Teenage Girls and Self Esteem
As if being a teen isn't tough enough, health and beauty magazines are packed with airbrushed images of thin and beautiful young women. Society would have you believe that all teens and women look flawless and picture-perfect.
But is that realistic? What happened to "real people" and where do ordinary girls fit in? How can this NOT have an affect on your self-esteem if you're a teen -- or even a grown woman?
Beauty is in the Eye of the Beholder
While many models are born with attractive features, not all are considered beautiful to the average person. Many are chosen simply because they are tall, thin and photograph well. How many times have you seen a celebrity on the cover of a magazine and thought "that doesn't even look like her!" But do you know what she really looks like anyway?
Take any adolescent girl and give her a dietician, hair stylist, make-up professional and fashion expert for her wardrobe. Do you think this would make a difference in how she looks and in her self confidence? Absolutely! Just having all of those professionals swoon over you and pay you to look your best would definitely give your self confidence a boost.
Why Models Look so Good
Professional photographers are just that -- professional. They know how to use lighting, angles and distance for the best photographs. Not only do they know how to take beautiful pictures, they know how to bring out the personalities of their models and make them shine.
With today's modern technology, photos can be retouched in more ways than you can imagine. Fine lines, wrinkles, freckles and blemishes can be removed with a touch of a mouse. Skin tone is evened out and the eye color of the model can even be changed. Broken or crooked teeth? Easy to fix. How about a thinner look? No problem... If stretching the photo doesn't have the desired effect, they can just edit in a slimmer body.
It all sounds good doesn't it? Anyone who knows models and celebrities personally will tell you that on a regular day, they look like a "normal" person without the make-up and glamour. But we don't see that side, we just see the glamorized images -- and unfortunately that makes us feel inferior.
What does this mean? Just because you don't look like the model on a cover of a magazine does NOT mean that you aren't beautiful. SHE even looks different than what she's accustomed to on an average day.
While we know that your inner self is what really counts, there are things you can do to enhance your natural outer beauty, so you feel better about yourself.
For example, personal hygiene and good posture have a tremendous affect on your self esteem. How you perceive yourself is how others will see you. Forget any negative thoughts and focus on your finer points.
Learn some basic skin care, hair and make-up techniques to bring out your best features. Play down the features you think are less flattering. We all have them, and don't think for a minute that models don't have what they consider themselves as "flaws."
Finally, don't be hard on yourself. Your are probably more critical of how you look than anyone else. Accept yourself as beautiful and others will accept you too.
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