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Photoshop, cosmetic surgery and a plethora of fitness trainers, nutritionists and make-up artists…these are some of the things at one’s disposal. This is what the everyday girl across the globe, must compete with, whenever she glances at her favorite celebrity.

From a young age, we systematically train a child on what to like, what to dislike and assess things they consider good and of course bad. We can admit or deny the merits of this assessment, but that discussion is for another day. However, for this topic, I would like to focus my attention on young girls.

Beauty in things exists merely in the mind which contemplates them. – David Hume

According to Hume, beauty is subjective. In other words, we possess individual perceptions on what to consider beautiful. I believe Liya Kebede and Jennifer Lopez are both stunning, but to someone else, these two women are unattractive. Beauty should appear as whatever we perceive.

The problem with this idea: society says beauty is subjective, but in the same token, mass media continues proving otherwise with the imagery it depicts. Look no further than magazines listing the most beautiful women, or monumental sized posters displaying a famous female model.

If you tell a child with long hair, that long hair is hideous, this individual will grow to hate everything about their hair length. By the time they enter adolescence, they will associate short hair as beautiful and longer hair as unpleasant. This example provides insight, as to why young girls possess insecurities with their body image, which evolves into deeper issues as adults.

The complex goes so deep; these girls compare their degree of attractiveness to famous celebrities. The problem with this comparison is that a celebrity appears on television, in magazines and other media outlets, only after a team makes her photo-shoot ready.

In magazines, her photographs go through stages of editing and by the time the finished product arrives on newsstands, she looks perfect. Her wrinkles, blemishes, and all imperfections—the editor makes sure to airbrush out of existence. If you continuously see the same type of women propped by various forms of media, you begin to associate this type as the standard form of beauty.

It is difficult for an imperfect being, to compete with someone perfected by surgery, Photoshop, etc. This is a biased challenge…a winless war even. Sadly, it is one young girls wage daily.

…to be continued

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