I despise crop tops. Not just the tops themselves, but the meaning behind them. Because do girls honestly wear a top that does not cover half their stomach because they like it? Or do they wear it simply because that is what is expected of them by society? What is “expected” of teenage girls these days from guys is this unrealistic idea of a “perfect girl”. Long, straight hair, skinny thighs, small waist, and big breasts. Even better, it does not really matter if we are smart. As long as we are physically attractive and you guessed it, wearing less clothing, they will give us a chance. The National Center for Health Statistics says that the average American women is about 5’4 and weighs about 169 pounds, but talk to any teenage boy and his answer will be somewhere around 5’4 and 115 pounds. From the looks of it, this picture of the ideal girl is nothing more then what we look like on the outside. What these guys do not realize is that by forcing us to look a certain way, we are also changing on the inside … and I am sick of it.
Girls no longer dress for themselves and wear what they want to wear, but they wear what they “should” wear. We have been manipulated into not showing our true selves, and instead showing what they want to see. And for what? The attention? The truth is that should not be the kind of attention we want as young women. Society has ripped teenage girls’ self-confidence to shreds by portraying the idea that everyone needs to look one way to be completely accepted. This perfect image is inhumane because at 15 years old we are not meant to be 100 pounds. At 15 we are not meant to be free of pimples and imperfections. At 15 we are not meant to be treated like bait for guys to use and throw around. At 15 we are not and SHOULD NOT feel the need to surgically change ourselves for someone else’s wants and pleasure. Just last year there were over 220,000 procedures done on teenage girls says the Americans Society of Plastic Surgeons. We are not objects but we are women. We are young women and we deserve to be treated equally with kindness. Every one person is beautiful and talented in their own way and no one should dare try and tell them otherwise. Our talents, and strengths are hidden if we do not look like what these people want us to look like, which is disgusting.
What we need is for men to realize that we are more than the clothes we wear and the length of our hair. They need to realize that the amount of makeup on our faces should not determine the amount of respect we deserve. The strongest women are the ones you do not see coming and the girl hiding behind all the makeup and clothes is the one who is broken by the way she has been treated. The time is now for society to realize that we are all made up of the same parts on the inside and we have the blessing to show our individuality on the outside. What we show is our choice and we deserve the right to be who we want to be and to not have to dress for someone else.
I am proud of who I am. I will wear what makes me feel like the best version of myself. No guy or girl will tell me I am not pretty enough or not skinny enough because I know that the “me” everyone sees is not just good enough, it is great. I will not let the unrealistic ideas of a perfect body shatter my judgment of the true beauty of myself physically and mentally. I will not hide under clothing I do not like or makeup that makes me uncomfortable. But I will continue to make a difference in the way people feel about self-esteem and body image. I will help to show others that they are beautiful and they have purpose. I will do these things because I can. I can because I am strong… I am woman.
By Alexandra DePinto ’19, Guest Writer