I came across an advertisement for “beauty apps” that can drastically change a photo to how a person “should” look. One of these apps is called “Selfie Photo Editor.” Taking a picture from your phone, you use the app to make at least 15 different changes to the photo to make the person look pretty and perfect. Without these changes, we would obviously just be plain ugly, right? It enlarges eyes, plumps lips, adds eyelashes and eyeliner, thins your face and cheeks, and will even apply a tanning filter… Seriously? Another app, “Beauty Plus” shows the photo of a young girl and different options for photo editing such as face lifts, eye enhancement, fixing “imperfect” skin, adding “beauty filters,” and a “magic brush” to finish up. Face lifts for 13 year-olds? Wow…stunned. An app called “Hot Girls Salon” is a game to “take girls who are waiting for a night on the town and make them hot-looking.” (Literally, that’s what it says.) Getting ready involves heavy makeup, perfect hair, certain “hot” clothes, and completely distorted cartoon versions of how a girl’s body is built.
**From the “Selfie Photo Editor”- https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/selfie-photo-editor-cosmetic/id781409730?mt=8 by OMJ Holdings Pty Ltd (same as below)
Through my years as a school psychologist, I’ve seen the pressure girls, even elementary school girls, feel to look like women in magazines, on the internet, on TV, etc. who they see as “perfect.” Honestly, it is just heartbreaking. Our girls are just pushing to grow up too fast, wearing clothing they believe will attract boys, putting on heavy makeup, and even talking about plastic surgery. Teens are still kids! The crazy thing is that teenage girls have full access to download these apps. So, they are constantly being exposed to the underlying message that who they are isn’t good enough. Do you know what teenage girls need? They need to feel empowered, strong, and confident in who they are, just as they are. It is up to us as adults to teach and give them what they need. Without that, where do our young girls turn to for advice? Exactly~ social media, apps, magazines, etc. Yet, adults are the ones creating these apps. Something is wrong with this cycle; and it is our responsibility to stop it.
You are perfect exactly the way you are. I don’t know why the world is always telling us we have to change ourselves. Whether it’s how we dress, do our hair, or put on makeup, we’re never “good enough.” Who determines the standards for how we “should” be? Decide for yourself. Now, I believe in being classy and having self-respect in appearance and actions. Before alarms start going off in your head; I don’t mean people need expensive clothes nor need to act “prim, proper, and perfect.” Be yourself. Be you. It doesn’t matter if you make your own clothes, buy them from thrift shops, get them at the mall, or go to expensive boutiques. I think, as women, we all know how to dress to demand respect. What I’m trying to say is; cover it up ladies.
In regards to actions, I don’t think there is a “right” and “wrong” way to act (to a certain extent). You don’t need to change who you are, EVER. Who cares if someone doesn’t like you? It’s not your responsibility to make the rest of the world happy. However, I don’t think actions should be cruel or offensive to other people or in public. Ladies, when you’re out, sing out loud to your favorite song, dance, and be yourself. But, when you start swearing like a sailor and saying “F” this and “F” that, people take notice. Not in a good way. You could have the perfect makeup, the most expensive clothes, the “best” body, but when you lower the standards for yourself, the rest of the world lowers them too.
Have fun. Laugh and smile. Get mad. Cry. Forgive. Apologize and admit when you are wrong. Make mistakes. Fix mistakes. However, this concept society has created about “being a lady” dictates a certain way women need to be- quiet, reserved, dainty, etc. I don’t think we need to change who we are to be “a lady.” Honestly, I know I wouldn’t fall into this stereotype; and I’m fine with that. I laugh as loudly as I want, love football, playing sports, trip and fall (or get distracted rollerblading, hit a curb, and wipe out into the grass!), and will listen to whatever music I want. True, I like to dress in a way that makes me feel good, do my hair, and wear makeup. But, that’s just me! You may be completely different and just as happy! Why would we all want to be the same? We are not definitions; we are people. That’s why the constant pursuit of skinniness and dieting is so frustrating to me. It’s another definition of how a woman “should” be.
It’s ridiculous that the world holds us to certain standards. But, it’s more ridiculous society tells us that if we don’t follow these rules, serious repercussions will result. Have you ever told yourself or have someone tell you: “Well, if you’re not (fill in the blank… skinny)” or “If you don’t have (fill in the blank… perfect makeup); you’ll never find a guy, get that job, or be loved. Unfortunately, I’m sure we have all done this, including myself. What I’ve realized throughout my journey is that I needed to stop fighting, trying to change, or living to meet someone else’s standards. You are amazing, and the most important people in your life will see that. If they don’t, they aren’t worth having in your life.