a person, rather than on intelligence or personality. Compare a Victoria’s Secret advertisement to the Dove soap commercial about self-esteem workshops. Which is seen more? Victoria’s Secret type commercials depict seductive ladies with no obvious self-respect whilst the Dove commercial depicts innocent little girls, who are not quite perfect, which should not matter yet somehow does in today’s society. Intelligence has become something that is made out to be unimportant, while partying and en joying yourself are now socially accepted. It is rather sad, that America has digressed to such laughable “morals”.
Society butchers the self esteem of girls who think they should look like picture-perfect models, when even the models are not as perfect as the appear. No matter how hard they try, they will never be perfect. There will always, always be something else that needs to be fixed. I know this from personal experience, as I’m sure just about everyone does. One may feel okay, then that foul beast, society, comes along and forces those blinders on us.
Society must get a hold of itself before it goes too far, if it has not already. There seem to be few immune to the viral cancer of it, and the only cure is to reject it.