The Way Girls See Themselves

A 13-year-old girl will look in the mirror and not like what she sees. This is our society. This is what’s happening. It’s not unusual for a teenage girl to not like and accept her body. And it’s not her fault. Our society PROMOTES having a model thin, size zero body. Size 6 has become the new size 4, then the new size 2 and now girls strive to be unhealthily skinny.

Models are edited by Photoshop to make them look more “appealing”. I find it very sad, though, seeing girls my age starve themselves. I know people that don’t eat at all and are depressed because they think they’ll never be “thin”. A girl in my school said that if she wasn’t thin by the end of the summer, she would kill herself. This girl is only 13 years old. We should be able to live our lives – be normal, young girls. Sadly, that’s not the reality. However, it can all be changed. We need to raise awareness. We can still make 2013 a year of difference. I believe we can.

There was a survey taken of girls 9- and 10 years old that states that 40% have tried to lose weight, according to study shown by the National Heart Foundation. Another study reports that at age 13, 53% of American girls are “unhappy with their bodies.” This grows to 78% by the time girls reach 17. The National Institute of Mental Health estimates that eating disorders affect more than 5 million Americans each year. When I heard this, I couldn’t even believe it.

A lot of this falls on the media. Think about it. Most of our favorite pop stars, actresses and other public figures are what girls envision as “skinny”. I believe that we should start focusing on what’s on the inside, or real talent. Take Adele for example, she may not be model, but her voice is like an angel, and people don’t care about what she looks like. Also, look at your favorite clothing companies. On their websites, in their runway shows, in magazines, they are always very thin. They’re supposed to show off that “classic, American, fun look” and I know plenty of people think that they need to look that way to be beautiful.

Luckily, some companies have stopped editing their magazines and photos, showing these models for who they actually are, not how they’re edited. These companies are pasting an actress’ face on a skinnier model body. This is not a real person. Like, is it possible to be that “flawless?” I get that maybe they want to fix a blemish, or a little edit, but that’s not what’s happening. Photos in magazines are being edited completely. This is hurting young girls who think that’s what real women look like. If we could show people in magazines for they really are, we could put things into perspective for girls.

Featured image via ShutterStock

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