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thirteen

teen image problems

By Kia T Cooper-ErbstPublished about a year ago 3 min read
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UUgh. Why am i not pretty? Why wont my mother let me wear make up. I am so ugly. I hate my hair, my skin, eta...... Or is it because i am fat? They don't like me. Why? Ugh!!!!

*I'm guessing this to be the thoughts of the majority of teen girls between the ages of 12-18. Based on the thoughts of my 13 year old ....they are.*

Teen image is something that is always under attack. Social media promotes the theory that you have to look a certain way in order to be popular or pretty. We are undulated with filters and apps that supposedly make every one look flawless with no skin problems.

When i was a teenager, i was told you are pretty if you have clear skin..... so i learned how to properly cleanse my skin. Or you could be more beautiful if you are skinny..... i was never gonna be a barbie doll so i just ate healthy. We knew that the models didn't always have good skin and that made them special in our eyes because they were human just like us.

This was before every time you took a picture you could use a filter to hide your flaws. Before the days of young girls wanting plastic surgery just to change their nose or lift their chest . Young girls today try so hard to look older than their years. Wanting to be grown so soon, wearing layers of makeup. Showing naturalness is not something that is encouraged often whether it comes to hair or even skin.

They see people like the K family, who became famous by exploiting their looks but not through god given talent. Our music is dominated by songs that tell young women and girls that we are only worthy if we have perfect bodies or sell songs about certain things our bodies do .

As a mother of daughters, i try and combat the idea that we must be perfect, thin, coating our faces with layers of make up to look pretty or worthy. Giving them a healthy self image that says yes i maybe naturally beautiful but i also have a brain. I don't need to be a size 0 that I just need to be healthy.

My 20 year old enjoys using the artistry of make up not to cover up her natural beauty but to increase it in minimal ways while her 13 year old sister is just starting her journey in learning that taking care of oneself will stand her better than all the make up in the world later on. We talk about body image as well as self image because both go hand in hand.

They both laugh when I tell them that beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but truthfully it really is. I keep my skin healthy and clear, not by using filters or apps to take away from my beauty but by knowing to properly cleanse. When discussing body image, i tell them that most of the time models in magazines have been photo shopped so they look like they have no problems like the rest of the human population.

I wish that most of the beauty gurus that preteens and teens see on social media take the time to actually teach people to properly take care of their skin from the inside out.

I think the best thing that we can do for our young girls is to teach them that natural beauty is to be appreciated, no one is perfect, and only a barbie doll can be a barbie doll.

beauty
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About the Creator

Kia T Cooper-Erbst

Writer, poet, author. submissive. Mom of three wonderful human beings. These are the first things that come to mind when I think of myself besides being the obvious.... which is daughter, wife,etc.

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