We are tricked into thinking that women on magazine covers and on TV naturally look like this in real life…we need to fight back!
By Miriam Nassif
Name is Miriam Nassif and I am 14 years-old so I completely understand what it like to be a teenage girl growing up in our modern day world and what it is like to deal with the things that are being thrown at us by the media.
I was lucky enough to have a childhood. I was allowed to play in the mud, sometimes eat mud, run around and be as messy as I liked. But many children around the world are being forced to dedicate themselves to a beauty pageant life. Small children are forced to dress like adults, wax their eyebrows (even though there are hardly any eyebrows to wax) and pose for hundreds of people so that their parents can win some money! And I thought it was bad enough to be a teenager dealing with this sort of pressure! A poor child is denied their childhood!
These days, who doesn’t walk into a Westfield shopping centre to see a topless girl in the most ridiculous poses to advertise perfume or a pair of jeans or something totally irrelevant to the advertisement? I know I have. We are constantly being given these images that imply that women have no purpose in life but to be “hot” and “sexy”. We are told that if we are not these things, we aren’t worth anything. The media and popular culture tells us that our whole being and value relies on how we look! This is totally and utterly wrong.
I am not here to say that we should all wear baggy clothes, have scruffy hair and that we must try our best to look as terrible and unattractive as we can. You can still look fine if you have bushy hair, a crazily curvy shape, zits (which we all have) and pale skin! I am simply saying that our worth is not based on how we look. Trust me, I know what it is like to want look nice and there is no crime in wanting to be so!
But where we go wrong is when we are defining nice and attractive. Because of major media influence, we have been tricked into thinking that beautiful is someone who is skinny (more like anorexic if you ask me), tanned skin, no zits, and big boobs. But let me tell you that a very few naturally fit this description, and many of the women you see who do fit this description in magazines or on TV have had a major touch up, got a fake tan, wear tonnes of makeup, have had a boob transplant or plastic surgery.
Did you know that if shop mannequins were real women, they would be too thin to menstruate and bear children? Did you know that in every 3 billion women that live on earth only 8 naturally look like supermodels? Did you know that if Barbie were a real women she would have to walk on all fours because of her unrealistic proportions?
We are tricked into thinking that women on magazine covers and on TV naturally look like this in real life!
We are all different and we are all beautiful in our own ways! Whether we are robust, skinny, pale, dark, covered in zits, have a big nose, huge ears or frizzy hair. We need to learn to live with the gorgeous body that is our own, not try and change it or be somebody else!
I can’t help but worry that the new Dolly model search will make girls wonder if they are OK as they are.
Girls feel so pressured to look perfect every single minute of every single day. Many girls feel like their life is not worth living if they don’t look good. Some teenage girls have even been overcome with depression or anxiety due to the stress and pressure to always look “sexy”. It is as if their whole life is based on how they look!
Your worth is not based on your looks! It is based on your personality! Our value is based on who we are as a person! Girls need to spend their time enjoying life, not trying to look good! Be yourself! Be YOU! Be the beautiful person that you were created to be! And enjoy life! If you are so busy being somebody else, who will be you?
And fight the culture that makes you feel bad. If more girls joined together to reject these negative messages, I think we would all feel better.
Miriam is a student and lives in the Blue Mountains, NSW