Beauty Today


Grace Dorsey

It’s the seventh grade and Liz Koopman has been telling people that they are getting a drastic haircut. Over and over again friends and family would protest and say “but it looks nice this way.”
Of course it wasn’t about how other people perceived the cut to her. It was more about having fun than it was about having a rebellious stage or wanting to be more attractive to others.
Although Koopman still  may encounter some judgment from time to time, it’s worth it to express themselves freely.
“It was meant to be complimentary, like my hair looks nice right now but I was  thinking that I have just told you something I want to change something about myself and it’s not a negative thing. I wasn’t saying I don’t like my hair it’s just that I want to cut it so I can have more fun with it,” Koopman, now a sophomore, said. “That came out to me as not really a compliment but that I shouldn’t have much autonomy over what I’m doing with my body. ”
Body image is a defining aspect in one’s self-esteem and confidence, and with so many advertisements telling the general population what it means to be happy with themselves, it’s hard to separate what an individual wants and what the media has told this person to want. Even within how people see themselves there is a constantly changing scale, one day they could be borderline narcissistic the next they may feel self-loathing beyond measure.
Pactiva Sheldon, publisher of “Pressure to be perfect, Influences on college students’ body esteem” has research which shows that family and peers have more of a direct impact than either magazines or television. Young adults and teens do have more of a risk to being influenced by media though compared to people in their 20s and older because of developmental psychology. This mindset makes them compare themselves to others, whether it be to a model, or their classmates according to Sheldon’s fieldwork. This behavior combined with impossible beauty standards can wreak havoc on their self-esteem and body image.

On a worldwide level media campaigns [need] to stop glorification of thinness.”-Pactiva Sheldon

