Must We Burden Little Girls With Our Beauty Standards?
Jara, a five-year-old Nigerian girl is being hailed as the most beautiful girl in the world, after photographer Mofe Bamuyima shared her pictures on Instagram. Jara is indeed a beautiful girl, but so is every child on this planet. Must we instil our obsession with physical beauty, even in girls so young?
The problem is most people have set notions of beauty which classify people as either ugly or beautiful. Women have borne the burden of these standards for ages, and now it seems it is the turn of our young girls. We must appreciate them when they groom their hair, apply make-up and wear glamorous clothes. We have no qualms in encouraging girls to shed their innocence.
- Five-year-old Nigerian girl Jara is being hailed as the most beautiful child in the world after her portraits went viral on social media.
- Is it appropriate to subject young girls to our superficial beauty standards?
- By calling Jara the most beautiful girl in the world, aren’t we being unfair to all other children?
- At the age synonymous with carefree life, must they spend their childhood fretting over their appearance?
Have we wondered, what will happen, once young girls are imbibed with such values of beauty at mere five or six years of age? Their gaze towards other children and themselves will change. Friends will no longer be fun or companions. They will become ugly or pretty or worse, rivals in beauty. Burdening tiny minds with prejudices of beauty will only make them judgmental. It will end up isolating them from one another and lead to lack of confidence and dissatisfaction with physical appearance at a tender age.
It is a disturbing thought, to have five-year-olds suffer from body dysmorphia. To be wondering why people are calling a certain girl more beautiful. All because we think her features are superior to others.
It is like falling in a bottomless pit, an abyss of depression and self-loathing, which is unbearable even for grownups. Heaven knows the havoc it will lead to on their fragile minds? The physical beauty standards of our world have only made life unhappy for both those who pass or fail by them. We know how obsessed we are today than ever, with our looks. How we use millions of filters on photographs to have those likes and hearts on our selfies. How, when we look into the mirror and don’t see the image matching the photoshopped version of us, it makes us pity ourselves.
Let’s not teach them that beauty is their most important quality. That physical appearance can make them popular and lovable and lack of it otherwise. There is more to being a girl. They deserve to have a fun-filled carefree childhood. Not the one spent fretting over aesthetics.
It will take a long time to rid this world of its superficial standards. Maybe we will still be caught in this flux of obsession with aesthetics when these girls grow into young women. They will have to face it then. The least they deserve is a not to be put through the mayhem in their formative years. Where each one of them is loved for who they are and not how they look.
Pic Credits: Trip Central
Yamini Pustake Bhalerao is a writer with the SheThePeople team, in the Opinions section. The views expressed are the author’s own.