Saturday, 19 September 2015

The Media's Ridiculous Beauty Standards

by Lizzy Greenfield

Don't buy into their rubbish
Self-obsession. Self-criticism. Self-consciousness. Despite these feelings being present in men and women of all ages, they are, in my opinion, far more abundant in adolescents. I personally believe that is our job, as well as the job of our society, to help them accept the love, from themselves and others, that they think they do not deserve. It is our job to pick them up when they fall. It is our job to help them grow strong and confident. It is our job to say "don't be so hard on yourself, no, don't be so hard on yourself."

However, unfortunately, our society, we as a society, instead strive to knock one another backwards. Backwards into the deep, dark depths of insecurity. I know what you're thinking "ah, you're talking about the media!" And yes I too place a significant portion of blame upon them, what with their increasingly ridiculous beauty standards and unrealistic body expectations. As if we don't have enough on our plates already as young adults without being expected to look 100% 24/7.

But - I didn't come here to talk to you about the media, not least because with all my quarrels it would take hours, possibly days. The media are clearly our enemies in this, however, as a wise old man once told us it takes a great deal of courage to stand up to our enemies, but it takes just as much to stand up to our friends.

Our friends. You and I.

We have a prominent part to play in this issue.

Our generation should be supporting one another through this arduous, aggravating and frankly alarming aspect of adolescence. Instead we provide fuel for the media's fire by buying into their rubbish, such as Heat magazine's 'Wheel of Shame'. I mean I agree it really is shameful to pop to the shops for a bottle of milk without a full face of make-up, designer clothing and killer heels.

And that's not all, not only do we subscribe to this cruelty, we now create our own! Cast your minds back just a couple of months and you may remember a craze that swept swiftly across the entire Internet by which people would draw various 'flaws' onto their faces such as spots, unibrows and missing teeth before wiping all of these off and inviting others to commend them on their incredible beauty. The irony of this challenge's title is unparalleled in my opinion.

And it's not just this challenge, we are always putting each other down. We are the ones who sing the songs shaming 'skinny bitches' who 'think they're fat'. We are the ones who read magazines shaming women for putting on a 'whopping 80 pounds' while pregnant. We are the ones who like posts boasting 'how to get a thigh gap'. We are the ones tweeting 'nothing tastes as good as skinny feels' whilst retweeting 'anorexia isn't attractive guys'.
It's not all of us, not by any means. But we can make a change to this. We can stand up to the media and the people who perpetuate their nonsense.

A little consideration, a little thought for others, makes all the difference. We must not keep knocking each other down, instead we must build each other up. And maybe if we just keep going, just keep swimming into the the face of this situation. Just keep swimming against this tide of cruelty. Just keep swimming and we'll break through their seemingly impenetrable wave of evil and leave their expectations, standards and criticism washed up on the desert island behind us.

1 comment:

  1. Loving the Harry Potter quote!


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