Teens struggle to live up to unrealistic media expectations

This ad for Cover Girl shows the ultimate It girl in todays world

This ad for Cover Girl shows the ultimate “It” girl in today’s world

Josie Morss, Staff Writer

Trends like the use of Snapchat, bold eyebrows, and emojis have swept the nation, completely consuming their loyal followers.  There are those who don’t take part in the new fads, however countless devoted adherents roam the halls of Lakeville North.  

A constantly changing trend in society is makeup. Every year the makeup world shifts gears on what’s in and what’s not. Lakeville North is home to many aspiring beauty gurus. One of those fresh-faced dreamers is Freshman, Anika Wilson.

“I wear makeup because it’s fun and you can make yourself look more put together,” Wilson said.

Freshman Molly Rapp had much in common with Wilson.

“I wear makeup for myself. I wear it because it makes me feel confident, powerful, and beautiful,” Rapp said. “It’s something I have control over, and something that I have the ability to change whether I want to wear it or not.”

Two thirds of respondents in an informal survey said that society does pressure girls and guys to look and act a certain way.

According to the social change organization Dosomething, 70% of girls ages 15-17 dodge daily activities like school because they feel badly about their appearance.

But girls aren’t the only target for societal pressure. More than 40% of boys in middle school and high school exercise regularly with the goal of gaining more muscle mass.

In today’s media-saturated environment, it’s inevitable that an “ideal” standard of beauty dominates advertising and has taken over social media by storm, ultimately, setting unrealistic expectations for appearance and a specific lifestyle. Many teenagers have succumbed to societal pressure targeted towards teens. One of those teens is freshman, Oscar Munguia.

“Guys are pressured to have a six pack, be super good at sports, be charismatic, and wear brand name clothes,” Munguia said.

Rapp, who has also taken notice of this not so subtle pressure said, “Society has always pressured girls into looking a certain way. Magazines, commercials, and even books all have the same image. That a certain set of standards and rules define the term beauty. Rapp goes on to say, “We were taught that tall, skinny, blonde hair, and flawless skin is what makes a girl desirable. Society raised us into thinking less of ourselves if we didn’t fit into a predetermined list of physical qualities.”

Clearly societal pressure plays a huge role in shaping the minds of our future leaders, doctors, lawyers, teachers, and role models. It’s part of life and we can’t avoid it, but hopefully one day, as time goes on, someone will change these trends and targeted pressure into something more realistic and positive change and encouragement will reach all levels of girls and boys around the world.