Body image used to never be important to me. I always wore whatever I wanted, ate whatever I was in the mood for, and hardly wore any makeup. Then, the middle school years came and all of a sudden, girls wore tons and tons of makeup and everyone had boyfriends. I was one of my only friends who were single. I started noticing what guys wanted from girls like pretty hair, makeup all done, cute outfits and that bubbly, sometimes annoying personality. I started watching what I ate, hoping to be noticed by that one guy. People used to call me a man for playing basketball and I hated it. Even my dad would say, “Your the boy I never had.” What a way to destroy a young girl’s self-esteem. So, I changed everything. I wore skirts and cute tops along with nice shoes. I asked my sister to help me put mascara on along with some blush. I never gave up basketball because that was my one true passion but I didn’t practice it as much, which I will always regret. I built this standard in my head because as I watched other girls, I realized that I also wanted that attention: to be well-liked, not just “one of the guys.”
Pressure from society? Always. I always feel like I’m not skinny enough, my hair’s too long or too short or my butt’s too big. I get too muscular. It’s all so exhausting so when does it ever end? It doesn’t. This pressure will follow me for the rest of my life and I just have to learn that I have to be okay with myself and stop worrying about what other people think. Now, that I am in college, of course I care about my appearance but I do what makes me happy and feel confident, then I can worry about what everyone else wants.
By creating different standards of advertising, it would completely change the self-esteem of teens like me. People always hope the ads will change but what if it can’t? I would say, “WHO CARES?” Be yourself and love who you are. Your not selfish for putting yourself first but you need to love yourself before others take over you and control you. Losing yourself is scary but you always have a chance at finding you. The media plays a huge role in the way people feel about themselves. I hate looking at that burger commercial with the girl showing off her bikini body while I hide behind mine with a towel during the summer. It’s actually unfair that she looks like that but once you get past the silly facade, you should realize that the hot bikini girl doesn’t even look like that. Hopefully you will make yourself feel better when you tell yourself that because it definitely helps me (even if it’s not true).