Pop Culture Vs You
by Eliza Edelstein
Ahhhh social media, the one thing that can build up our self-esteem yet also tear us down. In today's culture, it is not unlikely to see celebrities parading around in the latest fashions, getting their nails done for 80 bucks, buying overly expensive cars, and showing off their always-toned, always-tanned bodies while vacationing in exotic places that some of us can only dream of going to.
We may think just scrolling through one of these celebrities feeds is harmless and all in good fun, until we realize how shaken our confidence has become. Because pop culture promote the idea that if you're not skinny and exercising all the time well then you must be curvy which can only mean one thing: you're fat and need to lose weight. This idea is completely false because every person has a different body type and as long as you get an hour per day of exercise and eat right then you're perfectly healthy since curves are just your body’s natural shape. If your doctor says that you're healthy then you shouldn't listen to the nagging voice in your head saying to lose weight. The other idea that this culture promotes is that if you don't put on a full face of makeup every day, then your freckles, the bags under your eyes, and your natural face well show through and that is ugly because we often look tired and stressed and may have a pimple or two. So to show off our natural face is considered gross and unappealing. Now let me tell you how wrong this is.
Our faces are genetic, we were born with the face we will have for the rest of our life; so the idea that it is only pretty with makeup on is ludicrous. Your face is perfect exactly the way it is, with all of your unique combination of features. My mom would always tell me since I always complained about how much I hated my round cheeks, “Eliza honey, if you didn't have round cheeks then your dimple wouldn't be able to be as prominent as it is and your other features would be too big for your face, so your round cheeks allow your other features to be exactly the right size to complement each other.” And she is so right, because your combination of features is what makes you beautiful and special, and if you changed one feature then the other features wouldn't fit together as nicely as before.
If you like wearing makeup to enhance your features or try out new beauty looks then by all means you do you, but remember that your natural face is pretty on its own, the makeup is just a bonus. The other idea that pop culture promotes is that a girl always has to be dating or involved with someone or else she's just a boring single person with no social life.
I know that this idea is one that applies to people of all ages. We’ve all been that person who goes to Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner just to find our aunts peppering us with questions about our love life and if you're in a relationship, great congratulations! But if you're not the questions turn to “But you're so pretty a girl like you should be dating lots of guys!” Or “ Why aren't you dating/engaged/married/seeing someone? (This one depends on your age)” Or “You like being single? Isn't it boring?” And the questions go on and on, and if you're in a relationship you feel all the more pressure to be a “perfect” couple, one who goes on weekly date nights, showers each other with gifts, sends cute texts, and always posts a lovey dovey Instagram or Facebook photo. But each couple is different and some might love social media as a platform to express their love while other feel a bit more private but it doesn't change the fact that the pressure is there to do predictable couple things and the feeling that everyone is watching your every move in this relationship.
Pop culture only enhances that idea of being that typical couple, while makes the idea of being single seem more unappealing. Celebrities when not in relationships are seen across headlines every week with a new guy or girl with rumors about them dating or being a thing. And when they finally do confirm the rumors we all either approve or disapprove of their new partner. So when a person is single the pressure to be in a relationship is high or to at least go out with lots of guys or girls before choosing one to be our partner. We are never allowed to just appreciate being single and enjoy spending time with ourselves, instead we are forced to always be looking towards our next relationship and always trying until we finally find our new significant other.
Pop culture further aggravates this idea of never being alone and appreciating one’s own company but always being forced to look towards others to complete ourselves and the idea that we are not complete with just ourselves when we truly are. All in all, pop culture is fun and it's always nice to track our favorite celebrities and see what here wearing, doing and who they are dating, but keep in mind next time your scroll through their Instagram feed not to get jealous of their lives. Your life although it may not be perfect has all the elements for greatness so don't try to twist it based on pop culture’s ideals, admire celebrities lives but only from afar.