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

Society places a large emphasis on women perfecting their physical appearance. These “everyday” beautiful women are perceived through advertisements, on television, and on social media. However, it is not breaking news that these perceptions many times falsely depict the true beauty of women.

All images of women that are leaked publicly are either staged or have had some extent of touching up. Especially with the ease of being able to edit and take photos in this generation, we find that photos and depictions of women are further distorting true appearances of women. As much as we like to believe that we are spreading awareness about the false depictions of women in society, we are fueling into it. Simply by using Snapchat’s filters and Instagram’s photo editor we are contributing to the false depictions. Do not get me wrong, I am a Snapchat and Instagram enthusiast. I am obsessed with the cat ear filter. On a “bad day,” Snapchat’s filters can either hide my lack of sleep, adjust my makeup, or even alter my whole face entirely. However, despite the fun of being able to virtually change our appearances we, women, should not be ashamed of who we really are. Photo alterations and false depictions of women become a problem when we compare our true selves to the unreality of it all. We must remind ourselves that behind every edited photo that we see, either on television, in a magazine, or on social media, is still a beautiful woman—with or without make-up or touch-ups. Makeup and touch-ups simply accentuate our true beauty and allow us to express our artistic side.

Additionally, body image is a growing issue in the nation. Once again, wanting to exercise, play sports, and eat healthy is perfectly fine—in fact, recommended, but it becomes a problem when we do it excessively. “Excessively” refers to becoming obsessive over a certain goal, especially an unrealistic one. A sad truth is that most of the female body proportions society portrays, whether in stores, magazines, or television, are unrealistic or very rare. An ideal body shape is simply a social construct. If we could eliminate that unrealistic construct, women would have a better appreciation for their image, as well as, more self-confidence.

So, why does society suppress women by creating unrealistic or extremely demanding perceptions of them? Perhaps for business or because we have the technology to do so. Whatever the reasons may be, beauty, nevertheless, is found in all things. Our idea of our true beauty may become clouded by the false perceptions we strive to reach. In those self-deprecating moments, all women should remind themselves that true beauty lies within all of us, as cliché as that sounds. No woman is the same and thus our individual beauty is reflected in different ways. There is no room to live a life shaped by a constructed definition of beauty—to tell us how to look, or to rate our beauty. True beauty is unique. We are unique.

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Dania El-Ghazal

Scranton '18

My whole biography realistically can't fit here so