The Pressure to be Pretty


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Sierra Wilson, Editor

Society has always had a certain standard for people: you have to dress this way, do your hair like this, act like that. If you don’t look “normal,” you’re not worth anyone’s time. And while there’s no denying there’s pressure for everyone, there is more pressure on girls to have the “perfect body.”

At a very young age, being pretty was the least of my worries. There were bigger fish to fry, like reading my new book or playing with my best friend. Appearance wise, all that mattered was that I had some clothes on my body.

But then I got older. I started receiving makeup for Christmas, and suddenly, the type of clothes I wore became an issue. Around third or fourth grade, I traded out my hand-me-down shorts from my brothers for more feminine clothes. I started worrying that being a tomboy wasn’t attractive.

In middle school, I trashed my boot cut jeans and replaced them with skinny jeans. My clothes had to be skin tight because that’s what everyone else was wearing. It was in style and being in style was a top priority. I wore makeup to hide my acne, and I put more effort into my appearance because I didn’t want to be known as “that girl.”

I compared myself to other girls and maybe my worries were impractical or silly, but I’m not the only girl who was like this.

All around us, there are magazines of models with slim figures and curves in all the right places. Society tells us that we have to look like them or we aren’t pretty. Girls start to stand in the mirror and point out their flaws, like the stretch marks on their thighs or the acne on their face, and wonder why they can’t be like the models.

They start to believe they’re not beautiful, when in all actuality everything about them is flawless. Society tears down their self-esteem until there is nothing left and expects them to just pick up the pieces and move on.

In an article by The Guardian, it says that girls as young as seven “believe they are judged on their appearance” and “feel the need to be perfect.” Almost two-fifths of young girls in a survey said they believed they weren’t pretty enough.

This type of pressure is damaging and needs to be fixed. Every girl is beautiful, no matter what they look like, and the first step to helping them realize this is by lowering social standards. It’s not a competition to see who is the prettiest, so why is everyone racing to the finish line?

We need to build each other up and tell girls it’s okay to dress however they want because it won’t change who they are. We need to remind them there’s no need to compare themselves to other girls because they’re already beautiful. By removing the pressure to be pretty, girls will start to feel comfortable in their own skin.

Ultimately, this creates a happier world, and isn’t that what we all want?