I underestimate my appearance
Ideals of beauty: am I beautiful?
Is my nose too big? Is my butt too fat? Is my breast too small?
Do you sometimes ask yourself these or similar questions? You are not alone in this: Many young people are dissatisfied with their bodies. An image of beauty is conveyed on advertising posters, in TV programs or on the Internet. The media shape our perception of what is beautiful. Many young people try to emulate these ideals. Do you get in a bad mood when you look in the mirror because you will never look like the models in the advertising? It is the same for many. Boys and girls feel pressured by ideals of beauty and would accept a lot in order to look good. Many even consider cosmetic surgery to look like the stars. It is difficult to be self-confident and to stand by your body when you are literally “bombarded” with images of flawless people all day long.
You should know: not even the stars are as perfect as they seem! For photo or film recordings, models and celebrities are often made up and coiffed for hours. The recordings are then usually post-processed using image processing programs such as Photoshop. The effect should not be underestimated! In order to make the pictures more beautiful, these programs can not only hide pimples or orange peel. It is now even possible to change the proportions of the body. For example, a woman's bust can be enlarged or her legs lengthened. In reality, the models don't look like they do in the photos. They also have their flaws, which have only been hidden with great effort. Nobody is perfect - and that's a good thing! How boring would it be if everyone looked the same? After all, everyone likes something different. And special features make them interesting.
If there is anything else you would like to know, simply contact our online advice service or come to one of our advice centers. Here you will get answers to your personal questions!
Ideals of beauty through the ages
When are you beautiful at all? This question is not easy to answer because the term means something different for everyone. For example, ideals of beauty are very different in different cultures and change over time. Today, when you think of beauty, you might think of an underwear model with a slim, well-trained body. In the past, the ideal of beauty was very different: For a long time, lush shapes were considered attractive. For example, in the 16th century AD. In Europe, round bodies were found to be particularly beautiful because they were seen as a symbol of fertility (that is, that women could give birth to many children). That changed around the 19th century. Back then, pale skin and a particularly slim waist were the ideal of beauty for women. To do this, the women resorted to drastic measures: They tied their bodies into tight corsets, which often even damaged organs and bones. Even if this idea of beauty is no longer present today, we still see a fairly fixed ideal in the media: slim, well-trained bodies and flawless faces are especially in trend for both sexes. The concept of beauty is very subjective. Even those who do not conform to the ideal can be beautiful. If you are too fixated on how you look, you will only see what is missing. But it is precisely your extraordinary characteristics that make you unique.
Slim = beautiful? - Beware of eating disorders!
Puberty comes with many changes. Physical changes in girls include the onset of menstrual periods or breast growth. It is quite normal to compare yourself to others. You can finally see how the friends develop. If there are big differences there, it can be frustrating and embarrassing. The important thing here is that you keep in mind that everyone has their own pace. Some just grow and develop faster than others. For example, it is quite normal as a teenager not to have a pronounced bust size or a little “baby fat”. You should ask yourself: am I really too fat? Of course, it is important that you eat healthily and exercise in order not to become overweight or underweight. But stay away from diets! The scope for normal weight is bigger than you might think. To check your body weight, you can, for example, find out about the BMI (Body Mass Index). It's best to ask a doctor if you are unsure.
If everything revolves around figure and weight, it can be a sign of an eating disorder. Eating disorders are serious mental illnesses that can be very damaging to the body. Those affected are obsessed with controlling every bite. There is not only anorexia, but numerous other forms such as anorexia or bulimia. If you suspect that a boyfriend, girlfriend or yourself may have such an illness, you should urgently get help! For example, contact parents, teachers or special hotlines. You can find more information on eating disorders from the Federal Center for Health Education here.
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