Whether we realise it or not, whatever age we are, we all want to fit in to society. We change ourselves just to conform to society’s standards of ‘perfect.’ But this is completely wrong, a ‘perfect person’ doesn’t exist.
From a personal point of view, I’m not ashamed to admit that I have tried to change myself, which sounds strange, but I have. I think, to a certain extent, if it isn’t changing ourselves to meet society’s standards, it’s changing ourselves to catch someone’s attention.
Society has brainwashed us. Thin individuals are told that they need to ‘lose weight’ while others are teased for their weight. Is it any wonder that so many teenagers are so unhappy within themselves, the number of people with eating disorders rises? It’s no surprise if you look around today.
The biggest pressure to fit in is of course in school. Everyone wants to be accepted by the ‘cool’ group and every school has their own groups. I remember that when I was in school, the group I was in didn’t have a name, but there was one group called ‘The Pink Crew.’ Yes, a group of girls had gained a reputation and were called this, mainly because every Friday, they would use too much make-up to impress some boy they were meeting after school.
Even that in itself is wrong. Wearing too much make-up to cover natural beauty? We shouldn’t feel the need to plaster ourselves in products, but no, society has changed so much, that many now use make-up as a shield. For me personally, I’ve never worn a lot of make-up, and many people have told me ‘oh but you would look so much prettier if you wore more make-up.’ I couldn’t really care less, I have better things to be doing than to spend an hour putting on a mask before I go out.
I know that I suffer from low confidence and low self-esteem. This is partly because of pressure I put on myself, but also because of what I witness around me. I compare myself to all these girls and think ‘well I’ll never look as pretty as her’ – and I think even the fact I feel the need to compare myself to other people says a lot.
I remember there was one girl who used to love bringing me down. Every time we went out, she would have something to say about me. I’ll never forget when she once told me that I should consider getting a nose job. I looked at her in shock. How dare anyone comment on my insecurities and try to use these against me.
Another thing I think is pretty sad is how people compare their beauty to the number of followers/’friends’ they have and how many likes they receive on a photo. I’ve seen people get 500 likes on photos, whereas I’ve also seen people who get 20 likes. Numbers don’t matter, it doesn’t represent anything. It isn’t a representation of beauty, personality or character – it’s a number. That’s it.
There are some girls I know and they go through social media and scrutinise every girl they see. ‘Her make-up is awful, she’s so ugly, ew look at her’ – and I sit there appalled. One day, I turned round to them and said ‘but how would you feel if someone was sitting at home doing the exact same with your pictures, calling you ugly?’ And they turned and looked at me and said ‘but she is’ and I said ‘no she’s not, she’s beautiful in her own way.’ I think it’s pretty disgusting that today people feel the need to bring others down just to make themselves feel better. But that’s what society is like, and we can never impress anyone.
Any decision we make is going to be analysed. Get it right, people will judge. Get it wrong, people will still judge. So you may as well do what you want, because you will be judged for whatever you do.
In an ideal world, people should have more confidence and not listen to what society says. Society has changed us as a generation, and we shouldn’t feel that we have to hide behind a mask in order to look ‘pretty.’ As Oscar Wilde once said: ‘be yourself; because everyone else is taken.’