We are all our own worst critics

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Women are making strides in education, professions and politics. There are more educated woman and ones in higher positions of power. However, body image is worsening.

Women are making strides in education, professions and politics. There are more educated woman and ones in higher positions of power. However, body image is worsening.

What is or is not beautiful is often determined by unrealistic beauty standards that are predominant in magazines, advertisements, websites and television. These outlets stress the importance of being their idea of perfect. Skinny, clear skinned, fashionable robots. Advertisements reach girls of all ages and negatively affect those as young as five.

Between 40-70 percent of girls are displeased with at least two parts of their bodies and their self-image drops between the ages 12 and 15.

Ignoring these advertisements and images is easier said than done when they are everywhere you look. There is a long way to go until we are rid of the negativity, but campaigns like The Representation Project work to call out companies that objectify woman as well as men. We need more campaigns that promote healthy and realist beauty standards. 

Young women are frequently bullied and insulted about their appearance. They are bullied over weight, height, clothes, makeup and other superficial factors. Targets of bullying face depression, anxiety, eating disorders and even suicide. Others should not dictate what they think is beautiful and no one should lose their life because of it. 

Studies have shown that blatantly sexualized ads actually increase self-esteem of a majority of women. They understand what corporations and advertising agencies are trying to sell and their not buying it. The problem is most ads are expertly produced and discrete. Subtle messages are more dangerous.

Some big name companies are catching on. 

Aerie, American Eagle’s undergarment line, is starting to “get real and think real.” They are ditching the supermodels and Photoshop for reality. It is refreshing to see that it is catching on. Advertisers need to learn from this. We are tired of the Photoshop and the unrealistic profession. More need to follow the new Aerie mindset. 

“There is no reason to retouch beauty,” its website states. “We think the real you is sexy.”

This could not be truer.

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