The Hamilton Spectator

Being a Girl: Pressures & Pitfalls

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LINDA ABDEL HAFEEZ, GRADE 8

It seems like girls can’t do anything without being mocked or ridiculed for it.

If a girl likes Starbucks and Uggs, she’s considered stereotypi­cal. If she likes combat boots and coffee shops, she’s a wannabe. If a girl doesn’t wear makeup, she’s a slob, but if she likes wearing makeup, she is trying too hard. If a girl has low self-esteem, she needs to learn how to love herself. On the other hand, if she has high self-esteem she’s overconfid­ent and vain. If she’s interested in politics, she is a ‘crazy social justice warrior.’ But, if she prefers to stay out of political matters, she’s a dumb airhead. In my generation, girls are mocked for everything they do! But, who is to blame?

Girls can barely be themselves in our society, but why? Girls get mixed messages to be ourselves but at the same time to be perfect. Impossible.

In the media, we are taught to view our bodies as objects and to compare each other based on our body shape. We are also only viewed as beautiful if our bodies match or exceed the limit of what we are supposed to look like. Seven out of 10 girls believe that they are not good enough and don’t measure up. Female celebritie­s have a big impact on self-esteem and confidence. We all want to look as beautiful as Selena Gomez and we want the attention that Emma Watson gets. Even other girls attack one another, condemning what brands of clothing they wear.

As a girl, I always find myself trying my hardest to fit the unrealisti­c standards of our society. The question is, what road should I take: the road that makes me happy with the way I look, or the road that makes me feel like I’m under a microscope in the science lab? Sadly, most girls end up feeling like a science experiment.

So, who is to blame? The truth is, it doesn’t matter. The only thing that matters is that we try to change the way we think and keep talking. Discussion leads to truth and truth leads to positive change.

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