“Everyone’s perfect” is a phrase most people know, but it’s not a phrase commonly believed.
“I’m so fat,” or, “I’m so ugly” are more likely the phrases you hear daily as a teen. From conversations in the halls of school to the writings on the bathroom walls, self-hatred is something we’ve come to believe is acceptable.
For some, it has become normal – but how can it not be when we are bombarded by a certain standard of what you need look like? The media has pushed this idea of who we should be since the day we were born – telling girls that being “pretty” is all they should strive for, harassing boys with a notion of what “real men” are.
The media is creating a society where only the “pretty” can succeed, a society where what you look like is more important than what you stand for, a society where who you are not who you should be.
But let me tell you something: this idea that the media portrays is fake. This conception would be impossible to re-create. What you see in magazines, movies, commercials – it’s not real. These are all lies that have been plastered with makeup and Photoshop. The real women they used to create these ideas are no more that outlines of the photos you see. Yet we have millions of girls and boys who because of this hate who they are.
These standards target teenagers the most. In the society we live in now, teens are targeted from every angle. This generation has an incredibly high rate of teens with metal illnesses, and, sadly, suicide. For us teens it might be too late to understand that who we are, although not perfect, is real.
If only our society could teach that you are far more astonishing, intelligent and beautiful than what the six letters in the word pretty will ever amount to, then, maybe, the word wouldn’t hold any more power of us.
Wouldn’t that be pretty great?
Ana Mendez is a creative writing student at Belmont secondary.