The following article, 'The three words that no one can say' was written by Eleanor Sinfield.
In the 21st century our youth is often criticised for being too shallow, obsessed with our looks and material things, but if we are the vain generation then how come no one is able to say those three words, 'I am beautiful'.
In research carried out by Dove, random people were asked what they would change about themselves, on average it took people three seconds to answer, however when asked what part of themselves they found most attractive, they took, according to Dove, 'a lot, lot, longer'. Carrying out my own independent research among classmates, I asked them to say either 'I am ugly' or 'I am beautiful', I came up with some similar results. Not one person out of thirty was able to say 'I am beautiful', they all replied with 'I am ugly', when I asked why they made a long list of all the things about themselves that they would like to change, nearly all were physical. When I asked their friends how they would describe them they all said beautiful, when asked why they were able to give a long list of things, nearly all were to do with personality.
So what does this research show? If we are so obsessed with our looks, then how are we unable to recognise the beauty in ourselves and cringe when others point it out. Surely that contradicts everything that the media is saying about our generation. That we are not vain but are in fact lacking in confidence. This is supported by the increasing cases of anorexia and bulimia, people just aren't happy with the way the look and are desperate to change. So whose to blame for our insecurities?
Recently the fashion industry and Hollywood have come under a lot of fire about twisting young, vulnerable girls body images, making them obsessed with looks and convinced that there is something always wrong with them. But are the media entirely to blame? We, the consumer, are buying into the 'skinny religion' where size 0 is gorgeous and anything other than that is unacceptable. Or is it down to the way we think, for a lot of women, with all aspects of life, if you're not perfect, you're not good enough. This, I believe, explains why no one can say those three forbidden words because no one's perfect, and in women's eyes that isn't enough.
Perhaps the problem is that in today's society we all know what beautiful is, it's that one celebrity whose skinny yet perfectly proportioned with those incredibly defined cheekbones. That becomes what women to believe to be, the image of perfection that they must aspire to in order to be happy. Which brings the focus back to the media and fashion industry, they are the ones who tell us who is 'hot' and who isn't.
So what can we do about it? The way women think can't change overnight, however I found in my own research that by asking a friend to list all the good qualities in the person who I was questioning, there was a positive reaction. Compliments have always been a way of giving someone's self esteem a little boost and whilst telling someone, 'no you're legs really aren't that fat' or 'I don't think your nose is big' may not completely change the way a person views themselves it causes no harm, because what really needs to change is they way we, as young women, need to think. Instead of making it perfect we should make it our own, prove the media wrong that we are not blindly following what we are force-fed in magazines in adverts but should look in the mirror and say those three forbidden words because whether we believe them or not, the words carry power to set in flow a revolution of female thinking.
About the author : I am Eleanor Sinfield, a fifteen year old student living in England, this is my first freelance work and it is something that I am very passionate about. Thank you for reading.
The above article was produced by Eleanor Sinfield. It does not necessarily represent the views of LearnByCam.