There are currently hundreds of social issues that are deemed relevant to the teenage population. One of these issues is how teenagers perceive themselves and what the perfect body is for them. I chose this topic because it is affecting many teenagers both directly and indirectly. It is an issue that I think many teens should be more aware of as it will help shape their personality in a positive manner. I already know, based from personal observation, that many teenagers value their physical appearance more over their character. Teenagers have been judged and they also judged others. In my wellness class, we learned how social media, one of the things that changes people’s perception of what’s beautiful, impacts teenagers. I already knew that many people resort to plastic surgery to achieve the “perfect” body. However, I had no idea that even teenagers are willing to undergo “body-changing” procedures just to be called “beautiful.” This issue is very important to me and everyone else, as it makes us realize what is really important in life and value the things that we have, including our bodies. This is essential to teenagers because from the ages between 13 and 19, we begin to discover ourselves and build a strong foundation for our character. If we learn how to accept ourselves as we are and not judge others based on their bodies, we will grow in a positive environment that promotes respect and equality. We will strive to maintain a healthy lifestyle instead of imitating those walking down the runway, posing on magazines and showing up on TV ads.
While I was researching about this issue, I was surprised when I found out that approximately 230,000 teenagers(ages 13 to 19) underwent cosmetic surgery last year (only in the U.S.). I realized what a serious problem it is and how it does not only affect teens in general but also me. As I read more articles and did further research, it made me more aware of the issue and the negative impacts it has on society. Many people think that being pretty gives you an advantage in life. It could be true but not all the time. For instance, if you aim to be a medical doctor, being beautiful is not really a requirement. A career in medicine is based on character, academic performance and technical skills. We need to take action and find a solution. How do we do that? By changing our mindset. Throwing your barbie dolls aways or merely avoiding social media wouldn’t be enough if your way of thinking is still the same. Change has to come from within. Focus on things that are more valuable in life like family and friends and productive activities. Concentrate on developing your character and always aim to be a better version of yourself. Give more importance to having a healthy lifestyle than being just “pretty.” What matters the most is who you are on the inside. Being a judgmental person makes you ugly. This helped me understand that beauty is nothing if it’s superficial. I realized how confidence and self-esteem is directly related to on people’s perception of beauty and how our mindset affects our mental and social health.