We often discuss the dangers of exposing children and teens to heavily photoshopped and unattainable standards of how a beautiful women should look, and how this can hinder the growth of a good self esteem and confidence. I know I, myself often compare myself to others, whether that be grades, or how they look, and I believe many others catch themselves comparing them selves to others too, often without intending to. Even though comparing one self to others can be damaging to self esteem, it grows to an even larger problem when what we compare ourselves to is unattainable without Photoshop.
While the above mentioned is a very important thing to discuss, I’d like to switch to something a bit different, but still very much connected. Censoring of the female body. Some social media platforms are guilty of this, one of the most knows is Instagram for banning female nipples. This sparked somewhat of a protest where women would post topless pictures and editing in a male nipple to cover theirs. Examples of women being censored can be found all over, in school dresscodes, in religions, at the beach, and many other places. It can quickly start to feel as if you are guilty and disgusting for having a body, and that you need to cover it to be worthy, unless it is for the pleasure of others. This thought that gets drilled into girls brains from a young age is extremely damaging to their self confidence and self esteem.
It is engrained in cultures all over, and while often subconsciously it is there. The fear of walking alone at night, the shaming if you dare to show a shoulder in class, and the reason you need to cover yourself up; the boys will get distracted. How does that make a young girl feel? That her body should be covered unless for the pleasure of a man?
These rules have been instilled from a generation older than our own, and has been passed down to us, and while many men and women fight these harmful ideas and norms, many don’t bat and eye. It is not because they agree, more often than not it is just so instilled in us that we don’t know that there are better choices. This is a cultural problem that needs to change, and that takes a fight, but most importantly, awareness.
The female body is art, don’t you dare censor it.