Last week, the Everyday Sexism Project received a deeply moving entry from a fifteen-year-old girl.
It might seem shocking to some, but it was just the latest of many hundreds of similar posts we have received from girls in their teens and younger.
She wrote “I’m fifteen and feel like girls my age are under a lot of pressure…I know I am smart, I know I am kind and funny…everybody around me keeps telling me I can be whatever I want to be. I know all this but I just don’t feel that way.”
She continued: “I always feel like if I don’t look a certain way, if boys don’t think I’m ‘sexy’ or ‘hot’ then I’ve failed and it doesn’t even matter if I am a doctor or writer, I’ll still feel like nothing…successful women are only considered a success if they are successful AND hot, and I worry constantly that I won’t be. What if my boobs don’t grow? What if I don’t have the perfect body? What if my hips don’t widen and give me a little waist? If none of that happens I feel like [sic] there’s no point in doing anything because I’ll just be the ‘fat ugly girl’ regardless of whether I do become a doctor or not.”
Her words reveal a keen perception of double standards in a society that tells young women they can have all the same dreams men can, study at any academic institution they wish and aim for any career path they choose, whilst simultaneously inundating them with an onslaught of daily messages that as women they will be judged almost exclusively on the basis of their looks, regardless of success.
She is even aware of this influence, writing: “I wish the people who had real power and control the images and messages we get fed all day actually thought about what they did for once… I know the girls in adverts are airbrushed. I know beauty is on the inside. But I still feel like I’m not good enough.”
Click link above to read the entire thing.