Unattainable Beauty “Standards” Negatively Impact Young Women

Rebecca Garcia, Staff Writer

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   Beauty standards are no longer standards because they are truly unobtainable. These so-called standards are truly arbitrary, yet they still negatively impact young women because of the influence of media.

   According to a study performed by Bradley University called “The Body Project,” research has shown that “Mass media powerfully influence our perceptions of beauty, our attitudes toward others, and our own self-image” (bradley.edu). Not only does the media affect how we view ourselves as people but it creates our opinions for us regarding how we believe other people should look. This creates an awful cycle of the same unrealistic beauty standards that everyone tries to follow because mass media pressures everyone to look “perfect.”

   Now that the Internet has incorporated itself into our everyday lives, it’s extremely easy to see impetuous beauty standards that can cause a lot of harm to young women. According to a girl’s empowerment organization, “Research has shown that media is negatively associated with self-esteem, meaning that the more a girl views the media the greater chance she will have a lower self-esteem” (girlsempowermentnetwork.org). Young women are not frequently exposed to the ideas of a “normal” female body type being any shape or size, which increases the pressure to have an idealized body.

   Although the Internet has helped people find answers to questions at the click of a button, there are disadvantages. According to an academic social network, different societies from around the world can express their opinions on a worldwide terrain about who or what they think is beautiful, which then sets new trends (hastac.org). It’s immensely difficult to build up your own self-esteem when it seems like an entire group of people would hate the way you look according to their opinions they share on the Internet.

   The next time you’re watching or reading something from the Internet, try to catch the critiques you give yourself when presented a fantasized body. Ask yourself: “Why do I  keep going back on the Internet when it makes me feel bad about myself?” It’s extremely important to keep in mind that everything on there is not always reliable and to remind yourself that it’s not what’s on the outside that matters, but what’s within you that makes you beautiful.

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