Writer: Shahd Fekry
“You look beautiful”, “Beauty is from within”, “You have to be your own kind of beautiful.”
Women hear these phrases nearly every single day. But why should women only aim for beauty? Why don’t they aim for kindness, intelligence and success in their career? It’s because we live in a world where vanity is seen as the most important thing women should aspire to achieve. If we are not beautiful, we are not worthy of love, friendship and respect.
Well here’s what: we are beautiful in so many ways, and we must try to be less concerned with the kind of ‘beautiful’ that makes people stop and stare, and we should instead yearn for the kind of beautiful that makes people stop and think.
It’s incredibly unhealthy for young girls to think that being pretty is the best thing they can be. Girls are taught they are only valuable if they are considered attractive, and this puts pressure on girls to conform to unrealistic beauty standards.
Women are so much more than just ‘pretty things’ for others to look at. We should teach girls to be confident, clever, strong and ambitious. These attributes are much more important than beauty. We don’t need to spend hours in the gym, sculpting our bodies, and we most certainly don’t need to buy thousands of products to change our faces, skin and hair. We should not be forced to spend our hard earned money on clothes and accessories that society tells us are ‘suitable’ for our body type, or on make-up that hides our ‘faults’.
Individuality is what makes us all unique. Our appearance is something by which we can express our personality, our uniqueness, but it does not define who we are as a person. It should not make a difference in how we are treated by others and it should have no impact at all on how much we are respected.