Marieanne Paniagua, News Editor
Glossy lips, Long eyelashes, thin waists, what was beautiful yesterday isn’t today. The word beautiful is a word of many definitions.
One could say beautiful is confidence, or the perfect smile, but who decides what beautiful is?
Nowadays, people are so obsessed with themselves. We spend so much time over exaggerating every inch of our body, judging others and ourselves. People all around the world are setting themselves up in their own never ending trap, comparing and envying others based on their physical features. This leaves more time focusing on what we don’t have and less time accepting and loving who we are as a person.
We do all we can to keep up with the pointless and never ending trends. These trends come and go so fast it doesn't even seem rational to follow them, but that doesn't stop us, leaving us to only feel obligated to participate. For example, Crop Tops. We’ve seen this trend on the face of every cover and on most teenage girls. Girls feel the pressure to wear these types of clothing styles. In my personal experience, I’ve always been in an uncomfortable position about body image. Most people we see who wear crop tops are relatively “skinny”. From what I see, people have grown to the idea that in order to look good and attractive in a crop top, you need to have a thin waist. So my question is, “What if you can’t keep up with these trends?, Are we suddenly not beautiful?”
According to a study taken, Approximately 91% of women are unhappy with their bodies and resort to dieting to achieve their ideal body shape. Unfortunately, only 5% of women naturally possess the body type often portrayed by Americans in media.
Exercising and dieting just to look like how the 5% of americans look like seems ridiculous, but women continue to pressure themselves into fitting into a such small, limited category. In my experience, I’ve also have felt the need to be thin or slim. Over the years I have struggled with my weight, always having to limit the amount of junk food I consume. Growing up in a time where thinness is beautiful has directly impacted my life and has shaped what I see as “beauty.”
According to dosomething.org, “Body image is closely linked to self-esteem. Low self-esteem in adolescents can lead to eating disorders, early sexual activity, substance use and suicidal thoughts.”
As I interviewed a freshman at Samueli Academy, She recounted her story and how she struggles with her eating disorder. “The reason I have an eating disorder is because of all the pressures of society.” She goes on later talking about how magazines, ads, and social media show mostly “skinny” models and neglects “plus sized” models.
The term “Plus Size” in the model industry is a term that has been highly exaggerated. According to Plus Size model regulations the size range is from size 6 - 14. While models, like the ones seen on runways ands covers of magazines weigh 90 to 120 pounds, for females and 120 pound to 160 pounds for men. Plus size in normal retail stores is considered sizes 16 and plus. It’s rather disappointing that the model industry has the need to change group sizes, and excludes diversity.
According to ABC news, “ 20 years ago the average model weighed 8%less than the average woman, today fashion models weigh 23% less.” We are living in a different time then we did 20 years ago. The pressures to look like models and celebrities is at an all time high. Beauty standards are shifting and so is the way people view themselves.
Editor-in-chief, PLUS Model MAgazine, Madeline Figueroa Jones said “This is the real life, I don’t think people realize how much fashion, models, and ad campaigns does to the women self-esteem.”
Self esteem isn’t just attacking adults and adolescents, but children too. Statistics taken from the national association of anorexia nervosa and associated disorder depict that 81% of 10 year olds are afraid of being fat. They also state that 69% of girls in the 5th-12th grade reported that magazine pictures influenced their idea of a perfect body shape. This is outrageous that people at such a young age in their life are thinking shout their bodies. Worrying that they aren’t good enough. The last thing that should be on a 10 year old’s mind is their body.
“This really bugs me, a lot of people are just looking at the person's body, wishing they could be like them,” said Pamela Paredes, junior.
As I mentioned before, we are spending so much time evaluating our bodies, calculating our weight, and applying piles of makeup. We are essentially hiding who we are, who were born to be. People need to start loving themselves. Self love is the most beautiful connection you can have with yourself. If you don’t love yourself how can you love anyone else.
People are more than just bodies, we have a heart, we have a mind, and we have personality. As human beings, we share different emotions and different attributes, not one is like the other. If we could spend more time understanding ourselves and realize we are different, maybe we could finally see how amazingly beautiful and strong each of us are
Mariana Ortega-Rodriguez said, “Appearance doesn't make up a beautiful person, character does.”
Editor Board, 2016-2017
Editor in Chief: