Culture

The Kylie Jenner Epidemic: Why We’ll Never Be Comfortable In Our Own Skin

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Alexa Tanney
Written by Alexa Tanney

After months of denying she had any work done, 17-year-old Kylie Jenner has admitted to getting lip fillers.

It doesn’t take a brain surgeon to realize the adolecent teen went through a total transformation, and it’s been making headlines on the Internet for so long we’ve almost forgotten about any of the other members of the Kardashian clan.

It’s gotten to the point where adolescent girls are trying to alter their own appearances. With the “Kylie Jenner Lip Challenge,” girls stick plastic and glass bottles between their lips and suck on them until they have achieved a plum appearance.

Of course, this is insanity.

But, is it unrealistic?

For years, young girls have looked to Hollywood for tips on their appearances, always wanting to look like the latest trend or whoever’s relevant at the moment.

When I was young, I looked up to Gwen Stefani and tried to emulate her punk rock outfits and killer vibe.

But now we’ve come to a tipping point.

Young girls are unhappy with their looks; they want to achieve an unrealistic exterior and will go as far as they can to achieve it. The Kylie Jenner Lip Challenge is just one of the hundreds of trends that have surfaced over the years that are young girls trying to copy a celebrity they deem as “beautiful.”

But, times have changed since I was a 13-year-old trying to grab a pair of army cargo pants and a studded belt chain.

Today, with applications such as Instagram and Tumblr, girls are flooded with images of people they want to be or look like. It’s gotten so bad that there are even accounts set up specifically for “pretty girls” and “fitspos,” which serve as inspiration for a universally unattainable outward image.

But, when we look at these pictures, clothed in heavy filters and photoshop alterations, we have to stop and realize all of the work that goes into a picture or online image of a person.

Even Kylie Jenner said there’s a lot of work that goes into a selfie: lighting, angles, filters.

Nowadays, it’s possible for girls to alter their appearances in pictures more than ever with applications like Perfect 365, where you can literally alter your face to make it look exactly the way you want.

This means there’s always more than meets the eye. Just because a girl appears to be the way you want to look in a photo, doesn’t exactly mean that’s who she is in person.

A study conducted by University at Buffalo revealed females who base their self-worth on their appearance tend to share more photos and maintain larger networks on online social networking sites.

As women, we have to wonder: Are we only being judged and criticized by our appearances?

Can we ever be satisfied with ourselves when social media is constantly giving our psyche someone to compete with?

The answer is…well, complicated.

When we stop comparing ourselves to every other female on the web, we leave more room to love ourselves.

Sure it sounds cliché, but for anyone to love you, you have got to love yourself first.

It’s hard to be comfortable in your own skin if it doesn’t come from within, and teaching girls to be proud of who they are and what they look like is even harder. It has to be done at a young age, within the family and the home.

It takes confidence, but a special kind.

It’s called knowing who you are.

But is all hope lost?

Absolutely not. Women need to lift each other up on attributes aside from their looks. There is always more to a person than the surface, and we should be complimenting each other on our accomplishments, intellect, opinions, goals and dreams. When you recognize someone for something that’s internal, you lift them higher than they will ever be from just their looks alone.

It’s like they say: “Beauty is only skin deep.”

Most of these girls we’re continuously comparing ourselves to don’t even feel that great about themselves. 

So in reality, we’re all just the same: women striving to find a sense of self-love and self-admiration.

It’s time we break the cycle.

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