Pressure on Girls to Be Perfect
Have you ever felt self conscious about your body? Do you wish that you could look like a celebrity? Do you think society is to blame for body image issues? Would you go to extreme measures to achieve a “perfect” body? Many women are self conscious about their bodies, and unfortunately turn to drugs, alcohol, eating disorders, and even plastic surgery to look perfect. Society is setting unrealistic standards for girls, and is also partly to blame for the body image issues.
Everyone wishes they could look like their favorite celebrity right? Celebrities seem to have it all. A flawless body, perfect makeup, and shiny hair. The problem with the influence that celebrities have on young girls is that these stars aren’t actually “perfect”. People on the cover of magazines have special lighting, airbrushing, and have been getting their hair and makeup done for hours. All of these things make them look flawless, and girls then want to look the same. Some teens even turn to plastic surgery, which has risks for growing girls (Wulff).
Teens are not done growing, so altering the body at a young age can change how you grow and develop. In 2003, 11,326 girls under the age of 18 got breast implants, and that number has only grown (Wulff). In addition to girls wanting plastic surgery, many are trying to lose weight and are suffering from eating disorders. 5 million women will suffer from an eating disorder at some point in their life(Wulff). Brandy, who suffered from an eating disorder said “It was destroying me. But I looked great, and that’s what mattered.
” Furthermore, many people with eating disorders also use stimulants to help them achieve a perfect body. 50% of individuals with an eating disorder abuse drugs or alcohol(Wulff). Cocaine and amphetamines suppress appetite and increase metabolism(Wulff). These stimulants seem appealing to girls trying to lose weight. Substance abuse is obviously a problem on it’s own, but when it’s mixed with anorexia or another eating disorder, the problem becomes major. Eating disorders and today’s culture have a huge impact on girls body image.
Many girls unhappy with their bodies will turn to harmful things such as drugs and alcohol, plastic surgery, and eating disorders. Society’s standards for women are growing and becoming more unsafe. For example, teens are expected to have a thin but fit body- flat stomachs, defined abs, and a “good” butt. Girls will do anything to achieve this “perfect” body. Preadolescent girls do better, physically and mentally, on standardized tests than boys, but as they move through puberty girls suffer increasing rates of depression and attempted suicide and have more problems than boys with eating disorders, substance abuse, and staying in school (McCormick).
Historian and social critic Joan Jacobs Brumberg says that young girls are encouraged to identify their body as their most significant task, and pay less attention to their character or intelligence. Girls are expressing themselves through their bodies, and not focusing on school or finding a passion. I think that this is dangerous and sad, because girls should be praised for something other than their bodies. Teens now also have more pressure to act dumb and look pretty. Many girls obsess over body parts, and get little to no approval for intelligence and other talents. Brumberg also said “Girls today are concerned with the shape and appearance of their bodies as a primary expression of their individual identity.
” Girls should not be considered as a pretty face or hot body, but should be praised for intelligence and talents. Society is putting too much pressure on girls to be perfect, and setting unrealistic standards. Celebrities and social media are another problem because they are flaunting bodies that are unreal, and girls want to look the same. Teens will often times turn to unsafe things to achieve the flawless body. It is not fair to women to have to look a certain way. Girls should also be recognized for their talents and what they love, not for their bodies.
Everyone should feel comfortable with the way they look, and should feel no pressure to look perfect.