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Sometimes, it may seem that in the modern society, there is a place only for the perfect people. Many would say that nobody is perfect, but in the world where plastic surgeries and diets are routine, everything is possible and that leaves no chances for “common” people to live without being humiliated.
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There is a certain concept that best describes the current situation in our society; it is the “beauty myth”. Some of the people that are too bothered with their appearance will never even understand why exactly they are following all the beauty trends or trying to keep their body in the best condition possible. Nevertheless, it is actually the “beauty myth” that rules their lives. In brief, the “beauty myth” is a socially constructed standard of how a woman in particular should look like; this standard is often unattainable.
While every girl or woman at some point is trying to meet the beauty standards, some of the women are doing a better job. That usually happens because there are more means available to those that are wealthy or in any way superior to the other part of female population. In her song “At Seventeen”, Janis Ian presents us her own understanding of the problem. “At Seventeen” describes a situation that is familiar to almost every girl who is or was concerned with her appearance. It is definitely complicated to feel inferior to the school beauty queens, and it is also hard to be humiliated every day because of how you look like – such pressure ruins the personality. In other words, while being bullied or hated, girls are punished physically and psychologically by the “beauty myth” for not being able to meet all the standards of the time and become “pretty”. However, the singer claims that what has happened a long time ago is now gone even though it really hurt a lot. This is the reason to be happy, and not depressed. No matter how hard life is, it has to be appreciated.
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