“Sometimes when I’m in public, I get paranoid in the way I become conscious of my appearance. We women often subconsciously feel the need to appear cute and sexy to meet certain standards, and gain the approval of others, especially men. Many ladies go as far as feeling pressured into having ‘perfect bodies’, while they feel less of themselves if they do not possess some body features to earn descriptions such as ‘figure eight’ or ‘curvy’. It’s a real bummer”.
A 26-year-old lady shed some light on the pressure some ladies face in having to appear in certain ways and possess perfect bodies in order to be deemed a ‘babe’ and be appreciated. According to her, “there are pressures from everywhere; from advertisements in magazines and on TV to billboards, movies, social media, video games and comments from people all around.”
In truth, girls and women are under more pressure now than ever to have and maintain perfect bodies in a stereotyped social-media driven world we live in today. Women are repeatedly and constantly connected with users and contents on social media and often come across images of what the ‘ideal woman’ should look like. These ideal women, who have been stereotyped in the media all have certain features such as the perfect skin, rightly proportioned busts and killer curves- features that adjudge them as having perfect bodies.
The presence of Photoshop and image filters have enhanced the pressure, as many women struggle to tell if images have been Photoshopped. This often results into a ceaseless pressure for women to attune to the images they see around them, as they try to replicate the ‘perfect’ bodies.
The problem with this ‘perfect’ image is that an average woman or girl does not possess these features as portrayed in the media. Thus what exists is an unfair template for the expectation of how the ‘ideal woman’ should appear.
For some women, it creates the pressure to alter their body or diet in order to conform to the stereotyped template. For others, the thin and curvy body types they see in the media lead them to see themselves as not good enough, subsequently culminating into having low self-esteem.
“Every woman just needs to identify with their image, find their own self joy and accept that everyone has flaws; even supermodels. Even though it’s not a bad thing for a woman to want to look good or appear better, we should never be pressured into doing so just for the appraisal and approval of others”, she concluded.
Women and girls should focus on the bigger things. Things bigger than their bodies. Endeavour to look insightfully and find windows (of opportunities) in the world rather than mirrors.