Pressed and Wrinkle Free: Girls Pressured by Society


By: Carolina Hughes

Women are supposed to perfect: perfect bodies, perfect lives, perfect clothes, perfect everything. These standards are set by magazines, models, clothing companies, and beauty product manufacturers; women are attacked from all sides with solutions about how they can become a better version of themselves. These offers of help actually make women and girls feel unhappy with themselves and the way they look. What most of these girls do not realize is that most of these standards are fake. Companies use a program called Photoshop to edit their models and make them perfect for the ads that they put out. The more appealing they think their product is the more people they hope will buy it, and these ads create more unrealistic standards for women and girls.

Many companies and people around the world set these standards, but one of the more prominent things that nags at women to be perfect would have to be the unattainable body size most models in magazines and on runways have. Most of the time models on the runway are on very strict diets to keep their slim figures, but in the magazines Photoshop often changes them with a computer program. Girls are tricked into thinking that the model is smaller than she really is in reality and into thinking that the product will look just like that on them. It is sad that girls are lied to about these things, and then pressured into trying to change things about themselves that are beautiful and should be left just the way that they are.

Some people want to blame all of this on the toys that girls love to play with, Barbie’s. Those people say that these toys carry the unattainable body image, and the interaction with Barbie is the first time a little girl is introduced to an unrealistic body image. After many years of criticism Mattel just released a new line of Barbie’s that are different; they have different body styles, clothes, and hair. This will definitely help little girls,  and it will ensure they know that whatever their body type they are beautiful. This is a step in the right direction of showing young girls that they do not need to change for anything or anyone. Mattel is still keeping the original Barbie because she has been an icon since 1959. However, this new Barbie design will show that little or big, short or tall, everyone is beautiful.  Mattel could become a leader for an amazing campaign against the unrealistic stereotypes that have been created over the years against women. Many companies are already following Mattel’s lead.

Another large problem facing women is striving to be like actresses, however, many of these actresses have eating disorders or are on ridiculous diets to stay skinny. Teenage girls around the world idolize them and want to look just like them. Like the case of Mary-Kate Olsen and her development of an eating disorder, and her personal disorder caused many other girls to struggle with an eating disorder. Mary- Kate’s family had Mary-Kate admitted into a rehab center, but images of her body were still circulating the web and encouraging girls to lose weight quickly and in large quantities. The same thing happened with Jessica Simpson when she was young. Jessica felt the pressure of those around her to be skinnier and skinnier, so when she became a pop icon she made sure to speak out against the pressure to be skinny.

Things need to be changed in a society that tries to change women. The best thing to do is to be honest and not try to change the women and girls of society. I do not think that the blame can be put on one specific thing. All of the pressures of society have combined together and attacked girls from all sides to make them feel the pressure to be perfect. This is not just about a toy girls played with when they were young, or about role models that teach them that they need to be skinny, or about the airbrushed photos that are published in magazines, it is about the combination of the three that girls witness everyday in society. Being perfect is an unattainable goal.


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