I promised myself I would write about this issue which has blighted my life ever since I was 12! Girls these days are under tremendous pressure to fit this picture perfect image of looking immaculate and flawless all the time. It’s glamourised on the tv, in the magazines and on social media.
We are groomed by society from a young age to look nothing short of perfect, on nights out we are guided towards notions we should look ‘sexy’ and ‘hot’ otherwise we shouldn’t even bother turning up.
I remember my first year of university, throughout every week ( not just freshers) leaflets and poster advertisements would be pushed under our doors with images of overally styled girls posing erotically.
This kind of marketing is deployed to manipulate us into thinking that these bars and clubs will make for ‘trendy and fun nights’ as only women who are sexually assured and sexy looking (as opposed to elegant or refined) create this.
The images magnified lashings of makeup, airbrush skin, pouting lips and surgically enhanced bodies and planted the idea that in order to look good or to be worthy of others attention this was the ‘appearance’ and ‘behavior’ my peers and I should be mimicking.
Isn’t it more important to appreciate the reality, that as human beings we all come differently, our experiences of life aren’t the same nor are our characteristics, strengths, weaknesses, opportunities neither can our bodies. We aren’t all 6ft, petite, stick thin, or curvy ‘in all the right places’, buxom or with big booties.. we don’t all have straight hair, curly hair, blonde, brunette, have freckles or moles, we don’t all have clear skin just as we can’t all be equal at maths, playing hockey, or natural speakers and so forth.
We need to say to ourselves it’s ok to have a body that looks more like a fragile ballerina rather than a buxom glamour model or one that looks more suited to a game of rugby than a career on the catwalk. Nature makes us unique and it isn’t right for us to be constantly bombarded in one direction.
Naturally, university is a time for self development and discovery as for the majority of us make the transition from school or college to the wider world of uni life. There is already enough pressure on young people trying to make their way through and adapt to these changes rather than have to endure being sold false ideas of how they need to look or behave in order to be seen as ‘appealing’.
Self worth or acceptance does not come from how sexy looking we can make ourselves or how provocative or promiscuous we are willing to behave, it comes from being comfortable in who we are.
During my own university experience, i had to contend with severe acne and a course of treatment on the drug roaccantane.
more to come….