The Barbie body, It's the figure all women want from a young age. Silky blond hair, clear skin with expertly applied makeup, skinny and designer clothes to match. We are conditioned from a young age to desire this body. We feel that no one will like us, we won't be popular and get the most handsome partner; without looks, we are nothing.
In Ireland, 72% of mental health problems in teenagers, stem from their body. Out of 33 patients, 28 were female, and only 5 were male. Why are women suffering from lower self-esteem than men are? Is it because there is more pressure on females to be gorgeous, than there is on men? Or is it because women are indoctrinated with ideas of the idyllic body and men aren't? There is pressure on men too, to be 'macho' and have muscles, but not to the same lengths women are.
I am no exception from the conditioning all young girls face. I wanted the clothes I thought would make me popular, even if I hated them. I didn't care for comfort, only looks. I wished for nothing more than clear skin and beautiful hair, sacrificing precious sleep to look good. I despise makeup; I can't stand wearing any; yet, I bought mountains of makeup because that's what a girl is supposed to do.
Studies show that 91% Of women are unhappy with their body. This is not okay! Why are women made to feel guilty about having big thighs or about a mole on their chin? 95% of eating disorders are women between the ages of 12-25 because that is the target market for marketing and peer pressure. Studies highlight the fact that the average women spends over $21,000 on cosmetics in their lifetime. It's because capitalism wants people to feel self-conscious so they will spend money on cosmetics to cover up their 'flaws'. If it makes you feel good, then wear makeup. But don't try to cover up what society deems 'flaws'.
I used to compare myself to everyone around me. I hated myself. I attempted to exercise, I wanted results quickly, so I moved quickly, thus injuring my back. I was so desperate to be thin and beautiful that I completely disregarded my well being.
I deprived myself of food to the point of starvation; I punished myself every time I ate food. I never touched a sweet; I was malnourished and mentally dying. Close friends noticed my condition and forced me to eat properly. Since then, I have been eating healthy. But I was a fortunate case; there are many out there that don't have someone to look out for them or won't confide in those close to them.
We should love our bodies! There should be no shame in having stomach flab, or littering of freckles. Focus less on self-deprecation and more on self-love.
I want to see a world where women and men alike can dress; however, they want and wear as little or as many cosmetics as desired. I want self-love to triumph over appearances.