EDITORIAL: Pressure for perfection in women simply artificial

It is easy to joke about and laugh at aspects of life that seem universally funny and understandable: endless lines at the movies, poor quality food in an airplane, entrapment by countless rows of traffic, you name it. Yet, these everyday observations that are often exploited by stand-up comedians and sitcom writers — such as a husband waiting impatiently as his wife takes an eternity to prepare for a night out — may reveal more about our society than one would like to think.

Take a look at any run-of-the-mill high school girl, and then do the same to an average adolescent male. Aside from the blatantly obvious physical differences that these two specimens have, you will begin to find more and more of a divide between the sexes.

The female will more than likely have painstakingly positioned every hair to its ideal location, painted a masterful array of cosmetics onto her face with the skill of a renaissance artist, and picked out an outfit coordinated with the finesse of a culinary master preparing a banquet fit for royalty.

With men, however, you would be hard-pressed to find a combed piece of hair, and even less likely to spot any attempt to cover blemishes or imperfections. They’ll have a simple tee-shirt and a pair of athletic shorts that were haphazardly thrown on with record speed.

Maybe that’s a bit of a generalization, but let’s face it, girls primp more than guys.

“I just feel that girls have to live up to this ultimate figure,” senior Megan Byrne said. “It’s not necessarily for guys, but more or less to impress the other girls. It’s like it’s a competition.”

So why is it that females see the need to strive for physical perfection while males can get by with little to no effort? Certainly this idea has more to do with the differing nature of the sexes due to the drastic differences seen in males and females. It doesn’t seem to have much to do with age, as it is prevalent in groups of varying ages, from pre-teens to senior citizens.

This aesthetic fixation seems to be pointless, and without reason; even a biological analysis doesn’t provide a full explanation.

That is because there is nothing natural about this bizarre, unequal idea of beauty that exists in our world.

The blame for this phenomena often gets pinned on the female sex, with countless uttering of “girls will be girls” covering up a much uglier reality. The fact is that society puts an inexorable burden on females to be “perfect.”

It starts from the very first dolls, movies, televisions shows; they all create a false idea inside of the minds of young girls everywhere that beauty is a limited and regulated thing: that it follows strict guidelines, that it lives exclusively in the fast lane and slows down for no one, and most horrifically, despicably, and unacceptably, that if they do not meet the expectations set forth by Vogue and Cosmopolitan, or Nickelodeon and Disney, they are not beautiful.

The problem lies with society’s definition of what beauty is. The problem is that society defines beauty — something that by nature cannot be defined.
What is crucial to recognize is the illegitimate, unmerited, and simply unfair position that girls and women throughout the world are put in on a daily basis.

Girls, for instance, are often pressured to conform to arbitrary standards of attire and behavior. It’s for this reason that a false rumor that MHS would be banning leggings became so widespread, and unfortunately, it was not a very far-fetched idea.

It is a momentous, powerful type of evil illusion—but that’s all it is, an illusion. Every ounce of its power can be taken away by the simple realization that the fallacies that have been created to sell movies and perfumes that have become so much more to society are nothing more than illustrated ideals that hold no real value.

Women and men alike have thus voiced their criticisms with increasing volume. Notably, #YesAllWomen trended on Twitter following the UCSB shooting, revealing the vast extent of misogyny and sexism that has been prevalent in our society.

As soon as beauty no longer has a definition, the issue at hand will be nonexistent. Though people will still dress differently and there will be people who prefer certain looks to other, there will be one distinct difference. People will be able to simply appreciate the beauty of others, without jealousy or envy, but more importantly, the beauty of themselves.

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