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Come on, ladies, it is time to embrace your beauty

Olivia Brayan

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All women know that feeling, a sickening feeling that takes hold as you mistakenly glance at the rack in the grocery queue.  It starts in your gut and slowly rises as your eyes are captured by the stick-thin, perfectly-proportioned models staring up at you with their laughing eyes, like they know exactly what’s going through your mind.
Women have become standardized.
We are told and consequently misinformed.
The majority of the female population has come to believe that if they don’t look, act, or dress a certain way that they will never be considered pretty, or – dare I say – beautiful.
Who is to blame for this misconception? We all are in some way. The whole fashion world is made for the visual pleasure and it’s a well-known fact that men are the more visually-stimulated of the two genders.
But, ladies, come on. We are stuffed, stitched and set on display in a dress that is complemented by heels we can barely walk in. Then we loudly complain as we sip on water and eat like a bird to remain the perfect size, so the next day we can wake up and feel semi-satisfied with the helpless girl we stare at in the mirror.
You’ve got to admit that at some point in time the cycle gets a bit old.
We live in a new era of change. There are numerous avenues a person could take to transform who they are into their dream persona.
A person can go from that quiet pretty girl to a loud bombshell overnight if they truly wanted to. As long as you had enough money and connections you could change your very genetic make-up. You know, those sorry excuses for genes dear old Mom and Dad gave you that didn’t give you that natural eight-pack.
Yet, let’s be honest, if you aren’t happy with who you are, no amount of plastic surgery or hair dye is going to change that. It’s what’s inside that can change that, and how you view yourself is the only thing that’s going to make what you see in the mirror any better.
In the olden days—by this I mean before we had electricity —if you had some curve to you, it meant you were attractive and valued. So when did this change, when did we start to view anorexia as sexy?
The fashion industry does not help much, either: I know when I’m looking down at that “beautiful” model with her sparkling eyes, it’s really not her. That’s an over-edited, underfed young woman who probably doesn’t even have that small of hips. So why do we try to look like her?
I have watched some of my closest friends struggle to fit into society’s molds; I myself have struggled.  Ever since I was younger, all I wanted was to be like tiny, cute, straight-haired girls in my class.
Then one day it hit me: I can’t try to look like them because I never will. I’m a big-boned girl, I’ve got a mess of crazy, puffy curls that, more often than not, chose to do whatever they want, and if I were still on MySpace my body type would be “a little more to love.”
So I’ve got to be honest with myself; nothing short of extensive surgery would change all that.
Then I realized, the more I looked in the mirror, the more I liked what I saw. It took me eighteen years, numerous diets, countless bottles of hair dye and a lot of words of wisdom, but it finally hit me. I’m beautiful the way I am.
So, ladies, go easy on yourselves.
Don’t change to fit society’s expectations; make your own. And next time your eyes are glued to that magazine cover, remember it probably took a whole day for that girl to get anywhere close to that ‘beauty’ and a team of photo editors to give her that extra boost.
I don’t know about you, but the last thing I want is a guy following me around campus with an eraser trying to fix my every cosmetic mistake.
It’s like that British singer, Jessie Jay, says: “There’s nothing wrong with who you are!”

Comments, concerns, criticisms or questions on this opinion can be sent to Olivia.Jasmine.Brayan@live.mercer.edu.

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Come on, ladies, it is time to embrace your beauty