by Liat Rubin
It is too often that girls engage in the typical Facebook profile banter, in which one girl compliments another girl’s profile picture, only to be responded to with something along the lines of “Omg im not pretty at all but you are <3.” This deflection is not only annoying, but also unacceptable. Girls should feel comfortable saying thank you to a compliment, and accepting that maybe they do look beautiful in that picture. But why don’t they? Why don’t girls feel comfortable embracing their beauty, and just taking a compliment?
I have found that many aspects of the media have led girls to react to compliments and recognition in this way. Movies depict the perfect girl as the quiet, stunning teen, sitting in the library with her nose tucked into a book, completely unaware of her unbounding beauty. This painfully modest, insecure girl is always the one who “gets the guy.” This picture of the “perfect girl” portrayed by the media is simply unfair. It convinces girls that those who are insecure and overly modest are those who attract the opposite sex. It pushes girls away from embracing themselves and being confident, and towards insecurity.
Girls also feel pressured into being a “perfect” insecure girl by other aspects of our society, including the music industry. One of the pop band One Direction’s first major hits, What Makes You Beautiful explains my point. The majority of the song focuses on explaining how the girl is insecure, but so attractive to the boys. They sing “Baby you light up my world like nobody else/ The way you flip your hair makes me overwhelmed/ but when you smile at the ground it ain’t hard to tell/ you don’t know you’re beautiful/ That’s what makes you beautiful.” The band is singing about how attractive it is that a girl is so insecure. This tricks many teenage girls into believing that maybe, if they are as modest and insecure as the girls One Direction apparently finds attractive, maybe they will be liked by more boys. Because of this, girls feel the need to put themselves down in order to “look cuter” and fit the mold of the girl who “doesn’t know she is beautiful.”
I’m not saying that it is acceptable for an extremely arrogant, over confident teenage girl to respond to compliments with “ya, I know I’m hot.” I am simply saying that it is okay for girls to feel good about themselves, and to be able to accept compliments. There is something wrong with the way our society frowns upon a self-assured girl. This discourages girls to feel beautiful, and to truly embrace themselves.