Size double zero does not make girls beautiful

Girls constantly face pressure to be thin and mold into society’s vision of perfection and beauty. This mentality only worsens for teenagers around prom season. Girls today need to start to understand that something silly like a number doesn’t make them beautiful or ugly.

Celebrities are constantly Photoshopped for magazines, creating and defining unrealistic images of what beauty should be. People – teenagers, adults, children – all look at celebrities or models as what defines beauty or perfection in our society. What isn’t so well known is how many models don’t look like the thin and glowing faces we see on covers of magazines such as Elle.

L’Oreal and Elle magazine have been known to “whitewash” darker skinned women. This means that they lighten their skin to a light olive/tanned tone rather than a deeper tan or brown. Some companies are even guilty of cutting out the woman’s face and pasting it on top of another, thinner model’s face, just like W magazine did with Demi Moore in their November edition back in 2009.

With beauty outlets submitting photos digitally distorted in a way that no one can realistically achieve, it’s no wonder teenage girls – who are already struggling to fit in – feel lost and depressed because they don’t fit into society’s mold of beauty.

Yes, physical appearance can be an important thing. But, you don’t need to have your ribcage showing or try to fit into a double zero to look or feel beautiful. If you carry a few extra pounds, don’t feel embarrassed. Those pounds don’t define who you are, your personality, or your beauty.

Beauty is not only a person’s physical appearance but also their personality and how they interact with people around them. A person may be physically stunning but they have a sour personality that turns people off. Happiness, in fact, can be the most gorgeous feature on someone. A smile can instantly make a person more attractive.

The image and pressure of what women should do or look like in order to be accepted and seen as beautiful is outrageous. It’s great to know that more and more women want to break away from the media and redefine beauty and help young women realize their inner beauty and show it on the outside.

Blogs and small groups are slowly emerging to help girls feel better about themselves. A personal favorite, Beauty Redefined, is a blog that is helping reshape what society views as a beautiful woman.

Ten years ago Dove decided to help women realize how beautiful they are – flaws and all- by launching the Dove Movement for Self-Esteem. It’s an absolutely wonderful concept. Dove hosts workshops focused around younger women, helping them grow up happier and more confident in their appearance as well as who they are.

Dove’s movement captured attention on the internet after they aired an online short film about the power of Selfies. This short but powerful documentary challenged four girls to teach their mothers about selfies and to encourage each other to take selfies of themselves. After a few months, the selfies of the mothers and daughters were premered in an art gallery. Viewers would go around with post-it notes and write down what they liked about the women in the photo – no negative comments allowed – and stick them by the photo. The girls and mothers involved grew more confident in themselves after this project.

It’s amazing how something as simple as a selfie can create such an impact on how a girl feels about herself.

Prom is coming up soon and there is a lot of stress involved in preparing for the big night. Girls lose their confidence when a simply gorgeous gown just doesn’t fit, or if they have to pick a dress a size or two bigger. This leads them to unhealthy dieting habits or simply lowers their self esteem because they feel they don’t look pretty in a gown that’s a size 14 rather than an eight.

While preparing for prom this year, students need to remember that the size of their gown doesn’t define them or make them pretty or ugly. It’s time to break the mold that you have to be stick skinny to be beautiful.