Williams: Are Young People Growing Up Too Fast?

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Williams: Are Young People Growing Up Too Fast?

By Brook Williams

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For those of you whom graduated prior to 2014, do you remember being in high school and experimenting with mascara for your first time, or daring to venture into the realm of foundation? I might just be speaking for myself, but I was an ugly little gremlin in high school who didn’t figure out how to use actual makeup until the age of 18. I was too focused on playing pranks and having fun with my friends. This doesn’t seem to be the case anymore. When driving past my high school I now feel like all I see are Kylie Jenner look-a-likes, with lipstick liner enhancements, dark eyebrows drawn on with expensive pencils and mounds of foundation.

My little brother who is currently in high school says his Instagram feed is filled with 16 year-olds wearing gobs of makeup, attempting to look like they’re in their 20’s. He explains that there are even girls who apply makeup at the lunch table with their friends.

All of this poses some concern because makeup has high doses of hormones in it. For example, most of the makeup sold at grocery stores have surprisingly high amounts of estrogen. “Exposure to these chemicals ultimately affects the balance of the body that could lead to a number of health problems, including weight gain, hypothyroid, infertility, adrenal imbalances, estrogen dominance, lowered sperm counts, obesity, diabetes and certain types of cancers,” states Cammi Balleck, a writer for Dermstore.

I believe that the majority of the blame for this issue goes to the media. We are constantly being bombarded with images of women looking perfect and flawless. This is nothing new, but the fact that social media provides a platform to present a highlight reel of your best, most attractive self to your friends and the public only increases the comparison, judgment and competition among young girls. There are a plethora of different apps that can make your body and face look flawless, as well as makeups to enhance what features you already have. When young girls use these apps to post extremely edited photos of themselves on the internet, they become pressured to use other artificial means to look perfect in their everyday lives.

Makeup and flawless social media libraries shouldn’t pressuring girls at such young and vulnerable ages. This issue seems inevitable and almost impossible to stop, but I think it needs to be stressed in high school that kids should enjoy their time being young, energetic and care free. They should be learning to embrace their authentic, natural selves, rather than getting up to date on the newest makeup trends.