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Opinion: Society Pressures Young Girls To Look Like Women

Dakota Decker
Satirical depiction of society standards pressured onto young girls.

She closes her eyes and lets the world fade away. She lets it melt. Dissipate. Become someone in her image — not society’s. She’s beautiful in that image because she’s ugly on the outside, so irrevocably ugly. Or is she? In that image of herself, she puts into her head the model image of how she wants to be perceived by the world around her — but it’s fake — her body outside those closed eyes is real. Over time, she will grow to make her body fake. Chemicals will caress her skin like her mother does and her clothes will hug her like her father used to. At the young age of twelve she watches what she eats and wears clothes that make her look “sexy” because that is how the media tells women-girls-children to look.

This scenario is derived from the real and sickening experiences young girls go through every day. As seen on TikTok and in person, young girls are going into Sephora and trying to buy age repair creams and heavy expensive makeup. Why? Because they feel they have to. Skin care is important, yes, but not for someone who hasn’t gone through puberty yet. 

Maybe these corporations are targeting these young women-girls-children to get more money. The pastels and fun colors of Drunk Elephant and the cute drawing of the elephant on the front attract the young eye and make them think that these products are intended for them. These products, though, are NOT for children. Especially when many contain acids and retinol. The simple fact is children don’t need a skin care routine. At all. At least not until they reach puberty. 

HOW TO LOSE WEIGHT FAST is plastered in ads while scrolling through Instagram. Eat less. Workout. Drink this weight loss juice. Take these weight loss pills. Be thin, not boney. And she does. Her twelve year old body puts out all the effort in the world to be That girl in the weight loss ads she stares at. These children are growing up without a childhood. Sure, throughout history there have been absurd beauty standards on the female gender, but society should have evolved enough to see that a young girl deserves a childhood, and not a life of struggling to be in The Man’s image. 

When I was around the age of 9, boys at school would call my arms and legs hairy, so much that I took my mom’s razor and tried to shave. The dreadfully sharp blades of the razor cut my leg as deep as could be — and I was frantic. The blood poured out from my leg and I thought I was going to die. I am not the only victim of this avoidable situation. Ever since razor companies wanted to expand the horizons of their businesses to the female audience in 1915, saying that body hair on women was “masculine and indelicate,” women have been pressured and ridiculed for having an ounce of body hair. When their underarm hair grows it’s referred to as being unhygienic, when men walk around with body hair like there’s no tomorrow. This influences young children to believe the idea that the absence of body hair is  better, and quite frankly that belief is what is disgusting. 

Oh and the toy sections! Look at this babydoll, little girl! Feed it. Change it. Be a mother. BUT DON’T GET PREGNANT TOO SOON! Oh wait, you don’t even know how babies are made yet, so… why are your toys designed to take care of one?

Children’s toys also have a gigantic influence on child development and behaviors. Boy toys are usually: guns, cars, tool sets, etc. See the pattern. The perfect man starter kit. But for girls, the toys are all trying to teach them how to be pretty or a mommy.  Handing a little girl a baby doll and always telling her she’ll be a mother one day really does cause a little girl to be more mature than her male counterpart. 

Dolls such as LOL Surprise and Rainbow High are big examples of modern beauty standards. Showing skin. Crazy makeup. Skinny waist. Big hips. All of society’s influence in one expensive package. Why don’t we just start putting makeup on our actual babies? Maybe then they’ll grow up thinking they’re beautiful as we lie to them.

All in all, there’s no excuse for how these poor girls are being smacked by the hardships of being beautiful. They need to run barefoot in the little bit of grass that’s left. They need to dream up crazy, extraordinary dreams. These children need to embrace their natural femininity and feel free from the pressure of being something they’re not. Every single woman-girl-child  is beautiful, and every single one of them deserves to feel that way.

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