Your appearance is vital to who you are. It’s the way you present yourself, the first thing someone sees and how people judge you. As a young person, there is a huge pressure on my appearance and how I’m presenting myself to the world and how I present myself in certain situations.
Like most people of my age, I care about the way I look and I want to look the best I can. This doesn’t always happen, of course, I have bad days like everyone sometimes. There is pressure to look a certain way and so many young people give in to that. You can’t help it. People’s perception of you is something that so many young people care about. I know I do. There are certain expectations with your appearance. This takes into account your gender, your age, the place you’re going to etc. I’ve noticed, especially recently, that the judgment you receive from friends, family or even strangers if you go against social norms has become increasingly strong. It’s expected that if you’re going on a night out, you must look a certain way and put more effort into your appearance than you usually would. It’s quite ironic that you usually end up looking quite a mess and all that effort was wasted.
Body image also comes into this, so many young people are constantly worried about their body and the way other people view it. This can create so many problems with self-esteem and can lead to something far more dangerous. But one thing so many people don’t understand, and me included, is why is our appearance so important to other people? Why do we spend 4 hours getting ready? Why do we try to change ourselves?
This issue is deep-rooted in society, it’s unlikely that you’ll find many young people who love the way they look naturally. We are constantly trying to change our image, whether that be via makeup, surgery or photoshop. We only present the ideal version of ourselves; the fake version let’s say. It’s actually very sad when you think about – it is as if young people are programmed to want to change their appearance and they obviously can’t be happy with their true image.
Although just because someone wears a bit of a makeup or cares about their appearance, doesn’t instantly mean that they’re trying to hide their true selves. It is possible that people just enjoy looking after themselves. Using makeup or styling your hair or wearing your best clothes can really lift your mood and make you feel better about yourself. But it’s interesting that it’s becoming very rare to see someone who hasn’t put in a lot of effort in how they appear to others.
On a night out, it’s very unlikely that someone would go out without changing his or her outfit, styling his or her hair or putting on some makeup. It’s become a kind of ritual, especially within student culture. I and my friends really enjoy getting ready, choosing our best clothes, curling our hair and helping each other with makeup whilst listening to the charts and pre-drinking. It’s a nice feeling to dress yourself up, especially if you’re taking photos before you go out. But it’s interesting that it seems essential to a good night out and if you don’t make an effort, people will judge you for it. Surely, if you feel comfortable in what you’re wearing and the way you look, that’s all that matters. However, for some people that just isn’t enough, and you will be constantly judged if you don’t conform to societal expectations.
The issue of appearance and expectations is something that is unlikely to disappear anytime soon. However, surely the only thing that matters is people’s happiness in themselves. It would nice that if you wish to wear that little bit of makeup, use that special mousse for your hair and wear your favourite outfit, or if you decide that you just want to wear something comfortable and something that you can be yourself in, people will accept that and we can enjoy each other’s beauty as we want to present it.