I have a cousin, she was in the first year in middle school right now and she was in her struggle to be a beautiful girl. It makes me so sad to see the eleven years old struggling with body image, I think she was still in growing phase and really young. Even though when I was eleven, I never care about my body shapes before.
I think it is some effects of social media who make every girl wanna be like A, B, C. The more of the female student is spending their time thinking about, talking about, try to modify physical appearance. The girls are worried if they are was too fat, their skin was not clear, their bodies are not like suit models or victoria secret angel’s, their size becomes double x, and I was worried about them. It’s beautiful you can even cross everything off the checklist (big butts, big boobs, big lips, skinny waist, sharp nose, blue eyes, blond hair or long silky hair, tall girl, white skin, perfectly straight teeth, spongy hip, etc). In particular how images like this may be affecting girls.
I did some research with the girls at 10-16th to ask them “what’s on your mind?” about appearing a model photoshoot above, and their response is; “Why are these damn models toothpicks?”, “The models are so thin, they only eat an apple. Thank God I don’t have an eating disorder too”, “I think she almost looks like a computer image and not a real person”, “I think it was edited by photoshop”, “The model skin is so clear, actually they wore a white cream product”. It’s good news that the girls know better, they know about eating disorders, they know about photoshop. The bad news is they act like they don’t like her but they want to be like her. Then they go to drastic weight programs, buy some dangerous skincare products, and risking their health. It’s not a value of information research, it’s not the value of intelligence, this is a beauty sickness. The girls with beauty sickness will hate their body, they will spend a lot of money on beauty, they will spend a lot of time on beauty, even become anorexia. As they gaze into the bathroom mirror, they see a stranger that somehow stole their reflection and replaced it with a completely different girl. Every part of their outfit is uncomfortable, but even though they spent hours trying to look pretty, they will never be as good as those other girls at school and then they will get depression on body shame.
The BBC also reports direct links between social media usage and body image concerns. Ironically, girls feel more pressure from their peers when it comes to comparison and striving for the perfect body, despite the fact that nearly all social media users admit to doctoring their images before posting. Social Media infers girls have to be a beauty with the qualification of society made. The factors that lead to this beauty sickness create a world where beauty is prioritized not just by oneself-then all these recommendations would certainly be enough-but by society evaluating girls. There’s nothing wrong with beauty, our brains are so sensitive with beauty. We enjoy it, we process it, we like all the beauty stuff. To be beautiful is not a problem, a problem is all girls and women want to be so much more than hot and never feels good enough with beauty standards that society made.
I want to invest the young girls around the world, especially in Indonesia. As a woman, I want to be seen as beautiful too, but the beauty it’s not only about shapes of your body, how your appearance looks. Beauty is about how you use your intelligence and mind as tools and resources to achieve your goals and dreams. Be a smart woman is beautiful.
Stop saying to the other girl “you are so pretty!” because you are pretty too just being yourself, you are beautiful, you are capable, you are precious, you are loved, you are talented, you are deserving respect, and you are more than standard of beauty that society made.