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

Let’s face it, societal standards skew everyone’s perception…especially that of themselves. Society treats body types like trends and if you’re not “it” this season, say goodbye to your self-esteem. As harsh as that sounds, it is a reality many people face due to the standards set upon them. 

While the BBL body has become more of a trend in the past decade, there is one female asset that never seems to go out of style: boobs. As a girl, the standard of femininity is measured by the curves of our bodies, and what we lack often determines whether we are even viewed as a woman. As a member of the Itty Bitty Titty Committee, I have dealt with this feeling of inadequacy my entire life. When you are not naturally blessed with a bustier size, you may receive persistent comparisons to little girls or even boys which ultimately takes a toll on your self-perception and worth. However, with continuous effort, I’ve been able to free myself from society’s beauty standards and ultimately create my own in order to reach a new level of self-love. For any other flat-chested girls struggling, here are a couple of reminders that may help you reframe your thinking too!

The Clothes Should Fit YOU, You Don’t Have to Fit the Clothes

Something I have learned to keep in mind when shopping is that not everything will look great on me and that’s not my fault. Clothes are meant to fit different shapes and sizes and, depending on the brand, they may not be able to fit YOUR shape or size, but that is okay. We often forget that models themselves don’t even fit the clothes in the ways the ads portray, which is actually comforting to know. How can we expect ourselves to fit a standard that even the most “conventionally attractive” people can’t even reach? Looking for brands that fit smaller frames can help but you can also opt to have your clothes tailored to fit perfectly. While the latter may cost an extra penny, even acknowledging the idea that it is the clothes’ fault and not your own is a surefire way to raise your self-esteem!

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Photo via Missguided

Societal Standards are an Illusion

That being said, it is very easy to forget that media is not reality. Whether it be television, Instagram, Twitter, or anything in between, we are constantly consuming propaganda that tells us how we should act, dress, and look. And guess what, it works! We become mindless robots that follow all the latest trends because we are made to believe these things determine our value and identity, a sentiment that is far from the truth. An article by the Diversity Journal entitled By Whose Standards Do We Measure Ourselves: The Illusion of Inclusion” touches upon this phenomenon, urging others to truly question whether their values are their own or if they’ve simply been programmed to believe so. 

It seems clear these standards are put in place to push specific clothes, products, and cosmetic surgeries onto others to spend their money on. Take whatever stance you want on capitalism, but I learned that one must be able to differentiate this agenda from their individual reality in order to truly be satisfied with oneself. And if you worry about not being accepted by others for such trivial things, keep in mind that those people may not even have the capacity to develop their own values without media and therefore are not worth wasting your time on.

Kristen Bryant-Girl Lounging Relax Logo 2
Kristen Bryant / Her Campus

I once had many things that I was insecure about (and don’t get me wrong, this feeling still creeps up from time to time) but as I realized these insecurities stemmed from a society that values consumerism over peace and contentment, I was able to break away from the constant feeling of dissatisfaction. It takes practice and it certainly isn’t instantaneous, but I was capable of tuning out the made-up problems society wanted me to have and accepting myself for who I am, as I’m sure everyone can do too!

Hi ! I'm Deanna, a 3rd year English major and currently an editorial intern here at Her Campus. My hobbies include watching tv, relaxing, and, of course, writing. I aim to write about what I care about and what resonates with me the most.