“People often say that ‘beauty is in the eye of the beholder,’ and I say that the most liberating thing about beauty is realizing that you are the beholder. This empowers us to find beauty in places where others have not dared to look, including inside ourselves.”– Salma Hayek

At the start of my internship with SWSG, I came across something that really impacted me: according to the Dove Campaign for Real Beauty, only 4% of women across the world consider themselves beautiful. I want to reach out to young women and remind them that they ARE beautiful in their own ways. I want to remind women that we should not be slaves to the images that we are constantly bombarded with on several television shows and magazines. Whether you have curly or straight hair, blue eyes or brown eyes, freckles or clear skin I want all young women to remember that they ARE awesome.
From a young age, we are bombarded with media images of women who appear to be perfect. Their double-zero waists, flawless skin, and shiny hair leaves women around the world displeased with their own bodies. However, these images are airbrushed and photo-shopped. They are not real. Womenshealth.gov (an excellent health resource) reports that, according to the National Eating Disorders Association, the average American woman is 5 feet 4 inches tall and weighs 140 pounds. The average American model is 5 feet 11 inches tall and weighs 117 pounds. This disconnect has led many young women to take drastic measures to achieve this “perfect body.” What we need to remind ourselves is that WE are all different. As I have grown older, I realized that it’s not about having the “perfect body” it’s about being healthy by exercising, eating right, and loving yourself.
As a young woman, I know what it’s like to grow up in a society that is fixated on outward appearance and beauty. I read the magazines and wanted to look just like the celebrities and models. That was never going to happen. For starters, I am a whopping 5’1 and was never going to have the long legs that I constantly saw in the magazines. As I have grown up, I really have made an effort to embrace all my imperfections and flaws. Am I perfectly pleased with everything about myself? NO. There are mornings where I feel like I look like I am related to Chewbacca. But I have learned not to care. I am happy with how I look. When you look at a magazine, don’t compare yourself to every single model that you see. YOU are the real deal. It’s time for us, as women, to join hands and stop ridiculing ourselves for not being “perfect.”

I have a challenge that I want you to do tomorrow morning. When you first wake up and go to the bathroom, look in the mirror, smile at your reflection, and tell yourself that you are happy with what you see. I know this may sound incredibly lame and corny, but trust me on this one. I try to do this at least once a day, and it has really helped me grow as a person and accept who I am. I hope it does the same for you.