Today I looked at the calender. In eight months I will be twenty. A cold sweat rushes down my face, an overwhelming fear of age took hold. Twenty feels old. I can feel my limbs start to creak with age and my skin begin to sag. It is terrifying to think that soon enough I won't be a "teen". My beauty and feelings of self worth begin to fade and I have to stop myself and ask, why?
Why do I feel this way? Why does age take beauty away so fully? Why does the idea of beauty take over so many of my thoughts and effect how I feel about who I am? I calm a bit, knowing how ridiculous I'm being, but the fear lays in wait underneath my calm.
I'm not talking about this to ask people to listen to my rants of insecurity. I'm talking about this because I know that I am not alone. So many women in America deal with thoughts similar to these every single day, so many women are constantly questioning their worth based on an unrealistic standard of beauty.
This leads to many women having self-image issues that can lead to eating disorders in an attempt to emulate the models on TV, or the women in movies that we are told are the only form of beauty. In many African and Asian cultures being overweight is considered to be more attractive because it is a sign of health. The ideal of beauty in America wants women to be unhealthy, wants them to be weak and helpless so that they cannot become anything more than a pretty face and a bone-baring body.
And while these emaciated stars leave women ready to turn off their hunger or turn on their gag reflect, the sexual objectification of women in the media leads them to the plastic surgeon for a new set of this or that and a lift here or there. It seems as if for so many women, the idea of accepting the shape they were born with is incredibly difficult. It also seems that the idea of aging gracefully has become a thing of the past as the media's obsession with youth takes over the minds of those who would still be beautiful if they allowed themselves to age as they should.
Women have to start realizing that every body type, face type, skin color, etcetera is beautiful. While many women are extremely comfortable with their bodies and are not left feeling saddened when they look through magazines or watch TV, there are too many who are. We [women] as a whole must understand what is seen in the media is not only unrealistic, but unhealthy. A size zero waist is not what it takes to be beautiful, and it is in fact, depending on height and age, extremely bad for you. Why would being emaciated be attractive?