“On an individual level [people need to] become aware of photo shopped images, e.g. Victoria Secrets models.” Sheldon said. “On a school-wide level [they should] talk about body image; make sure that students realize that what you see in the media is often not real and is edited; even if models have the perfect body, very few of us can achieve their body (tall and very skinny); in fact, it is not healthy to starve and those women often have a lot of health issue as a result of low body weight (think of amenorrhea; weak hair). On a worldwide level media campaigns [need] to stop glorification of thinness.”
However, even if that particular study didn’t find evidence to support media negatively affecting girls’ body image, other studies, including one which followed Fijian girls’ exposure to television compared to how they viewed their body, did. The results showed that between girls who watched a lot of television and those who didn’t the former were 50 percent more likely to call themselves “too big or fat. This effect might even be prevalent in Rock Bridge.
“…It [media] makes me feel worse about myself because they push this idea that women should be stick thin, and that you should be able to see all of their bones.” Elise Sickler said “But it also makes me feel better about myself because I know a lot of the time the girls who are that thin aren’t healthy, and if I were to do that I wouldn’t be healthy and I probably wouldn’t be able to have the self-confidence I have now.”
Another possibility is that people are actually influenced in a more subconscious way, taking in advertisements, movie troupes and models that essentially equate being thin to being happy. The 60.5 million diet industry has a lot to gain from preying on overweight or even normal consumers and with promises of more energy, more friends and overall more success, as long as you buy their weight loss product (of course). This conflicts tremendously with the American mantra of “Bigger is better. “A Carl’s Jr. commercial from this past super bowl perfectly portrays how these two ideals interact, as it shows a model with a flat stomach and slim, long legs eat a 760 calorie burger with a whopping 44 grams of fat.
In the past few years there has been a huge push for more variety and positivity in the bodies that the media shows. Take for instance, The Dove® Campaign for Real Beauty. The campaign showcases women of all body types and ages in their ads. They also use the fact that 98% women don’t consider themselves beautiful as a selling point, instead of preying on insecurities. But even with all the praise that’s been given surrounding these campaigns some feel that men have been neglected. With athletes becoming more and more muscly, the boys looking up to them may feel as though they need to look like that to become successful- even if steroids are necessary to achieve that.
“I compare my body image to athletes to see what I could do to look better by a public standard.”  Alex Haffley, freshman said.It’s clear that there are two competing forces when it comes to body image in the media. One glorifies a narrow description of beauty while simultaneously shaming women into buying products. The other celebrates diversity and self-confidence.
There are a lot of things people do that can support one or the other so if a person wants to help combat body negativity
it’s important to think about their actions, and according to a NEDA article there are some steps the person can do to help. Protesting messages that contain body shaming, wearing clothes based on what feels good rather than what looks good and reminding people that beauty isn’t just skin deep are just a few of the tips listed.
“We should stop trying to say that it’s normal to have negative body image for girls. Elise Sickler, freshman said. Whenever people ask others how they have so much self-confidence it kind of bothers me because they’re saying it as though it’s not normal for women to have so much self-confidence.”
By Grace DorseyInfo graphic by Grace Dorsey
Credit to Buzzfeed for photos and for the information.[vc_custom_heading text=”Do you compared yourself to others?” font_container=”tag:h2|font_size:30|text_align:center” google_fonts=”font_family:PT%20Serif%3Aregular%2Citalic%2C700%2C700italic|font_style:400%20regular%3A400%3Anormal”][TS-VCSC-Content-Flip flip_effect_speed=”fast” back_title=”Mj King Freshman” back_content=” “Yes, I do, sometimes when I’m playing football for Rock Bridge I compare myself to the people who are good and I want to try to make myself be as good as them.”” front_icon_replace=”true” front_image=”272787″ front_icon_size=”512″][TS-VCSC-Content-Flip flip_effect_speed=”fast” back_title=”Madison Wright, Sophomore” back_content=”“Yeah, I think it’s a pretty natural thing especially with the emphasis the media puts on body image.”
” front_icon_replace=”true” front_image=”272788″ front_icon_size=”370″][TS-VCSC-Content-Flip flip_effect_speed=”fast” back_title=”Lauren Wankum, Junior” back_content=”“I guess in some ways more than others. So like, looking at people in my orchestra and looking at the chamber people to see that I want to be with them instead of being with people who look up to me. But in some ways I don’t because I’m my own unique person, I do what I want to do.” ” front_icon_replace=”true” front_image=”272813″ front_icon_size=”375″][TS-VCSC-Content-Flip flip_effect_speed=”fast” back_title=” Ronald De la Cruz, Senior” back_content=”“In a way I do but it depends on what it is, so most of the time I consider myself apart from others”
” front_icon_replace=”true” front_image=”272814″ front_icon_size=”512″][vc_custom_heading text=”Inner Beauty”]The ever famous makeup trends have become a girl’s best friend, or one’s worst enemy. To hide imperfections or to bring out the color of an eye, females wear make-up for a multitude of reasons. Feelings of looking better on the outside, changes what is on the inside, making themselves seem more “appealing.”
Having the longest lashes, and the smokiest eyes and the “clearest” skin to draw attention of a male. Whom perhaps could not care less that you had perfected your winged eye liner this morning?
“Honestly makeup does really matter to me,” Zane Safley, sophomore, said.  “A girl’s appearance isn’t the most important thing out there, I mean it’s important but it is not everything. Makeup doesn’t really impress me.”
If all the makeup supplements in the world ran out, within the next 24 hours, a tear wouldn’t even be shed to the population that rather do anything than to be plucked or threaded to have “fleeked” eyebrows. Having more time to sleep in morning, or accepting natural beauty or just some of the numerous reason of why girls don’t wear makeup.
“I never wear makeup. I feel like makeup is useful for people who think that they need it, but personally, I don’t really have a use for it,”  Aliyah Blackburn, sophomore, said. “Mostly I don’t wear makeup out of pure laziness, like putting on in the morning and taking it off, but I since I also play sports I don’t want makeup on my face when I’m running.”
Comfortable in her t-shirt and skinny jeans, Blackburn rocks out in her converse.
“A sense of beauty hasn’t really crossed my mind; I haven’t had a real reason to wear makeup,” she said. “In some lights makeup seems like a mask for some people, especially for some women the fact that they use too makeup, sets me off from wearing it.”
Girls with a similar feeling as Blackburn, end up growing out of the no makeup phase. Jasmine Richardson, sophomore, was once a fresh face free of makeup.
“I remember back in seventh and/or eighth grade saying, ‘Oh, I don’t need makeup, I don’t know why girls wear so much makeup,’” she said. “Then about a year or so later I start wearing it, starting small and working my way up.”
Describing her first few years wearing makeup Richardson said in the beginning she started with putting eye liner and mascara on a few days of the week. Progressively moving to nude and sheer layers of lip gloss, along with a small dap of concealer and foundation here and there. To winged eye liner, a few occasional smoky eyed eye shadow, and voluminous ‘lashes.
Other girls on the opposite side of the makeup spectrum become frantic when their mascara wand no longer makes their eyelashes long and luscious, or the contour does not define features enough. Spending endless amounts of money to get the ‘natural look’ while doing everything but going natural.
“I mean I like doing my makeup so I’d say makeup is pretty important to me. Using all types of makeup,” she said, “I don’t wear everything everyday but I have eye shadow, eye liner, lip liner, lip gloss, chapstick, and all the works. I feel better when I wear makeup but I’ve been out with makeup before.”
Makeup was not always used to decipher one’s beauty; it has drastically changed over the centuries, and so has its meaning. Rarely would someone wear eye shadow to protect herself from evil doings. A skillful smoky eye, with a fierce cat eye can ignite a flame confidence.
“Sometimes I wish I never wore makeup in the first place,”Richardson said, “because when you do start wearing makeup you feel like you have to wear it all the time or you feel ugly without it.”
The same confidence that should be there with or without a sprinkle of alteration to yourself.
“I take pride in what I already have: my blue eyes, and my curly hair,” Blackburn said. “That is what makes me confident.”
By Savanah SingletaryMakeup has drastically changed over the centuries, and so has its meaning. Rarely would someone wear eye shadow to protect herself from evil doings. A skillful smoky eye, with a fierce cat eye can ignite a flame confidence. Richardson concludes, “Sometimes I wish I never wore makeup in the first place because when you do start wearing makeup you feel like you have to wear it all the time or you feel ugly without it.” The same confidence that should be there with or without a sprinkle of alteration to yourself. Blackburn said, “I take pride in what I already have: my blue eyes, and my curly hair. That is what makes me confident.”
By Tatum Pugh