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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at BU chapter.

From a very young age, girls are told, “you are your looks.” Our society places considerable importance on a woman’s vanity rather than her character or intelligence. Society often fails to understand that women are multi-dimensional, and a woman’s worth is diluted down to her appearance. It places unrealistic beauty standards that women feel pressured to uphold. There is immense pressure on women to maintain a certain body type, the standard euro-centric facial features that are deemed more desirable than ethnic features, and, of course, a youthful and “feminine” appearance.

This obsession with women’s appearances is especially prevalent in Hollywood and popular culture, where female celebrities who look young for their age are considered beautiful, while women who age normally are ridiculed. Celebrities like Jennifer Lopez and Sandra Bullock are considered beautiful and widely appreciated by Americans because of their “ageless beauty” as they maintain a very youthful appearance in their 50s. As a result, the media promotes their diet, looks, and skincare routines that are expensive and unattainable for regular people. Most people cannot afford to pay for private chefs and personal trainers, numerous plastic surgeries, and skincare or facials that cost thousands of dollars. 

But the glamorization of these women and their unrealistic lifestyles causes other women to feel pressured into dedicating tremendous amounts of money and time to emulate their appearances. However, female celebrities who do not adhere to these standards are under constant scrutiny. Kate Moss, a former supermodel, is criticized for having “fine lines and dull skin” at the age of 47. Similarly, Lindsay Lohan is criticized for the loss of her “vibrant exterior” and is known throughout Hollywood for being “a woman who often looks beyond her years.”

The negative portrayal of these female celebrities creates a widespread sentiment that inevitable changes brought On by aging are unattractive and makes women less desirable, hence making old age seem ugly. in reality, aging is natural and beautiful. 

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Migena is a sophomore at BU studying International Relations. She is from Belmont, MA but she grew up in Nepal.