This I Believe

Amanda - San Luis Obispo, California
Entered on February 10, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30
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I believe that society is obsessed with the perfect looking woman.

A number of years ago I attended 8th grade at a Catholic elementary school. Sheltered and naïve, I cared about nothing except playing sports and enjoying life. My morning schedule consisted of waking to the music of my favorite country song, quickly combing my bed-head hair into a ponytail, brushing my teeth, splashing cold water on my face, and carpooling to school. This daily routine took all of 15 minutes. My main focus was getting to school as fast as possible so I would be able to play a game of basketball or capture the flag before the bell rang. The term make-up was a foreign word and my appearance was not a priority; I just wanted to have fun.

Fast-forward six years. After being in college for two years and away from my sheltered life, I now believe that today’s society puts an unhealthy, inordinate emphasis on looking pretty and being thin. Magazines, movies and television shows depict extremely thin, unattainably beautiful, and seemingly perfect women. This attitude only further promotes the idea that if a woman does not fit societies vision, she is not valuable or good enough. Society then goes even one step further and promotes ways of becoming the ideal woman: have plastic surgery, bypass surgery, or dental cosmesis. Women are encouraged to change themselves rather than enjoy the person they have become.

The modern woman fears going out until hair is perfectly coiffed, make up applied with precision, and clothes matching to the button. There exists a pervading fear of being ridiculed and thought of as ugly by others.

The perfect woman is only a myth. Although one might have the perception of encountering the perfect woman in magazines or television, pictures are usually airbrushed to have ideal breasts and the ultimate butt. Sadly, because society, especially men, value such impossible standards, women believe they must incorporate these unrealistic ideals into themselves and focus on what’s on the outside rather than on the inside.

Women are pushing themselves to the extreme, and in the process, jeopardizing their health and well-being. In some cases, women ultimately suffer from depression, eating disorders, emotional problems, and self esteem issues.

Until society stops idolizing impossible standards for women, these issues will continue to exist. Until we, as a society, start to accept women, for who they are and not for what they look like, women will continue to endure anything and everything to become “perfect.” Until we all recognize, both as individuals and a whole that it is what’s on the inside that truly matters, women will continue with an obsession of looking perfect.