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But not too pretty. An excess of loveliness may be dangerous. In America there has been a spate of recent cases in which women have been deemed too comely for their jobs. The picture, which accompanied an article concerning a campaign to encourage greater equality, depicted Col Tejada in Iraq looking attractive — too attractive, according to her superior.

There was one condition — the statement could not be about looks. The subjects, says Orwin, found it revealingly challenging. It is as if this generation are carrying around a mini-me, or an avatar… that they are constantly editing, and promoting to make themselves feel better.

While adapting said avatar may be a matter of Photoshop, adapting the body is a matter of blood and bone. It is not difficult to see this as a form of socially sanctioned masochism dressed up as self-expression. In other words, the more advances women make in the workplace, the more prettiness is turned into a stymying full-time job.

Beauty Pressure

And if it is not these young women striving to attain perfection, it is older women literally taking pains to simulate the smooth skin, wide eyes and pert breasts of youth. What hope do we have of relieving the young of their prettiness obsession when we old strive desperately to cling to it?

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Personally, I will always love powder and paint — the more playful aspects of constructed femininity — but only where they remain playful rather than culturally enforced. It feels pretty cool to me. Follow StellaMagazine.

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Telegraph Dating: Find your perfect match. Terms and Conditions. Style Book. Weather Forecast. Accessibility links Skip to article Skip to navigation. Thursday 19 September Hannah Betts reports on the new 'pretty pressure' Is it a sad truth that looks will still take girls much further than brains? Related Articles. Among young women, pretty is not so much a cult as the new orthodoxy.

Interviews with teenage girls for the artist Louise Orwin's Pretty Ugly project Back in the West, last year the journal Research in Social Stratification and Mobility found that attractive people are more successful throughout their careers, regardless of factors such as socioeconomic background, parental education, even their own IQs. September 26 Project Green Challenge offered to community.

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September 20 Students anticipate dance. September 17 Freshmen explore identities. Madison Riehle , Editor-in-Chief February 13, Being bombarded with messages from their friends, parents, boys and especially social media can take a toll on the way a girl perceives herself in the mirror at the end of the day. Girls who have low self-esteem can sometimes be affected by depression, bulimia, anorexia or self harm. Low self-esteem issues frequently take root at home where mothers can not only pass on their own insecurities, but take out their self-loathing on their daughters, according to family therapist Susan Badger.

The Dove Beauty campaign recently produced a short YouTube video on mothers and daughters, teaching them how to redefine beauty through taking a selfie.

The Broadview

Mothers spoke about their insecurities, and their daughters responded with experiencing the same self-doubts. The relationship of a mother with high self-esteem directly relates to a daughter experiencing higher self views, according to a study of mothers and daughters published in Journal of Youth and Adolescence. While self-image problems may begin at the home, the school environment can be the place where problems from home heighten due to other girls who are also insecure with themselves. Over 70 percent of girls ages avoid daily activities like going to school when they feel bad about their appearance, according to dosomething.

Eighty-eight percent of students reported feeling bad about the way they looked because of something a friend said to them, according to an anonymous Broadview survey distributed through a link sent to school email addresses in which 50 percent of students responded. Girls can also experience feelings of self-doubt at school because of isolation and exclusion by other girls. The ideals of beauty can also be set by the expanding mass media culture and advertising. Advertisements constantly determine what is beautiful through highly retouched, enhanced and unrealistic models, who in contrast to the average American woman, is inaccurate, according to the Social Issues Research Centre.

The people behind the scenes who create, edit and distribute the work make it seem that their figures and appearance is realistic and attainable, while only 5 percent of the female population can attain what a model appears to look like, according to the Social Issues Research Centre. Mass media can give the implication that girls always need a happy and upbeat attitude and that girls are always in control. Young girls who interpret the mass media standards of beauty may see themselves as not good enough to what is before them, and boys can become convinced of artificial standards of what girls should look and act like.

Sixty-one percent of the respondents of The Broadview survey said they felt bad about the way they look because of a boy, 77 percent responded they have felt they had to change the way they looked for a boy, and 24 percent said they changed the way they looked due to pressure from a boy.

Brush your teeth, shave!

Pressure to be Pretty

When you have arm hair, no, just wax it, shave it. Another source of pressure for me, personally, comes from the fact that the media has become obsessed with a particular aesthetic for mixed-race and black women. We are only deemed attractive if we have tiny waists and large hips and lips. I wish I could be more relaxed about how I look: I am getting better gradually but I still always try to look good, and always put on makeup. While nowadays there is definitely a much more diverse idea of what beauty is, there are still stupid stereotypes which people are stuck in, myself included.

There is still a long way to go for women to accept themselves for who they are. My early 20s were a bit of a whirl.

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  • I got pregnant with my eldest at 23, which was wonderful; at the time I was still together with my husband, who was my childhood sweetheart. After our son was born we set up home in Tunbridge Wells and I quit my job to become a full-time mother. Then, when he was five months old, I got pregnant with my third boy. From the outside my life looked great, but inside I was struggling. I felt a lot of pressure to be a perfect mum, and this got worse when my boys started school. I felt lost and had no confidence in my ability to raise my boys in a way that was right for me.

    Depression and anxiety came on thick and fast.

    'Pretty pressure': Girls - it pays to be pretty, but not too pretty - Telegraph

    I was prescribed antidepressants, but I soon realised they were not for me. I remember sitting out in the garden, feeling so detached from my boys. It was like I was looking at them through a screen. I stopped medication and sought other means of help, eventually finding homeopathy and yoga. My life took a different course after this, and I separated from my husband.

    Part of my recovery was letting things go, and starting to take charge of my life and think about what was right for me. With age comes wisdom and now I am happy with my new partner and my life in general. I am much less harsh on myself and have realised everything cannot be perfect all the time. Kids have their own views and sometimes speak more truth than grownups.

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    I am quite critical of myself as a single parent. I am conscious of trying to portray myself online and to family as the perfect mother and now I am at university I also want to be a perfect student. It can be hard to juggle everything. Being a mum, in particular, is a lot of pressure. I made a conscious decision only very recently to limit time spent on social media.