What comes into your head when you hear the word "beauty"? Hold your thoughts, feelings and images and let me try something. From here on in, do me a favour and FORGET EVERYTHING that you currently know or have been taught about beauty. FORGET that you should be a certain size. Forget that you need perfect skin to be seen as flawless. Forget about that fake tan that you need to glow. It starts here. I want the definition of beauty to cover character and not just measurements and proportions. I am angered by the increasing amount of people losing self-worth and letting their confidence become crippled by the media's outlandish remarks. I want to start... a beauty revolution.

Imagine a free world in which you could wake up in the morning and not feel obliged to meet ANY standards. A world where you didn't fear being judged for the clothes you wear or the face you were born with.

The media is harmful in warping the minds of adolescents and adults to believe the perfect body or the perfect face is a fixed set of criteria. The phrase, “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder”, used to be a comforting and honest saying. It made us feel like we can all be loved and that we are good enough for the people who surround us. When the media broadcasts titles such as “slim down for summer”, “improve yourself with plastic surgery” and “contour your features”, the phrase becomes irrelevant. We forget that people treasure us for so much more than just our appearance and suddenly, we feel a lot less valuable. Nobody should feel pressure to look a certain way just to feel happy or wanted. Beauty in the media is portrayed as one stereotype, bracketing off the perfect man or woman. If we fall short of these expectations, inevitably, we don’t feel enough. But you are. You are enough. The following will help you believe me and understand why:

The false images in the media portray unrealistic standards. Photos are airbrushed and photo shopped to perfection. You will never look like the models in magazines because most of them don't look like that themselves! The images only provide damaging outcomes such as jealousy, low self-esteem and sometimes even depression. The bar is set exceptionally high and the bar itself is an illusion. It doesn’t exist. Beauty magazines promote self-hatred, low self-esteem and poor body image. In a humane world, there should be no correct answer to “What is beauty?” It is common fact that what one person finds attractive, the next person may not. Yet, we are told by the media that one thing is pretty and the other is ugly. Nobody should be able to define what beauty is. So, what on earth gives us the right or royalty to believe that we can or should?

On top of this, the media deliberately targets children and adolescents at a time when their brains are developing, their imaginations are vivid and they have a tendency to believe the unbelievable. At a young age, children may not have the ability to rule out propositions made by the media – it simply won't cross their mind as they won't recognise they could be false. If you’re told that “you can’t be beautiful unless you are slim”, the likelihood is, you will take it as gospel. After all, when you’re a child your perception of the world is so pure and the world seems so good. Why would the media lie? But the sad truth is - they do. Constantly.

Studies show that persistent exposure to “ideal beauty” in the media takes psychological effects in people of all ages. From distorted body image to low self-esteem, the results are devastating. The average consumer is exposed to 1,500 advertisements each day, and an average young woman will have received over 250,000 commercial messages through the media by the time she is 17. I think that is absolutely appalling. Advertisements erode one’s self esteem, then within the same advert offer to sell it back to you one product at a time. The media poses an enormous threat to our people. It sells irrational messages in attractive packages, making it seem normal to change your image drastically, or go to unhealthy extremes to achieve an ideal that was never actually set in stone in the first place.

The medias representation of beauty is clearly doing more harm than good. Do we really want to submit to a restricted way of life that causes us to be unsatisfied with the skin we're in? I really can't stand to see anyone else get affected by the ridiculous labels and branding given to people by the media. As cliché as it sounds, (I don't even care anymore), everyone is beautiful. You just need to take the time to look.

Author's Bio: 

I am a young female writer looking to publish words and advice, not only so I can improve myself and my writing, but also so I can help others and pass on my lessons. I take a huge interest in the psychology and philosophies of life, and tend to focus my writing on subjects such as self-growth and improvement. I find it important for us all to find a place in life and fulfill the huge capacity that we are capable of. Hopefully writing on this website will help a lot of people and also lead me onto a future career in writing.