By Catherine Banks, 11th Grade Student at Guilford High School
All people in the world face issues of their own. Young women, however, battle much harder in certain aspects. Being in the social tornado of high school and the internet, the questioning state of finding themselves, and the ever changing, busy outside world, young women have many issues on their plate. There is one issue in particular though, that is among the few which are vast struggles. One of the most important issues facing young women today is inadequacy, and I see myself having an influence on this issue through several methods of motivation.
Inadequacy, or the idea of simply not being good enough, is a matter that young women combat almost daily. They feel as though they are inadequate in terms of appearance, and that it is necessary to look a certain way that is influenced by society. These women grow up with their idols being the overly made-up Hollywood stars, and feel as though they need to look the same as they do. They do not realize that what matters in life is on the inside and, because of this, they abandon their own beautiful appearance to convert into what is mistaken as more attractive. Young women battle with the idea that their actions are imperfect also. Peer pressure, a lot of the times, changes these young women and makes them think that they have to do what everyone else is doing. It contorts their brain to believe they need to follow the crowd, blinding them to the necessity of morals and self-reliance. Once again, they are leaving themselves behind to avoid being the “loser.” Furthermore, young women are struggling with the concept that their feelings or thoughts are faulty. When young women have ideas or feelings that differ from the “standard,” they are usually too scared to voice them. To them, it is all about fitting in and being just as good as others yet, in reality, the ones who truly good, if not better, are the ones that differ. Young women struggle with the feeling of inadequacy in their lives which leads them to act, look, and feel unlike their true selves.
I see myself having an impact on this issue by motivating young women using many methods. I would use the internet, which is a considerable source of the inadequacy, to motivate women to feel as though they are good the way they are. I would do this by promoting natural beauty in all types of people on social media through pictures, comments, and posts. These women see other people’s pictures and feel inadequate and self-conscious compared to them. I would motivate young women to realize that they ARE adequate in terms of their appearance, actions, and thoughts no matter what others may say or do. Furthermore, I would persuade young women through speaking. From class presentations, to simple compliments, I would encourage them to believe the truth that they DO meet the standards. They should feel beautiful, confident, smart, and happy because they are perfect in their own way. I would demand they not change a thing about themselves. Finally, I would push young women to feel adequate through writing. Including letters, essays, texts, and even cards, I would change young women’s minds in terms of their negative viewpoint of themselves. I would write them positive messages and encourage them to write and read positive affirmations about themselves. I would impact the false truths in these women using verbal, written, and electronic forms of communication.
One of the significant obstacles that young women face is inadequacy that is spiraled up in their minds, and I would have an influence on this using motivational techniques. This issue causes women to feel insecure and change themselves in ways they think will better them, which is reality will not. I would write them positive messages, compliment them in school, and even post pictures that define true beauty, which is purely being oneself, on social media. Young women constantly combat inadequacy, but with motivation, they will come to realize that they are perfect the way they are.
This blog post was an entry into Young Women Rising’s annual essay contest in which 11th grade students were asked, “What is one of the most important issues facing young women today and how do you see yourself having an impact on that issue?”