Cedar Post

APPEARANCE EXPECTATIONS

The social pressure men and women face on a daily basis

Ahna Groat and Aaron Cole

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Ahna Groat

Despite bloggers who use social media as a platform to try and help boost self confidence in girls, there still seems to be a deficit in overall self confidence. Many girls feel incapable of coming to school without looking nice. Some even wake up hours before school to put on their “face”.

Both genders shame girls on what they decide to wear. If a girl decides to dress simply and wear sweats and a sweatshirt, they are labeled as homeless or lazy. If a girl decides to dress up in heels and a skirt, she is labeled as promiscuous. If a girl decides to dress modestly in a turtleneck and jeans, she is labeled as a prude.

Why should there be labels to what someone chooses to wear?

Even the school dress codes is biased against girls. For example, girls aren’t allowed to show their shoulders because it might distract someone from learning.

However, guys are allowed to run around in bro tanks showing off their masculinity and people remain silent. Would we rather have our young girls be wearing an off the shoulder shirt or missing a day of school because their outfit was inappropriate?

Additionally, girls periodically struggle with unattainable and unrealistic body expectations.

When a girl is bigger she is rejected. If a girl is skinny people think she has an eating disorder. The complex that this builds sets females up for failure.

How can anyone feel confident in their own image when being constantly ridiculed for not conforming to this perfect idea of the female body? Girls are simply unable to catch a break.

Even in the present day when we are trying to break away from stereotypes, people are still labeled in a rigid categorical system.

We can’t expect anyone to be confident in their appearance when both societal pressures and people around them are conforming them into a box of insecurities.

Aaron Cole

Most people assume that boys, in comparison to girls, don’t have any appearance expectations. This assumption however is false, even though boys often times aren’t judged in the same way girls are, they still have lots of other appearance expectations put on them by society.

As is the case with girls, boys appearances are unrealistically portrayed in popular culture, the difference comes in that expectations for boy’s appearances are mostly physical.

All throughout life, boys are shown role-models that are extremely athletic and physically fit.

For every anatomically incorrect barbie there is also an equally unrealistic male superhero. Between movie stars and star athletes, most of adolescent life is spent looking up to other men that are in peak physical condition. Lots of guys experience insecurities about their appearance as a result. Men are also expected to maintain a degree of not trying to stand out, because strong individuality can a lot of times be perceived as feminine.

There is a perception of ‘not caring’ which is common and expected from most guys, especially in high school. If a guy does care a lot about how he dresses, he can get more ridicule than someone that doesn’t try at all.

The way boys react to these social expectations are much different. Girls have strict standards that are easy to identify, which over the last few years has sparked movements in an effort to eliminate these rigid expectations.

Due to misbehavior by men in earlier generations, guys are in a social era that discourages them from speaking out about their issues. Boys are expected to keep up an image of not caring, while at the same time maintain rigid guidelines.

It is important to recognize that men too struggle from unrealistic portrayals of the male appearance.  They aren’t scrutinized or bound by dress codes the way girls are, but they are still expected to fit a curtain image.

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About the Writers
Ahna Groat, Assistant Web Editor

Ahna Groat is a junior and it was her first year on staff. She was the assistant web editor for first semester.

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Aaron Cole, Web Staff

Aaron Cole is a senior and it is his first year on staff. He is part of the web staff.

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APPEARANCE EXPECTATIONS