Social Issues / What Are We Teaching Young Girls About Life?
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Autor: anton 29 March 2011
Words: 1435 | Pages: 6
What Are We Teaching Young Girls About Life?
As a woman in society I have always had a hard time dealing with my body image and the pressures to fit in. There are so many burdens within society for women to fit a certain criteria to be accepted. The media has a lot to do with the way women perceive the way they "should" look and act. Friends and family are another source from which this perfect image stems from. It's not healthy for young girls and women to be stick thin and starving themselves just to go along with societal norms and look like everyone else. Women need to learn that it's okay to have they're own look and not be "perfect" because it's impossible and they'll die trying. Instead of worrying about what we look like in the mirror, we need to take a look inside and try to make ourselves better there first.
All over magazines, television, and movies there are these beautiful and glamorous women with perfect bodies that women all over the world look up to. Since society looks up to all of these celebrities and makes it like they're the ultimate human being, it's natural for woman to strive to be just like them. When I was a young girl growing up it was all about Britney Spears and I wanted to be just like her. No matter what she wore, I wanted it and everything she endorsed, I bought it. I had to work out so that I could wear those tiny little belly shirts she wore, occasionally forget my lunch at home so I wouldnâ€™t have to eat anything. Because we all know, pretty means skinny in our society. Now, I know Iâ€™m not the only girl that looked up to someone famous. Every woman knows there was that one person they wanted to be just like when they grew up and they wouldâ€™ve done anything to achieve that look. As women, when we see someone thatâ€™s beautiful and everyone else thinks is attractive, weâ€™re naturally going to try and duplicate it. But, realistically, are we reaching too far?
The women we look up to all over the magazines are so thin that you can see every single bone protruding through their skin. That canâ€™t be healthy. Then, theyâ€™re going on all of those crazy diets where they can only eat grapefruit or have no carbs everyday. Thatâ€™s just not a good image for young girls looking up to them to aspire to. But, the girls in high school see all of these women in the magazines leading fabulous (yet unrealistic lifestyles) and want to be just like them. So, they buy all of the clothes, make-up, get their hair done and either starve themselves or workout like crazy to live up to an image thatâ€™s so unrealistic in everyday life.
Instead of celebrities being these ultra thin, sexed up Barbie dolls, maybe they could try to take a new approach. Try to encourage each other and younger women to find their own personal style. That way theyâ€™ll be doing things in life for themselves instead of trying to be like someone else and live up to their own standards. Then, they can decide what type of clothing is best for them, if they like wearing makeup or not, and whether they even care if theyâ€™re skinny or not. Life should be about finding yourself, being happy and having fun. Not finding what you like in other people and trying to incorporate those things into your life to make it work for you.
Iâ€™ve seen on the Tyra Show that sheâ€™s trying to get girls all over the world to embrace their bodies. So many people have criticized Tyra for gaining weight and she doesnâ€™t want that to happen to other women and young girls. So, sheâ€™s trying to show them that itâ€™s okay to be overweight, as long as youâ€™re okay with it and youâ€™re happy. Tyra Banks is trying to encourage women to love their bodies no matter the shape or size. I think thatâ€™s a great message to be sending because whatâ€™s inside is what counts and I think girls these days really need to work on whatâ€™s inside and stop caring so much about their appearance.
Friends & Family
All throughout high school girls are always worrying about what people think about them and how they look. Teenage girls think if they don't have the best clothes or skinniest bodies then their friends and popular boys won't want anything to do with them. Then, when these girls do something out of the ordinary or show their own personalities, their best friends may push them away and shun them from their activites. So, then they're forced to conform into a person they might not want to be because they feel a need to be apart of the social scene. This instance reminds me of a scene from the movie Mean Girls when one of "The Plastics" (the most popular girls in school) are sitting at their designated lunch table and realize that one of their girls is wearing her hair up which is against their "rules." So, they decide to embarrass
her and make her go sit at the "unpopular table" during lunch. The next day, she showed up to school looking better than ever so she would fit the standards of her friends and be able to hang out with them again. That just makes me cringe. Especially to think that there are actually girls in high school where their group of friends have rules they must follow in order to stay in their click. This is when teachers and anyone in a higher power to these girls needs to step up. We can't exactly tell teenagers not to do something because then they're going to want to do it even more, so we need to start encouraging a more gratifying and healthy lifestyle. Instead of just telling them, we need to show them. I have a younger sister and I make sure not to talk about thinking I'm fat, losing weight, eating habits or any other insecurities. I try to take her out to lunch, movies or even just get a smoothie just to spend time with her and give her my opinions and outlook on things. Younger girls take things so seriously and think everything is the end of the world and we have to show them to take bad experiences and use them to mold their personalities and opinions on life and not let other people make decisions for them.
As a role model for younger girls I think it's important to watch how you project yourself and the things you say around them. Even if you say, "Do I look fat in this dress?" only one time infront of a girl she's going to catch on and think the same thing the next time she's getting dressed. I know that first hand because my mom always says that when she's putting her clothes on and when my sister was seven-years-old she started talking about being fat and skinny, which is way too young to even care or think about what your body looks like. Instead of letting kids eat whatever they want and just think they don't look good in their clothes people need to start enforcing healthy eating habits and fun activities within their homes and then children would be healthier and have a more positive outlook on their bodies.
Overall, I think this body image and perfection issue with girls across the world is getting out of control. Teenage girls and women need to learn not to follow other people, take control and make their own decisions. But, they can't do it themselves and as human beings, we learn through interactions with other people. If you're a teacher at a high school and you don't want the girls to care only about their image, show them how to develop and grow as a person. People are always complaining about girls being too skinny or caring too much about what they look like, but they do nothing about it. So, for there to actually be a change we need to help these girls and give them things to care about instead of just their reflection. As women in society we need to step up to the plate and show these girls what life's really all about.
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