Search

Young Readers’ Edition: How to be a teenage woman

18:00 30 January 2014

Rachel Fleminger Hudson

Rachel Fleminger Hudson

Archant

Teenage blogger Rachel Fleminger Hudson exposes the main issues concerning school-age women today, some of which are explored in more detail in our Young Readers’ Edition - in the style of famous Crouch Ender Caitlin Moran

"This unrealistic obsession with creating a nirvana filled with glossy, academically achieving, socially conforming sirens, is the nasty offspring of an idealistic society and a fantasy-intoxicated media"

Rachel Fleminger Hudson

Teenage girls are the most complex of all beasts, but I wouldn’t necessarily put that entirely down to the raging hormones flowing through our veins.

The shift between childhood and womanhood is difficult enough, yet it seems that society is unable to keep their paws off of even the most delicate of transitional periods.

Between the ages of 11 and 18, a girl has the enormous task of creating an identity for herself and learning to create and express her own views.

This burden alone is one of mammoth proportions – how can anybody be expected to do this, if society is putting constant pressure on them to strive for perfection in everyday life?

Although a lot of this pressure is self-inflicted by our feverish adolescent brains, I believe that society has a lot to answer for.

This unrealistic obsession with creating a nirvana filled with glossy, academically achieving, socially conforming sirens, is the nasty offspring of an idealistic society and a fantasy-intoxicated media.

Whether it be her appearance, performance at school, social life or mental stability, there seems to be this huge urge amongst girls to become a perfect person. A frankly disturbing amount of pressure is placed on young girls at the moment they leave primary school.

This desire to become the paragon of our time is accentuated by the flow of images, ideals and news stories that flood our lives every day.

At school we are told to perform well academically, yet still to maintain a creative and healthy lifestyle.

The competitive atmosphere of any school brings to mind the phrase “Be the best, beat the rest” – so one would think that school cares more about academic progress than the appearance of its pupils.

Yet it also seems that model students are compelled to have perfect uniform, appropriate hair and un-ripped tights, thus proving that perfection in appearance is also deemed “important”.

At home and on the internet, we are bombarded by a tumult of different images portraying supposedly “perfect” women.

A recent survey of my friends showed that most would ideally like to be between a size 6-8, with sizeable assets, a small waist, long legs, long hair, clear skin, straight white teeth and high cheekbones. Astoundingly, the image which therefore springs to mind is virtually one of a Barbie doll.

Society places a phenomenal amount of pressure on teens and this can often trigger anxiety and other stress-related illnesses.

In 2014, one would think that society and the media would recognise these problems and seek to offer a caring environment for young women, yet it seems as though the media is determined to continue wreaking havoc.

Recently I read a horrific article on a misogynistic website, entitled “5 Reasons to Date a Girl with an Eating Disorder”.

Despite the article receiving a huge online backlash, the fact that young women are exposed to articles like this is damaging enough.

Many young girls – especially when placed in a single-sex environment like many north London private schools – find it difficult to come to terms with such material and can develop destructive ideals within their fragile minds.

And I really do mean fragile. Essentially, a fresh-faced young girl is just the initial fragments of her future self. If this process is disturbed by the pressure to achieve perfection, then how is any young woman meant to develop?

Teenage girls also face pressure from her friends and peers to follow the impossible social normalities of our time.

Girls are expected to conform and fit in, yet to have their own individuality and niche which they slot into.

Girls are deemed “frigid” if they choose to abstain from sexual activity but are branded a “slut” if they decide to. Girls are seen as boring if they don’t go to parties but wild if they go to too many. Likewise with drugs and alcohol.

Each “rule” seems to have this invisible, undetectable line which girls are meant to find and cling onto, trying not to swing too far either side of it.

These social guidelines are basically impossible to follow and none of them takes into account the most important feature of a person – their personality.

If people don’t accept you for your true nature and idiosyncrasies, then there is no point trying to change who you are in order to manufacture a friendship with them.

The best friendships are the ones where you can lie in silence with someone, enjoy each other’s company and eat pizza. Disgustingly cheesy but true. Forget social boundaries.

Forget the pressure to be perfect. Forget that your slice of pizza has 300 calories in it. This isn’t Village of the Damned, this is real life.

0 comments

Latest Hampstead & Highgate News Stories

Yesterday, 14:39

Staff will trace Lord Lauderdale’s steps on the journey he may have taken to visit his mistress before Lauderdale House opens once more

Yesterday, 12:12

The mixed pond on Hampstead Heath will be ‘women only’ for two weeks in October after management confirmed the ladies’ pond will close so that work can be carried out.

Yesterday, 09:57

Police were called at around 23.20pm to reports of a gunshot last week but there have been no arrests made so far

Yesterday, 07:00

A vigil is to be held at the spot where much-loved Heath character Sheila Karsberg was tragically killed after being hit by a cement mixer in Camden.

Mon, 18:21

Both of Camden’s Labour MPs who backed Owen Smith in the leadership contest have called for party unity as speculation mounts over whether they will serve on Jeremy Corbyn’s front bench team if invited.

Mon, 18:05

Police figures show the number of drivers who use mobile phones behind the wheel is on the rise.

Mon, 17:06

The suspect apparently had nothing in which to stash the money and left a trail of cash as he left

Mon, 16:35

Local MPs have overwhelmingly backed calls for the government to make historic changes to end the secrecy surrounding offshore property sales.

PROMOTED CONTENT

Interested in purchasing a flat and want to know the rules, rights and regulations as a leaseholder? Or maybe you are already a leaseholder and want to find out more about extending your lease?

Scores of people visited the opening of Composite Door Master’s first public showroom in Hayes at the weekend, where they were treated to a spectacular show by award winning magician, Marc Oberon.

You’ve got cash, you’ve got style and you’ve got a bursting social calendar, but no time. These Crouch End studio suites to rent could be your dream come true.

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Most read Hampstead & Highgate news

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Property Newsletter Sign-up

Get the latest North London property news and features straight to your inbox with our regular newsletter

I am also happy to receive other emails...
Fields marked with a * are mandatory
Email Marketing by e-shot

Competitions

If you’re obsessed with Apple or just love a good gadget, this is a prize that will blow you away! An incredible £3,333 to spend on Apple goodies! How would you like to be the proud new owner of the Apple Watch?

As we grow older it becomes more and more important to have means to travel about safely and quickly. Our friendship groups and families grow and the need to have a car that is not only safe but also fast and big enough for all our needs is ever more important. There are many cars on the market for such needs but none deals with them as efficiently or as neatly as a VW Golf Estate. These cars are build strong, long lasting and spacious for a reason. They cater to the needs of many and are some of the most popular cars currently on the market.

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Hampstead & Highgate Express
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now