Image is a significant part of any girl’s childhood. Girls grow up trying to find who they are through their own discoveries about themselves and, sadly, the opinions of others. In today’s society, along with society of the past century, girls’ depictions of themselves actually have a lot more to do with the opinions of others. It seems that no matter how highly a girl thinks of herself, no matter how much confidence she has, if those around her do not, or seem to not, share those same opinions, her own views do not matter in the slightest. Said well by Karen Coats in the essay Identity in Keywords for Children’s Literature, “our sense of identity emerges through how we imagine others see and react to us”. This idea is clearly seen in the novel The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison. One of the main characters, Pecola, is apart of a family that is believed to be ugly by all those around them, including themselves. To the town Pecola and her family live in, “their ugliness was unique. No one could have convinced them that they were not relentlessly and aggressively ugly” (38). Despite what Pecola may have thought about herself at one time, she now believes herself to be ugly due to what she has grown up hearing and experiencing. With all of those around her constantly convincing her of her ugliness, there is no way for her to believe anything else or even believe in herself.
This idea is a huge problem in society of the past and present. Rather than tearing girls down, despite their looks, society should be building them up. Girls should be encouraged to see themselves as beautiful and “perfect”, but they are incapable of doing so if society is consistently telling them the opposite. P!nk, an American singer-songwriter, released a song in 2011 that challenges the critical society we live in by encouraging young girls to believe that they are beautiful. In her song, “Perfect” she makes an effort to let girls know that they cannot let society hinder their self views and confidence, that they should “never ever feel like [they’re] less than perfect”.
The images girls have of themselves are crucial to their self esteem as they mature throughout life, high self esteem is proven to make for an all around happy life. In order to provide the well-deserved positive self image that girls need to have, society has to change. Girls should never be under the impression that they are “ugly”, they should always be under the impression that they are “perfect”.