To the Sad Girl in the Mirror

One of the biggest issues that is always talked about but never really resolved is self-esteem among females, especially in adolescent to college students. In my opinion, I don’t think people realize that these feelings aren’t usually an everyday feeling but an every so often feeling. A lot of it has to do with societal values towards girls and how we are taught to present ourselves along the way of growing into adulthood.

During our most crucial years, we females are told we have to be strong-willed, but not too strongly opinionated. We have to be thin but not skin and bones, but can't have a lot of fat either. We need thigh gaps, big butts, big boobs, and clear skin. We need to look or act certain ways because no man is going to want to marry, let alone date, an imperfect female.

What is perfect though? We idealize celebrities and use them as ideal beauty, when in reality, they all have teams of professionals who make sure they look great 24/7 or they used plastic surgery to be “perfect." But isn’t natural beauty supposed to be ideal?

How is it that we can all be feeling ourselves and feeling pretty good with ourselves till we look into that mirror of “reality” and start seeing all of these imperfections? We look at ourselves and start belittling ourselves. But the thing is that if you change what you don’t like about yourself, you will either miss it or find something new because the physical trait isn’t what is bothering you. What's wrong is the feeling that, since you don’t look like the models of “ideal beauty,” you aren’t beautiful.

Perfection’s main definition is “the condition, state, or quality of being free or as free as possible from all flaws or defects.” As a society, I feel that we have manipulated this definition and so created an “epidemic” of females who hate themselves and/or the way they look. Perfection in humans should be translated to the feeling of being free of flaws and that each person feels it differently. No one enjoys food or music the same exact way or even feels emotion the same, so why should we look alike? That derives the idea of diversity or uniqueness.

Unfortunately, negative views and words stand out more than the positive ones. We need to tackle this problem! The best way is to teach children from a young age that every human being is beautiful inside and out. We shouldn’t be putting ideas in their heads that it is “correct” to call someone ugly or gross. Ugli is a fruit and gross is an adjective to describe food, a dirty room, or when adults kiss. We shouldn’t let them know that they can call people sluts, whores and players. They should be told that fat is something you burn when exercising and not what describes themselves or others. They should call people cute, pretty, beautiful, handsome, gorgeous, nice, sweet, and other uplifting words to boost self-esteems. There is more to people than being just sexy or hot. Intelligence is attractive too.

Growing up, I’ve seen people being compared to their sisters/cousins that look slightly different from them. I have even seen people talk differently about me and my cousin, and my mom and her sister. People tend to uplift someone more for their beauty and rip another person down for not looking the same. 

Why do we separate people by these standards? We are creating this split to make girls belittle themselves. On the other hand, the few girls that do feel beautiful are afraid to flaunt it on account that they will be called attention-seeking. Society wants to build girls up so that they will no longer worry about their “flaws,” yet when they do feel good about themselves, we just tear them down because feeling too highly of yourself is wrong? Then we have men who praise their ladies because they see the beauty they hold within and on the outside, yet the females think they are just being nice. Are we seeing anything wrong here? We have girls who are killing themselves due to bullying, where most of the words used to bully them are “slut, whore, bitch, ugly.” Why are we allowing this to continue?

Girls feel like they aren’t good enough for anyone because they have fat on their bodies and don’t look like a Victoria’s Secret model. We have not stopped boys from using horrible adjectives for humans, which has caused women to believe that they really are ugly and not good enough for any man to love. We tell girls that they can’t let another love them till they learn to love themselves, but how can they if they’re always being torn apart from society or the community around them?

Here’s a challenge for the girls reading this: go into the mirror and stare at yourself, put aside your flaws, and label 3 things you like about yourself and 3 things that aren’t physical appearances.

For example: "I love my hair color, my freckles and my crooked smile. I love my goofiness, that I am optimistic, and that I care for people on deeper levels than most people."

Another challenge for all readers: spread good adjectives and love. Send a nice paragraph or sentence or comment on a photo, explaining to your female pals how beautiful they are. Don’t do it just once and don’t do it out of habit. I personally send out texts to all my gal pals and sometimes my guy pals as well, telling them how special they are to me and what makes them perfect and unique.

Millennials have been told for years that we are huge and have the power to make a change in the world, so why not start the change and change it for good about how females view themselves? The only way a human should be labeled as ugly is if they have a really cruel personality, in my opinion. Other than that, every human is beautiful and unique, in every size, shape, and color.