When I was a little girl I loved looking in the mirror. I loved being able to admire the little girl who was standing in front of me. It was intriguing. If I had imperfections I didn't see them because I hadn't been trained to see them. In fact, as a little girl, everything I saw in the mirror was perfect. Oh what I would give to be a little girl again.
In 2011 it was reported by the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS) that 15 percent of all procedures in the U.S. were performed on patients under age 21. It has been cited that this increase in plastic surgery and body enhancements were due in part to the glorification of famous curvaceous celebrity women such as Beyonce, Kim Kardashian, J-LO and a host of other women. While these women may or may not have ever had any cosmetic surgery ever done on their bodies these celebrity women have opened up the doors to a new wave of relatively safe body enhancements from breast augmentations to even butt bleaching. It seems that if you don't like an aspect of your body it can easily be changed with one procedure.
As the pressure to be perfect continues to rise across the country it has been reported that on college campuses 40% of women don't like how they look. How did we get here? How did we become a generation that simply refuses to love the skin there in? Do we blame ourselves? Our parents? Or do we point at the one place that shapes us the most, the media.
Rather you realize it or not we are shaped by the media around us. We consume many hours in our day on the internet, driving by billboards, pop up ads on our cell phones, social media, television and traditional print. It is estimated that we are exposed to 500 ads a day. It has become the marketer's goal to cover every blank space possible with advertisements or brand logos. With this increase in advertisements has also come an increase in pressure. The New York Times reported that suicide numbers have increased on campuses across the country due to the anxiety and depression related to the pressures of being perfect. The pressure to be perfect is real.
While it may seem like the celebrity men and women that you have grown to love are incredibly perfect it is worth noting that they too deal with the pressures of being perfect. They too are often body shamed and ridiculed because they are not "perfect enough". Imagine that
The question now remains, how do we as a generation overcome the pressures of being perfect? I think it's quite simple, we have to realize that nobody is. Despite what you see in magazines and despite what you see on television nobody is perfect. If we can all accept that we aren't and will never be perfect beings perhaps we can take great strides in making this world a place where we can love ourselves just the way God created us to be.